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Captain leads SCSU to shutout victory in new coach's regular season debut

Taylor Lind had two goals, two assists to lead the charge for the Huskies in a 5-0 nonconference women's win over RPI in Brian Idalski's first game as head coach.

Taylor Lind.jpg
Taylor Lind had two goals and two assists on Sept. 30, 2022, in a nonconference game against RPI at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
CONTRIBUTED BY ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — With any coach, there is a style of player that they prefer.

For head coach Brian Idalski, when he watches St. Cloud State senior forward Taylor Lind play, he knows what he wants to see more of in his program.

"It's easy to see her energy, her compete level, her skating speed," Idalski said of the 5-foot-7 senior wing from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. "The direction we're going in, that's the kind of player we're going to be recruiting. Her skating speed, tenacity and ability to compete at a high level — that's what we're looking for.

"I was super pleased with her development and execution of some of the stuff we're trying to do."

TaylorLind.jpg
Taylor Lind
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lind had two goals, two assists, three shots on net and was a plus-4 for the SCSU women's hockey team in a 5-0 nonconference win over RPI on Friday night at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The two teams play the second game of the series at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Brooks Center.

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It was the first regular season game for the Huskies under Idalski, who was introduced as the team's new head coach on June 2.

Lind, the team's captain who led the Huskies in assists (17) and points (25) last season, said that the team is starting to find its way in the new systems that Idalski has brought to the team.

"I think we took care of our details and really played our systems well," said Lind, whose team outshot the Engineers 31-17. "There were a few spots that we'd like to clean up for tomorrow. But work ethic was there and we were happy with our energy on the bench."

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A different look

One of the noticeable changes in the Huskies under Idaslki showed when they were attacking in the offensive zone.

"We're trying to be really aggressive and, obviously, I really like that style of play, so it goes well" with me, Lind said. "We want (get opponents) to turn as many pucks over as we can and, if we can take chances and score on them, take them."

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St. Cloud State women's hockey head coach Brian Idalski.
Courtesy of St. Cloud State University athletics

The five goals scored were the most for the Huskies since they beat Lindenwood 6-0 on Nov. 30, 2019, at the Brooks Center.

"I thought overall, we executed pretty well," said Idalski, who coached China's 2022 Olympic team. "Obviously, there are still some things we want to tighten up structure-wise. I thought we did a good job of trying to play fast and making smart, crisp decisions and executing systems.

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"That was really our goal coming in today was our effort, our energy and our execution. I thought we did a good job with them."

A shutout for the UMD transfer

JoJo Chobak got the start in goal for the Huskies and stopped all 17 shots she faced to pick up the shutout. Chobak, a junior from Chicago, Ill., transferred to SCSU over the summer after going 10-4-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .926 save percentage last season for Minnesota Duluth.

The Huskies led 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 about 13 minutes through the second period. Chobak made 11 of her saves in the second period to help keep things under control.

"In that second period, a couple of those were big (saves) because that could have swung some momentum at that time," Idalski said. "I thought the second period, she was challenged on a few (shots) and she did a nice job when we made a couple poor decisions.

"She's definitely as advertised. I'm super happy for her and, obviously, any time you get a shutout, you're doing something right."

Lind was impressed with Chobak's play as well.

"JoJo was awesome," said Lind, whose team gave up three shots in the first period and three shots in the third period. "She did a really good job of staying in the game when she would get shot breaks and then they'd come down on a rush and she'd make an unbelievable save. She did really well. I'm happy for her."

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2 Olympians have good nights, 1 sits out injured

On Lind's goals, one she got an assist from Finnish national team member Jenniina Nylund and on the other, the assist went to Czechia national team member Klara Hymlarova.

"It's always good to get the first couple (goals) out of the way, but my linemates were working on those — I got the easy parts," Lind said with a smile. "Klara was on her knees (when she passed it) and Jenniina had a 1-on-3 ... I just had to tuck them in."

Hymlarova was limited to 15 games with the Huskies last season due to her national team commitments and injury. But she had two shots on goal and was a plus-2 on Friday.

Nylund also had the Huskies' first goal, had three shots and was a plus-3.

"Klara is just a complete, 200-foot-, super smart, well-coached in all fazes — she's a very enjoyable player to watch and plays the right way," Idalski said. "I was a huge fan of her's already before I got here, just watching her on the Czech team.

"Jenniina's skating speed and ability to pressure and turn things over and compete in all areas was very good today. When she gets comfortable in some of the structure, she's only going to get better and better for us."

Unfortunately, the third Olympian for the Huskies is out with an injury. Laura Zimmerman, who played on the Swiss national team, did not play Friday and is going to be out this weekend.

1st goal in career Game 118

There was another milestone accomplishment for an SCSU player on Friday. Taytum Geier, graduate student defenseman and assistant captain, scored her first college goal, playing in her 118th career game.

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Taytum Geier
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The play started with Lind making a cross-ice pass from the SCSU blue line up to McKenna Wesloh on the RPI blue line. Wesloh came out of the penalty box, caught the puck in stride and took a shot from the slot.

Geier pulled out the loose puck on the rebound and tucked it in for her goal.

"Oh my gosh, it was cool," Lind said. "I wasn't even sure if it was her first or not. Then when I heard, I was like, 'Get that puck!'

"So exciting and awesome for her. I think Brian even made a joke to her saying, 'Why have you been staying back, you goal scorer.'

"It was funny because I looked up and our two 'D' were rushing up and I was thinking, 'Should I join this or hang back?'"

SCSU 5, RPI 0

RPI 0-0-0—0
SCSU 1-2-2—5

First period scoring — 1. SCSU, Jenniina Nylund 1 (Taylor Lind 1, Courtney Hall 1) 5:12. Penalties — RPI, bench, too many players on the ice, 10:26; SCSU, Regan Bulger, holding, 17:14.

Second period — 2. SCSU, Taytum Geier 1 (McKenna Wesloh 1, Taylor Lind 2) 4:18; 3. SCSU, Lind 1 (Nylund 1) 14:00. Penalties — SCSU, McKenna Wesloh, tripping, 2:00.

Third period — 4. SCSU, Lind 2 (Klara Hymlarova 1) 7:12; 5. SCSU, Emma Gentry 1 (Addi Scribner 1) 9:25 (pp). ( Penalties — RPI, Teeghan Dalby, tripping, 8:43; SCSU, Mackenzie Bourgerie, tripping, 16:48.

Goalie saves -— RPI: Amanda Rampado 8-9-9—26 (5 GA); SCSU: JoJo Chobak 3-11-3—17 (0 GA).

Penalties-minutes — RPI 2-4, SCSU 3-6.

Power plays (shots) — RPI 0-3 (5 shots); SCSU 1-2 (4 shots).

Faceoffs — SCSU 34-15.

Three stars of the game -- 1. Lind (SCSU), 2. Nylund (SCSU), 3. Geier (SCSU).

Referees — Craig Hedlund and Jordan Lee.

Linesmen — Glendon Seal and Doug Durgin.

Attendance — 137.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com
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