St. Cloud, Minn.: Led by Eden Prairie native Meaghan Pezon, the St. Cloud State University women’s hockey team (8-9-5, 4-9-3 WCHA) earned its first win of the new year with a 4-1 nonconference victory over Boston University (11-7-2, 3-5-1 HE) this afternoon in the National Hockey Center.
Pezon posted two goals in the game, while senior co-captain Hailey Clarkson (Winnipegosis, Manitoba) scored her eighth goal of the season in the first period and first year forward Caitlin Hogan (Oakdale) notched an empty netter with 37 ticks left on the clock in the third.
Boston University tallied the initial lead just over the halfway point in the first with a power play goal from first year forward Melissa Anderson at 10:01. Terrier forwards Kelley Karnan and Genevieve Laing assisted on the rebounded goal past SCSU’s senior goaltender Lauri St. Jacques (Sturgeon Falls, Onatrio).
SCSU was quick to respond as Clarkson chipped in for her 30th career goal in the red and black just 25 seconds later. Hogan and first year forward Holly Roberts (St. Cloud) collected the assists on the goal to knot the game at 1-1.
In the second, SCSU’s Pezon charted the eventual game-winner at 01:02. Three former high school teammates and Eden Prairie natives tallied points on the goal. Junior defender Brittni Kuyper passed the puck up to sophomore forward Megan McCarthy in the neutral zone. With Pezon trailing, the trio of Eden Prairie natives stormed into the Terrier zone on a three-on-two. McCarthy backhanded a pass to Pezon waiting at the hash marks and Pezon sent a wrister past BU’s goaltender Melissa Haber on the far side.
Despite a penalty stricken second period, the Huskies continued to gain momentum and in the third would go on to score two more unanswered goals before the final buzzer.
Pezon’s second goal of the game and eighth goal of the season came at the 07:51 mark of the third. A Terrier turnover in the neutral zone led to a Pezon breakaway and a top shelf unassisted score for the first year forward.
“When she plays hard, she’s one of the best players on the ice,” said SCSU’s head coach Jeff Giesen of first year forward Meaghan Pezon. “Meaghan has an amazing knack of scoring goals and is a big, strong and powerful presence on the ice.”
Late in the third, BU’s second year head coach Brian Durocher pulled Haber from goal for the player advantage. SCSU took full advantage of the empty net opportunity as Hogan connected on her first collegiate empty net goal at 19:23 of the final period. Blaine native Sammy Nixon and junior forward Marie-Michel Lemieux assisted on the Hogan goal as the Huskies skated to a 4-1 victory in the NHC.
St. Jacques tallied 34 saves in the contest and improved her season record to 4-4-0. BU’s Haber totaled 27 saves in the game as her record falls to 4-2-1 overall.
BU outshot SCSU 35-31. BU was 1-of-8 on the power play and SCSU was held to 0-of-4 on power play opportunities.
SCSU earned two more points for the WCHA today with the victory over BU towards the first annual Women's Commissioners' Cup 24-game series played among the four Division I women's ice hockey conferences.
“Today was a good win and it’s always nice to get a win in the second game of a series,” commented Giesen. “Now we have a good taste in our mouths heading into the Minnesota Duluth series.”
The Huskies return to Western Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend as they will travel to Duluth for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13-14, in the DECC Arena.
“Every single point in our league will be crucial heading down the stretch,” said Giesen.