Though the season hasn’t gotten off to quite the start the Mavericks women’s hockey team would have hoped, the team’s focus is still on progressing and getting better with each and every opponent they face.
In the first six games of the 2016-17 season, the Minnesota State Mavericks women’s hockey team has gone 2-4. The Mavericks started out strong, winning their first two games of the season and sweeping Rochester Institute of Technology, winning both games by a score of 2-1. The games following didn’t go quite as smoothly for the Mavericks.
Through the next four games, Minnesota State struggled to find goals; in two of the four games the Mavericks were shut out by scores of 4-0 and 6-0 against the University of Minnesota, Duluth Bulldogs and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The Mavericks were able to respond however in the second games of both series, but neither game ended in a victory for the Mavericks.
In an interview, head coach John Harrington had a few comments on the start of the season thus far.
“I think it was two exciting games to win early on,” said Harrington “The girls were trying to feel out their opponent the first games I think, but we have to be ready to play when the puck drops. They did play better on both Saturdays though and it’s about progressing as a team right now.”
Though the Maverick’s women’s hockey team has hit a slump and faces a possible fifth-straight loss, the mindset of the coaches and players is still one of positivity and constant improvement.
“We have to stay positive and understand that we are a pretty young team. We have to continually keep working during practice- it’s extremely important for us,” Harrington said. “Practice however is one thing, but if you don’t practice like you play then we won’t be able to get in games and be competitive.”
The strength of this team doesn’t just rely on one goal-scorer or a few main contributors and that’s what can set them apart from most other teams in the NCAA and the WCHA. The Mavericks play in one of the most competitive conferences in all of women’s college hockey, and they’ll be dependent on working together as the young team figures itself out as the season progresses.
“We’re all playing together; we don’t necessarily have one stand out player. The strength of our team is teamwork and we have a number of people that can contribute,” Harrington said. “Anna Fiegert, Savannah Quandt and our goalie Brianna Quade are going to be key contributors for us. However, Quade needs to be our rock down there in the net.”
After six games, sophomore Megan Hinze leads the team with two goals. Seven other players share second place with one goal a piece. Leading the team in points and assists is junior Anna Keys with three. The Mavericks so far have dispersed the points evenly, but they have still struggled at times to put points on the board.
Minnesota State is scheduled next to face WCHA rival St. Cloud State. The 2-4 Huskies are coming to Mankato to face the Mavericks. Puck drops at 7:07 p.m. this Friday and 3:07 p.m. Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center.