WINONA, Minn. Saint Mary's University women's hockey coach Duncan Ryhorchuk videotapes every game his team plays, then uses the tapes as instructional tools throughout the season.
Wednesday's nonconference game against Hamline, however, is one tape the Cardinals' coach might want to erase.
"It wasn't very pretty," Ryhorchuk said. "We didn't play well at all, especially in the first and second periods I'm sure it was a combination of things upcoming finals, the opponent, lack of mental focus.
"It just wasn't one of our better games."
That coming from a coach whose team just won its fifth straight with a lopsided, 7-0 win over the Pipers at the SMU Ice Arena.
"It's nice that we won, but it wasn't the type of effort we need," explained Ryhorchuk, whose team dominated the Pipers from start to finish. "We played much better in the third period, but those first two periods those are periods I'd like to forget.
"(Hamline) was only skating 12 players, and we eventually wore them down in the third," said Ryhorchuk, whose team scored five goals in a seven-minute span in the third period in improving to 6-1-1 overall. "It was nice to see us rebound a bit in the third hopefully we can carry that through the break and play with that type of intensity the rest of the way."
Beth Zubrzycki (South St. Paul, Minn.) got SMU on the board late in the first period, netting her first of the season at the 18:22 mark. Melissa Mondo (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) made it 2-0 after two with her fifth of the season midway through the second period.
"We didn't need to say anything between periods," Ryhorchuk said. "The players knew they weren't playing well, and they also knew that only they could change that."
Which is exactly what they did over the final 20 minutes.
Emily Kearns (Hopkins, Minn.) got things going at the 10:01 mark of the third period, netting her team-leading sixth goal of the season. Megan Chown (Onalaska, Minn.) made it 4-0 three minutes later. Emily Babcock (St. Paul, Minn.) sandwiched a pair of goals around one by teammate Rachel Harrison (Madison, Wis.) to close out the scoring.
Amanda Gage (Lino Lakes, Minn.) stopped all 13 Piper shots to earn her first collegiate shutout, while Hamline goalie Alysha Huberty finished with 27 saves.