Slumping Mavs face off against OSU

What a skid it has been for the Minnesota State University women’s hockey team. 

After starting the season at 5-1, the team is now staring down a possible 5-9 record with No. 2 Ohio State next up on the schedule. 

Ohio State has been nationally ranked every week up to this point in the season, with its only losses coming to the number one team in the nation, the Wisconsin Badgers. The Buckeyes would be undefeated otherwise, their resume including two wins against the current No. 3 team in the nation, Minnesota. 

History has not been kind to the Mavericks when playing the Buckeyes, but is much nicer than previous historical bouts with Minnesota and Wisconsin. MSU has struggled to win any games against Ohio State over time, but have won 14 times in 96 total meetings since 1999, with another 11 also being ties.

The team’s most recent wins count as ties on the school website, but are indeed wins in both a shootout and overtime when the Mavericks beat the Buckeyes in Oct. of 2019 in Mankato. Their most recent regulation time win came in Dec. of 2018. 

In MSU’s most previous series of games, they came out on the wrong side of a two-game road trip to St. Cloud, losing both games by scores of 3-2 and 4-1. The Buckeyes come into the matchup against the Mavericks feeling the opposite of a six game skid, with two series sweeps against St. Thomas and St. Cloud. 

It is going to be a tough task for the Mavs to handle when looking ahead at how they can defeat the Buckeyes, but MSU has shown they can hang with some of the top teams in the nation. The Mavs have previously held the Badgers to just two goals in a contest while scoring one of their own, and if they can find a way to shut down Ohio State’s offense, they could pull off an upset. 

The Buckeyes find themselves scoring all over the board when it comes to putting pucks in the net, with senior forward Gabby Rosenthal leading the way with 10 goals through 12 games. Ohio State loves to share the puck, which allows them to have three players over 10 assists on the season as well.

The assist and points leader for the Buckeyes is junior forward Jennifer Gardiner, who has tallied 15 assists and six goals so far on the season to lead Ohio State with 21 points. The Buckeyes are not weak in any position, and have a lot of depth to get them through games. 

Ohio State has used all its goaltenders up to this point in the season, primarily using senior Andrea Braendli in tougher games.

Braendli has been a stud in the crease so far this season, currently holding a .955 save percentage in her seven starts.

The Buckeyes certainly pose a tough position for the Mavericks to find a win in the two upcoming games, but with previous signs of showing success in shutting down top teams, the Mavs should have a chance to at least take one of the two games. 

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