Coming off an amazing two-game stretch against Merrimack College, the Minnesota State women’s hockey team had their hands full as No. 5/6 Minnesota Duluth came into town to face the Mavericks in their first conference matchup of the season. The Mavericks came into the two game series against the Bulldogs with an overall record of 2-0, and would get their first real test against a top ranked Duluth team.
The Bulldogs had yet to play a game this season before their matchup against the Mavs, so Minnesota State would have to get creative in building their game plan if they were to win either of the two games this past weekend.
Game one was quite the wake up call for Minnesota State, as they got shut out by Minnesota Duluth in a 7-0 rout, spoiling the Mavericks’ home opener. The Bulldogs were able to completely outplay the Mavs in game one, outshooting the Mavericks 41-14.
The Mavericks started goaltender Calla Frank, where she collected 34 saves on a .829 save percentage. On the other side of the ice stood Bulldog goaltender Emma Soderberg, who got the shutout on the Mavs after facing 14 shots.
The Bulldogs were the only team to fill the score sheet, putting up two goals in each period until the third where they burst open for three more to seal the game. Naomi Rogge and Gabbie Hughes each scored twice for the Bulldogs in game one, while also recording two assists and one assist respectively.
Heading into game two the Mavericks had a lot of adjustments to make in order to give themselves a chance against a top ranked Bulldogs team. Fortunately, the Mavs were able to do just that.
One of Minnesota State’s fixes came from staying out of the penalty box, where they visited a total of eight times in game one. The Mavericks let up two power play goals in game one as well, and were able to hold themselves to only one penalty in game two.
The Mavs completely flipped the script on the Bulldogs for game two, scoring three goals during power play opportunities on the Bulldogs’ five penalties. Minnesota Duluth got on the board first in game two, but their lead slowly dwindled as Minnesota State got everything clicking in the second period.
Madison Mashuga was able to get the scoring started for the Mavericks in the second period, scoring a power play goal at the 6:21 mark which opened the floodgates for the Mavs to finish out the second period. Jamie Nelson was able to get on the board for Minnesota State’s second goal of the game on another power play goal just 36 seconds later.
Heading into the third period the Mavericks were able to take advantage of an expiring roughing call as Kelsey King buried yet another power play goal for the Mavs only 37 seconds into the third. The Bulldogs were able to get back onto the board late in the period but the Mavs closed out the game on an empty net goal from Kennedy Bobyck to give the Mavericks their first conference win of the season.
The Mavericks now sit at 3-1 overall on the season with a 1-1 record in conference play. MSU should gain some national recognition for their win against Duluth and are set to play Lindenwood in another home series this weekend.
Feature photo by Dylan Engel/The Reporter