Women’s hockey looking for answers

Though the season has not started off to quite the pace 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 their first six games of the 2016-2017 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. They won both games by a score of 2-1. The games following did not go quite as smoothly for the Mavericks, as they struggled mightily.

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 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The Mavericks were able to respond, however, in the second games of both series. The downside is 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.”

The Mavericks would go on to tie St. Cloud State in regulation and lose in an eventual shootout to them, followed by a 2-0 loss the next day. In their next four games against the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Mavericks would proceed to get outscored 19-2, and they have now put their record at 2-9-1 on the season.

“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 does not just rely on one goal scorer or a few main contributors. That is 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 will 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.”

The Mavericks are yet to win a conference game, as they are 0-9-1 this season. They have been outscored 44-12 in just 12 games, and the hope is they can turn it around with still a lot of season left. Sophomore forward is tied for the points lead with four. Tying her is junior forward Hannah Davidson.

Minnesota State will look to begin the task in righting the ship next weekend, as they will face Ohio State University at the Verizon Wireless Center. The Buckeyes are coming into this matchup 5-6-1 on the season, with a 1-6-1 conference record. Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 the puck will drop at 3 p.m.

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