Reaching the NCAA Division I Frozen Four is a tough thing to accomplish, and the St. Cloud State University Women’s Hockey team understands how big of a moment it was when the St. Cloud State Men’s Hockey team did just that by winning the regional tournament at the end of March.
That motivated some women’s hockey players to hit the road – literally – to show their support of the men’s team when the Huskies took the ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in pursuit of a national championship.
“I think we’re pretty close to the men’s team in general and pretty close to each other,” said senior goaltender Emma Polusny. “When we saw they made the Frozen Four, we joked right away that we would make a road trip to Pittsburgh. Then one thing led to another and 14 of us ended up here. We’re excited to be here.”
A total of 14 women’s hockey players departed St. Cloud on the afternoon of April 7 to make the almost 1,000-mile road trip to Pittsburgh, a journey that ended up taking a little over 14 hours to complete.
“Road tripping was a lot of fun. Our coaches were very supportive of us going and supporting the men, so that made it really easy. A lot of good memories have been made,” said junior goaltender Karlie Ries. “We wanted to be supportive of the men because they are supportive of us. We’re all just one big Husky family.”
The women’s hockey players arrived in Pittsburgh about five hours prior to puck drop for the Huskies’ game against Minnesota State, Mankato on April 8. Although it was a long trip to attend the Frozen Four, the players from the women’s team wanted to do everything they could to help cheer on their fellow student-athletes in their return to the Frozen Four and the first-ever appearance in the National Championship Game.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience when you’re in college and you’re able to support your teams in a Frozen Four and hope to win a National Championship,” Polusny said. “To be able to come here live, especially after what this year has been, it’s an awesome experience and we’re excited to be here.”