Allie Cornelius nets a pair as Huskies return from break with a win over New Hampshire
Looking for their first win of 2023, St. Cloud State got back to basics like opportunistic scoring and solid goaltending, starting off the new year by blanking New Hampshire in Minneapolis.
MINNEAPOLIS — As the only “townie” skating for the St. Cloud State women’s hockey squad, Allie Cornelius joked that all of her Huskies teammates bailed on her over the holiday break and headed home to see their families. She was left to find outdoor ice time in the Granite City on her own.
That late December rink time seemed to pay off as the Huskies returned from a month-long layoff with a 3-0 win over New Hampshire on Friday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Cornelius scored twice and Courtney Hall set up all three Huskies goals as they improved to 12-10-0 overall, snapping a two-game losing streak.
“I did watch a few World Juniors games, so I was thinking I was Connor Bedard, but we got it figured out and we were able to pull out the win,” Cornelius joked. “I skated with everyone until they left me, then a little pond hockey here and there. I did take a little break but we were in the weight room, so we were still into it.”
Huskies goalie Jojo Chobak got her third shutout of the season with 24 saves, half of them in the third period when the Wildcats (7-15-0) made a push, to no avail. New Hampshire goalie Nicky Hartnett had 22 saves in the loss.
“A win’s a win. It wasn’t the prettiest at times, but that first game back is always a little hodge-podge,” Huskies coach Brian Idalski said, observing that his team needed to play simple hockey at the start. “Coming off the break, kids want to step right into where they left off. You have to go back to the basics. You can’t come out and start toe dragging and beating some people when you haven’t skated in a couple weeks. It got better as it went on.”
The holiday break was a long one for the Huskies, who had what can be considered a breakout first half, but closed 2022 with a pair of lopsided shutout losses to the Gophers. Idalski joked that the break was needed, it just came a week too late.
In the opening 20 minutes versus New Hampshire, the de facto home team dominated the offensive zone for a few stretches.
Hall, who Idalski has moved up to the second line, set up Klara Hymlarova for a power play marker in the first, then opened the middle frame by setting up Cornelius which doubled the lead. The Huskies held UNH to just four shots in the second period and maybe missed an opportunity to increase their lead. St. Cloud State dominated the offensive zone on a pair of power plays, but could not get another puck over the goal line.
“I was happy for Courtney. We’re asking a lot more from her this weekend. Being on the second line, you have to produce, and she responded,” Idalski said.
Cornelius finally delivered the dagger, with an assist from Hall, of course, in the third period with Hartnett on the bench for an extra attacker. At the other end of the rink, Chobak quietly kept the Wildcats off the board as the Huskies killed two late penalties.
“It’s amazing having a goalie that you trust fully back there,” Cornelius said. “Of course we’re always willing to block shots, but we know she’s going to be back there standing on her head for us. And that just gives us all the confidence in the world, to go do your thing when she’s going to stand you up.”
The Huskies face Merrimack on Saturday in Minneapolis.
St. Cloud State 3, New Hampshire 0
St. Cloud State 1-1-1—3
New Hampshire 0-0-0—0
First period — 1. SC, Klara Hymlarova 10 (Courtney Hall), 13:29, (PP). Penalties — Tamara Thierus, NH (body checking), 5:00; Emily Pinto, NH (body checking), 12:45; Emma Gentry, SC (slashing), 17:27.
Second period — 2. SC, Allie Cornelius 2 (Hall), 1:15. Penalties — Regan Bulger, SC (cross checking), 10:05; Gabby Jones, NH (hooking), 12:59; Nicole Kelly (tripping), 16:15.
Third period — 3. SC, Cornelius 3 (Hall, Taytum Geier), 17:26, (EN). Penalties — Gabby Jones, NH (hooking), 4:38; Olivia Cvar, SC (embellishment), 4:38; Dayle Ross, SC (tripping), 5:27; Cornelius, SC (slashing), 8:35.
Shots on goal — SC 10-10-5—25; NH 8-4-12—24. Goalies — Jojo Chobak, SC (24 shots-24 saves); Nicky Hartnett, NH (25-22). Power plays — SC 1-of-4, NH 0-of-4. Referees — Tyler Olson, Duncan Ryhorchuk. Linesmen — Glendon Seal, Aaron Neville. Att. — 51.