Women’s Hockey drops series to Gophers

Coming into the weekend, it had been the team’s best start since 2003, with a record of 6-0 through their first six games and a 7-1 record through eight. Unfortunately the Minnesota State women’s hockey team was unable to achieve another 7-1 start, falling to the University of Minnesota in sweeping fashion, dropping to 5-3.

It was the Mavericks second season series against a WCHA opponent, first to Duluth and now to the Gophers where they were looking to improve on their 1-1 conference record. It did not go as planned, but the Mavs have put up a fight against their nationally ranked WCHA opponents this season.

The Gophers came into this game on a bit of a skid, with a 1-3 overall record after falling to Ohio State and splitting games with Minnesota-Duluth two weeks prior. Despite their record, the Gophers still found themselves ranked in both the USCHO and NCAA Division I polls at No. 5. 

It was a daunting and tough task for the Mavericks, and that showed the night of the first game. Taking on the Gophers on away ice for the first game of the series, the Mavs could not get  anything going offensively and hurt themselves numerous times off penalties. 

Minnesota was able to take advantage of three of Minnesota State’s four penalties throughout the game, scoring all three of their goals on the power play. The Gophers were also able to hold the Mavericks on their defensive side of the ice for most of the contest, peppering the Mavs for 47 shots to 14.

Junior goaltender Calla Frank was outstanding for the Mavs. Despite letting in the three goals, Frank saved 44 of the 47 shots faced for a .936 save percentage in game one. Frank did not stop there, bringing the same energy to game two.

The teams headed down to Mankato for the second game of the series, splitting the interconference matchup home and away. It was a tough homecoming for the Mavs beginning straight away in the first period.

The Gophers were able to get off to a hot start, completely blowing past the Mavericks in an offensive onslaught. Minnesota was able to put up three goals including one on the power play in the first period, and brought yet another goal at the beginning of the second. 

It was a different story for the Mavs in the second period however, finding their first goal off a front net scramble for the puck where sophomore Sydney Langseth tapped on into the back of the net to cut the Gophers lead to three. Minnesota State did not stop there, finding their next goal under two minutes later.

Heading the length of the ice on a three on two break were the Mavs, off an outlet pass from senior Taylor Wemple. From there junior Kelsey King was able to find junior Kennedy Bobyck crashing the net for the Mavs second goal of the game.

That was all she wrote for the Mavericks, as the Gophers took care of the rest of the game, tallying two more goals in a 6-2 rout. Frank had yet another amazing game despite letting in six goals, saving 43 of 49 shots.

Frank’s save percentage does not do justice for game two, where she looked outstanding, robbing the Gophers several times on what looked to be for sure goals. The Mavs now have a week off of hockey until consensus No. 1 Wisconsin comes to town the weekend of Oct. 29.

Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter

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