Women’s Hockey Wins Home Opener

Joe Stark

The College of St. Scholastica women’s hockey team opened up their season last Friday night against the Augsburg College Auggies in a non-conference showdown. The Saints were looking to start the year off on the right foot as they usually do, having never lost a season opener at home.

Getting to play again after practicing for months in a row is a great feeling for any athlete.

“It felt good to finally play a hockey game again,” said freshman Greta Nundahl. “It’s a fast game but it is exciting and fun. We have been working hard on and off the ice for a couple months now.”

CSS knew they would be in for a tough game and it was intense from the first drop of the puck.

The first period was a defensive struggle as both teams were unable to net a goal due to both goalies playing well. Lindsey Hartfiel was the star of the first period as she was able to save all six shots she faced. On the offensive side of things, the Saints were able to muster up five shots, but none of them found the back of the net and the period ended with the score 0-0.

The second period was much more offensively focused as each team was able to score. The Saints came out and looked prime to score right away in the beginning of the second period, but a turnover in their own zone led to a breakaway goal over the shoulder of Hartfiel. Down a goal, the Saints knew they would have to pick it up if they wanted to win, and that is indeed what they did. Four minutes after being down 1-0, St. Scholastica answered with a goal of their own when Emily Stegora went on a breakaway and was able to score on her second shot after the first one was blocked. That would be it for the scoring in the second period as the goalies had their way for the remainder of the period. Hartfiel was bombarded by shots but was able to save the rest as the Auggies accumulated fifteen shots in the period. The Saints were able to give a strong thirteen shots, but they faced a tough opponent in net who was able to deny them the rest of the period.

The third period was dominated by Hartfiel once again as she saw ten shots and saved every puck that came her way. The Saints were not able to get many shots on net during the third period, but the shots they did take were enough. CSS only had four shots, with two of them being goals. The first goal was a power-play goal tipped in by Giorgia Battisti when Kennedy Houge shot a one timer off of a pass from Mac Johnson. With the 2-1 lead the Saints were in total control, especially with the way Hartfiel was playing. The game stayed with the 2-1 score until the Auggies pulled their goalie with a little over a minute to go. It was then with twenty-two seconds left that Stegora scored her second goal of the game and sealed the 3-1 victory for the Saints.

St. Scholastica was lead by Hartfiel in goal as she had thirty saves and a save percentage of .968. Offensively, Stegora had two goals and a plus/minus of one. Battisti also had a goal and Johnson, Houge, and Hanowski all had assists.

Beating a quality team in Augsburg was no easy task and it took quite the effort from the Saints to win.

“We limited their scoring chances and did not let them back in the game,” said Nundahl.

The next game for the Saints will be on Friday night when they take on Lake Forest at 7 p.m. at home.