SMU WSP Polzin game winner

Photo by Judd Stanislawski, DriftlessWaters Photography

 

The Cardinals celebrate a goal in their 2-1 win over the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

 

by DONNY NADEAU, SMU Sports Information director

 

After a 28-day hiatus, the Saint Mary's University (SMU) women's hockey team finally returned to the ice Saturday afternoon.

And the Cardinals presented Head Coach Sarah Murray with a belated Christmas present — but they had to put in a little overtime to gift-wrap it.

Sidney Polzin scored 33 seconds into overtime, as the Cardinals kicked off 2023 the same way they ended 2022 — with a victory — edging the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UW-SP) 2-1 at the Saint Mary's Ice Arena.

The Cardinals dominated from start to finish in the first period, outshooting the Pointers 19-2, but headed into the locker room after 20 minutes still deadlocked at 0-0.

It was more of the same in the second period, as SMU peppered Pointer goalie Olivia Schultz with 21 more shots while holding UW-SP to just two for a second straight period.

This time around, however, the Cardinals were able to cash in on one of those 21 shots on goal, as Allie Urlaub found the back of the net just 12 seconds into the period to give Saint Mary's a one-goal advantage heading into the third period.

The Pointers doubled their offensive chances of the first two periods combined in the first half of the third period, putting four shots on SMU goalie Jordan Keeley — including one by Maike Zipp at 9:58 that eluded the senior netminder and pulled UW-SP even, 1-1.

And set up Polzin's overtime heroics.

With the win, Saint Mary's — which finished with a whopping 53 shots on goal, outshooting the Pointers 53-13 — ran its winning streak to three straight, having dispatched Lawrence University 3-0 and 8-0 prior to the holiday break.

The Cardinals (4-9 overall) return to Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play next weekend with a pair of games against St. Olaf College. SMU will host the Oles in a 7 p.m. MIAC matchup at the Saint Mary's Ice Arena on Friday, before heading to the St. Olaf Ice Arena in Northfield, Minn., for Saturday's 2 p.m. rematch.