The struggles continued for the Minnesota State Mavericks women’s hockey team, with the girls dropping both games on the road to the Wisconsin Badgers over the weekend. The Mavericks left cheese head country after getting skunked 11-0 over the two-night span.
The Mavs came out sluggish in game one, getting badly outpaced by the number one ranked Badgers early in the game. The opening period found MSU down 2-0, with the game winning goal scored immediately by Sam Cogan in the first 4:12 of the game. MSU was bogged down time and again because of their 10 penalties, which resulted in only 16 shots on goal for the Mavs and it paled in comparison to the 42 shots from Wisconsin.
“We came in here against a team that hasn’t played in a couple of weeks and obviously they were hungry to play,” said Mavericks head coach John Harrington to the MSU athletics department. “They are an exceptional team we were playing, we wanted to go into the first period and just get out of it with not too much damage against and they got us on the power play, they got a little momentum and we just didn’t generate any offense.”
The goaltending was the real difference maker for the Badgers, as Kristian Campbell recorded her eighth and ninth shutouts over the weekend. The most dominant part of the Badgers squad this season has been Campbell, who boasts a 23-1 record and has a stunning .952 save percentage on 437 total saves.
While game two was a tighter affair at 4-0, Campbell’s brick wall of a performance still gave the Badgers a heavy edge to beat out the Mavericks. Despite coming out in the first period hot with eight of their total 16 shots, MSU still found themselves down 2-0 early, following quick goals from Claudia Kepler and Baylee Wellhausen.
Shots on goal finished out at 36-16 in favor of the Badgers, as the defense pounded the MSU offense that again had trouble sustaining themselves throughout the game. The Badgers refused to give MSU any help, tallying four penalties but killing all of them exceptionally well. They eventually extended the lead to 4-0 in the third period, closing out a weekend that was never close.
“I thought we gave a good effort throughout our lineup today,” said Harrington after the second loss. “Certainly it was the end of the period that cost us with a couple goals but we were happy with the way we played, we had the two power play opportunities in the second and two in the third but we didn’t have a lot of shots on those, we need to get more shots on those, needed to get ourselves on the scoreboard there.”
Wisconsin is in the midst of a crushing run, with a seven win streak going back to mid December. They have also shutout the last four opponents, outscoring the opposition 26-4 over the last seven outings. MSU was headed into the teeth of the most oppressive defense in women’s hockey and the result was predictable. The offensive woes of the Mavericks continued as they have scored once over the last four losses.
The competition does not get easier, with the Mavericks headed out on the road again to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers next weekend.