Women’s hockey continues to struggle

It was a dismal weekend for the Minnesota State women’s hockey team, which is now 3- 18-1, 1-13 in conference. The pair of losses against the St. Cloud State Huskies what just what the struggling conference opponent needed, as the Huskies have taken a step back this year at 4- 12-2.

“Overall, we need to have a better team effort than we had tonight, it was disappointing and the mistakes we made gave them goals and it was nothing that St. Cloud State really developed on their own, they worked hard and deserved to win, but our defense made mistakes,” said Mavericks head coach John Harrington. “It led to St. Cloud State getting goals close to the net and we just have to do a better job in front of the net.”

The Minnesota offense has so much trouble scoring, despite a solid amount of shots on goal. It is another season of failing to find the back of the net for the Mavs.

In game one, the Mavs were downed in the first period after letting up goals to Laura Kluge and Emma Bigham, who put the Huskies up 2-0 from the start. While the Mavericks seemed to hang around on the ice with the shots on goal a tight 34-23 in favor of the Huskies, it did not translate to the scoreboard. The Huskies continued to pour on goals in the third period, starting with a goal from Kayla Friesen. Two more goals where added by Hallie Theodosopoulos and Hannah Potrykus, completing the 5-0 rout of the Mavericks in an embarrassing performance.

Game two was far tighter, but with ultimately the same result. In the opening of the game, the Mavericks controlled the Huskies far better, keeping the game scoreless through the first period. However, Friesen scored her second goal in as many nights to go up 1-0 in the game.

Yet again, the Mavericks were aggressive and hung with the Huskies in shots on goal, 34-25. Nevertheless, a cramp was put in their comeback attempt by Theodosopoulos, who netted another goal as well. The freshman leading MSU in points, Brittyn Fleming, posted her 15th point this season, putting the Mavericks in the game for the moment. An empty netter late in the final period of the game was by Potrykus put the Mavs away.

“We weren’t playing with the urgency we needed to defensively and we weren’t playing with the toughness we needed to and I think it showed on the scoreboard,” said Harrington of a defense that let up eight goals in two nights.

As with last season, the offense has not produced much of any production in the last two seasons. Unlike last season, the Mavericks do not have elite goaltender Brianna Quade in the net to bail out their offensive struggles with stellar defense. The play of Katie Bidulka has not proven to bail out the defense like Quade did, which has been problematic. The Mavericks will be on the road this week to face off against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, WI in a two-game series starting on Saturday.

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