As Huskies, Beavers prepare for Hockey Day showdown, Allie Cornelius has fond memories of playing in event
Fifth-year senior played for the St. Cloud Icebreakers when the event was held in 2018 next to Lake George
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — When Allie Cornelius and her St. Cloud Icebreakers teammates found out that they would be playing as part of Hockey Day Minnesota, the date stuck out.
St. Cloud hosted the event in 2018 at Lake George and the Icebreakers played their rival, Sartell/Sauk Rapids, on Jan. 19, 2018.
"Our whole team was so excited and that whole season, we were thinking about Hockey Day Minnesota and how many days away it was," said Cornelius, who is now a fifth-year wing for the St. Cloud State women's hockey team. "I had a whole countdown app on my phone for it. We were preparing for it so much because it was such a cool experience."
The Icebreakers and Storm'N Sabres played to a 3-3 tie in their game. Cornelius had two goals and an assist for the Icebreakers, who also featured current Cornell forward Gabbie Rud.
"We were playing our biggest rival and it was also a big game for us," Cornelius said. "I remember cellying (my goals). I remember thinking about how fun it was to celebrate with my teammates on the outdoor rink."
You grew up playing pondy, so it was glorified pondy with your friends. It was super cool and a really cool bonding experience, too.
The St. Cloud State women's hockey team also played an outdoor game on Hockey Day on Jan. 20, 2018. The Huskies played to a 1-1 tie with Minnesota Duluth and ended up winning the shootout, 1-0.
For Cornelius, she was a senior in high school and the memories of playing as part of the event have stuck with her.
"It's something that I'll remember forever and how fun me and my teammates thought it was and how excited we were and Hockey Day is cool every year," she said. "That was really long ago. My mom sent me some pictures and I was like, 'Wow, I was actually a baby.'"
The Icebreakers got to skate on the Hockey Day ice twice. There was a practice the day before the game and the temperatures, despite playing the game in January, were in the 20s and 30s for the St. Cloud event.
"I remember I was really nervous about the weather because I wore a bubble (plastic mask) at the time and me and Gabbie both did," Cornelius said. "We were imagining if it was too cold or snowing that, with the bubble, we wouldn't be able to see.
"But I don't remember it not being too cold."
She said that it felt like playing a more important pond hockey game.
"You grew up playing pondy, so it was glorified pondy with your friends," she said. "It was super cool and a really cool bonding experience, too."
Huskies prepare for Bemidji State
St. Cloud State will not be playing an outdoor game on Saturday, Jan. 28. But the 15th-ranked Huskies will be a part of Hockey Day Minnesota.
St. Cloud State (6-14 WCHA, 13-14 overall) will play Bemidji State (1-19, 4-21-1) at 1:07 p.m. at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The teams were asked to be a part of the event and had to change game times to make it happen. The game can be seen on Bally Sports North Extra.
"The WCHA said that there was an interest in televising a game and asked if anyone would be interested in that," Huskies coach Brian Idalski said. "Lots of kudos to our administration and the university for making that happen with adjusting the game time and they had to do some things to make it happen on their end."
The Huskies and Beavers play at 6 p.m. Friday (B1G+) in their WCHA series. The Huskies go into the series in sixth place, two points behind Minnesota State University-Mankato (7-13, 13-13).
SCSU picked up a point with an overtime loss to top-ranked Ohio State (17-2-1, 22-2-2).
"You go from defending, defending, defending to we're going to have the puck a little," Idalski said of playing the Beavers after playing the Buckeyes. "But if we're turning it over, it's going to be a nightmare. We need to be able to possess (the puck), make plays, create opportunities and be able to finish them.
"It's definitely a different vibe than having to defend 80% of the time and trying to be opportunistic in transition. Now, at least, possession is 50-50."
The Huskies continue to have some key players out with injuries. Sophomore defensman Chace Sperling is out for the season. Sophomore defenseman Devyn Millwater has been out since the end of October.
And senior captain Taylor Lind, who led the team in scoring last season, is out with a lower body injury she suffered in a game against St. Thomas on Dec. 2.
Lind, who has 14 points, 21 penalty minutes and is a plus-1 in 18 games this season, has begun skating again. The hope is that she is able to begin playing again before playoffs.
"Huge energy kid and not only verbally on the bench — good energy in uplifting teammates and encouraging people — but also just with her compete level, speed and her ability to be F1, hound pucks and backcheck hard," Idalski said. "We're missing some of that."