Minnesota State remains undefeated in NSIC play after two more home games
The Minnesota State women’s hockey team dropped the puck in Wentzville, Missouri this weekend to begin the new 2017-2018 season. They defeated Lindenwood on Friday, Sept. 29 4-2 and tied with them on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Mavericks are 1-0-1 to begin the long campaign.
The Mavericks are seeking their first winning season since the 2003-2004 team, and things looked promising in the first matchup of the year. Last season, Minnesota State lost 5-1 and a shootout to Lindenwood, both at the Verizon Wireless Center. This time however, Minnesota State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back in the first matchup. The goals came from junior forward Emily Antony at the 2:32 mark and from junior forward Jordan McLaughlin, which was a short-handed goal at the 9:35 mark.
The Lindenwood Lions would not settle for nothing, as Taylor Girard was able to work through the Mavericks defense and put a puck in net to cut the lead to 2-1 at the 13:36 mark of the first period. Minnesota State however would answer back again in the first period, this time coming off the stick of sophomore forward Taylor Gulenchyn to put the Mavericks up 3-1. That score was Gulenchyn’s first ever collegiate goal.
The rest of the game contained a lot of defense and saved shots, with drama becoming minimal the rest of the way. Mavericks junior goaltender Katie Bidulka made 24 saves in net to capture the victory. The shots on goal were nearly even, with Minnesota State edging Lindenwood 27-25.
The Mavericks would score once more, this one coming on an empty netter in the third period. It was McLaughlin’s second score of the night, finishing off the Lions.
The second game was the following day on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Mavericks started another goaltender in sophomore Chloe Crosby, who made 34 saves in the tying effort.
Senior Amanda Conway made her presence known in the game, scoring both of the Mavericks’ goals. She scored her first at the 15:12 mark of the first period to put Minnesota State up 1-0. Her second goal came in the second period at the 4:49 mark. Minnesota State had a two-on-one opportunity, as Conway took a clean pass from freshman forward Brittyn Fleming and sniped it to the back of the net. Conway is already on a great pace for this season, as in all of 2016-2017 she scored two goals.
However, the Mavericks were outshot in this one by the Lions 36-31, with Lindenwood scoring two power-play goals in the second period. Minnesota State found themselves in the penalty box a bit too much, as they had 12 penalty minutes compared to Lindenwood’s two.
The Mavericks will next face No. 9 Robert Morris at the Verizon Wireless Center this weekend for Homecoming. The games are scheduled for 2:07 p.m. on Oct. 7 and 12:07 p.m. on Oct. 8. The last time these two teams faced off against each other was in the 2011-2012 season, when the Mavericks traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Robert Morris won a game in overtime 4-3, and Minnesota State won the second game 3-1.