The Saint Mary's University (SMU) women's hockey team opened its 2021-22 season Friday evening with nine freshman making their collegiate debuts.
And what a debut it proved to be.
Jenna Kurkowski and Anna Braun made their first appearances in an SMU uniform memorable ones, as the duo accounted for three of Saint Mary's four goals in the Cardinals' 4-1, season-opening victory over St. Norbert College.
Avrey Simonson — the only non-freshman goal-scorer of the evening for the Cardinals — got Saint Mary's on the board at 8:37 of the first period, and SMU maintained that one-goal advantage into the first intermission.
Kurkowski pushed the Saint Mary's lead to 2-0 with the only goal of the second period, and, after St. Norbert cut the Cardinal lead to 2-1 early in the third, the freshman would net her second of the game to make it 3-1 with 3:21 remaining.
Braun closed out the scoring, beating the buzzer with an empty-net tally at 19:59 to ice the season-opening victory.
Kurkowski also had an assist to cap her career-opening three-point night, while Jordan Modjeski chipped in two assists for the Cardinals.
Ary Ziakas picked up the win in goal for the Cardinals, stopping 21 Green Knight shots, while St. Norbert goalie Evi Johnson saved 22 of the 25 SMU shots she faced.