Minnesota State played tough, competitive hockey but ultimately could not salvage a win
The Minnesota State University women’s hockey team welcomed the No. 1 team in the country to town over the past weekend. Although both games ended with a loss, the games were both competitive and the Mavericks look to be improving despite a below average record of 1-4-1.
In the first game, the Lady Mavericks gave the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers all they could handle. The Badgers got on the board early in the first period as Abby Roque found the back of the net just 50 seconds into regulation. The rest of the first period was a defensive struggle, however, as neither team scored a goal in the remaining 19 minutes.
The Mavericks came out in the second period trying to flip the script and pull the upset. With her first goal of the season, junior defender Megan Hinze tied the game up at one all on a power play goal set up by a beautiful pass by freshman forward Brittyn Fleming. Fleming leads the Mavericks this year with four assists.
Just over 10 minutes later, MNSU senior forward Lindsey Coleman scored with about six minutes left in the period to give the Mavs the 2-1 lead late in the second period. Junior forward Jordan McLaughlin was credited with her third assist of the year on the play.
On the brink of a major upset, Wisconsin looked like the top team in the country during the third period. Five minutes into the period the Badgers tied the game at two all on a slap shot that snuck by the Maverick goaltender. Two and a half minutes later, the number one team in the country took the 3-2 lead on an unassisted goal by Sophia Shaver – which ended up being the difference in the game as Minnesota State could not find the net in the third to drop a heartbreaker, 3-2.
Wisconsin held the advantage in shots on goal 29-20.
The second game started off with goals finding the net from all directions for both teams. Wisconsin struck first as Claudia Kepler got the Badgers on the board with seven minutes left in the first followed by a 6-4 advantage goal for Brette Pettet only two minutes later to take the 2-0 lead. Junior forward Rebekah Kolstad was not letting the Mavericks go down without a fight though as she answered back with her first career goal assisted by junior Emily Antony.
The second period was quiet as neither team scored so the count was 2-1 heading into the final period of the series.
Wisconsin found the back of the net early in the third to take the 3-1 lead and essentially put this game on ice as the game ended with that exact score.
The real story to this game was shots on goal as Wisconsin held a decisive 34-16 advantage, firing shots at Maverick goaltender Katie Bidulka all night.
After dropping the series to the top-ranked Badgers, Minnesota State will try to seek revenge against WCHA rival St. Cloud State at the Verizon Center on Oct. 27.