After starting out the season on one of their best starts since 2003, the Minnesota State women’s hockey team now finds themselves at an even .500 through ten games. It was an amazing start for the team, going 5-1 through their first six games, while sweeping Lindenwood and Merrimack and splitting games with a ranked opponent in Minnesota-Duluth.
The season seemed very promising up to that point, but after facing two of the top three women’s college hockey programs over the past two weeks of games, the Mavs now find themselves back at square one. MSU knew No. 1 Wisconsin would be a tough task this weekend, as they are widely known as the top program in the country, but knew they had a chance to at least take one game from the defending champs.
Minnesota State proved that in game one of the two game series, coming out with the most energy the team has displayed all season. Despite letting in the first goal of the series just five minutes into the game, the Mavs were able to hold on and respond with a goal of their own to close out the first period tied at one.
It was a nearly scoreless game from there on out, with Wisconsin holding a significant edge in the shots on goal category. The Mavericks were able to hold on for a while, but were blindsided by a Badger goal 3:37 into the third period.
It was a race against time to score a final goal before the sound of the buzzer that included the pulling of their goaltender, but it was not enough as the Mavericks fell to the Badgers 2-1 in game one.
Game one would surely bring confidence to the Mavs, now knowing they can contend with one of the top teams in the nation. That did not seem to be the case, however, as Wisconsin was able to make some crucial adjustments to break through the Maverick defense.
Game two started off great for Minnesota State, scoring the first goal of the game at 4:15 in the first. It was freshman Alexis Paddigton’s first career goal as a Maverick as she scored under the goaltender’s blocker side on the two on one break.
It was the Badgers’ show from there on out, where they were able to score six unanswered goals including a third period onslaught thanks to a hat trick from sophomore forward Makenna Webster. Webster seemed unstoppable all game, and it was only a matter of time before she found the back of the net.
The Mavs were able to put up a goal of their own before the end of the game, in the form of a power play goal by sophomore forward Sydney Langseth. MSU did eventually fall, however, 6-2 in the form of a series sweep.
Mavericks goaltender Calla Frank was amazing for the weekend, despite a save percentage under .900. Frank posted a .890 save percentage for the series, but was amazing in holding together the Mavs on the back end, especially in game one.
Next up for the team is a road trip to St. Cloud, a team who has struggled up to this point in the season. It should be a good test for the Mavs, and a potential rebound spot if the team wants any chance at staying above .500 from here on out.