Mavs hockey to face No. 4 ranked Gophers in WCHA battle

It has been nearly a month since the last time the Minnesota State women’s hockey team has competed in a collegiate hockey game, and with their home and home series coming up against Minnesota this weekend, that streak of no games will come to an end. The team’s last series dates back to Dec. 17 and 18 of 2021, where the Mavs split the series against Bemidji State.

The Beavers got the most of the Mavericks in game one, defeating the team 2-3 despite being down one goal entering the third period. BSU scored on the powerplay with 7:58 remaining in the third period and the Mavs could not respond before time expired.

Game two was taken by Minnesota State, where the team was able to get it done in overtime. The two teams finished off regulation tied at one thanks to a game-tying goal by Mavericks’ freshman forward Madison Mashuga with 7:27 remaining. 

The two teams were not able to decide the game in overtime, and therefore, took the game into a shootout. The Beavers and Mavericks struggled to find the back of the net in the shootout, but MSU’s sophomore forward Sydney Langseth got the scoring done right away as she buried the one and only goal to go home victorious. 

The game counts as a tie in official team records but the Mavericks gain an extra point for an overtime win in the WCHA standings. The Mavs then were scheduled to play out-of-conference opponent Syracuse in the new year, but those games were cancelled due to COVID-19 issues within the Syracuse program.

With the cancellation, the Mavericks now move on to play No. 4 Minnesota in a home and home series this weekend. Minnesota State comes into the series with an overall record of 9-10-1 and a WCHA record of 5-10-1. 

The Gophers come into the matchup as one of the best teams in NCAA Division I women’s hockey, supporting a 16-5-1 overall record. The team is also 11-4-1 in WCHA play, only losing to top ranked teams in Ohio State and Minnesota Duluth. 

The two teams played earlier in the season, with Minnesota taking both of the games handedly. The first game of the series was much closer than the next, with the Gophers taking both games by scores of 3-0 and 6-2. 

Minnesota State remains led by senior forward Brittyn Fleming, who leads the team in points with 24, and assists with 17. Junior forward Kelsey King is the leading goal scorer for the Mavs at 10 and is the only Maverick to reach the double digit goals mark this season. 

Junior goaltender Calla Frank proves to be an important piece in finding wins for the Mavericks, as she supports a team-leading .908 save percentage through 18 games. Frank was also named the National Women’s Hockey Co-Goaltender of the Month during the month of Dec. thanks to a 4-1-1 record, .959 save percentage, and 0.99 goals-against average in six games played. 

The junior goaltender also recorded two shutouts in those six games while saving 140 of 146 shots faced in the month.

Header photo: Calla Frank (77) was named the National Women’s Hockey Co-Goaltender of the Month during the month of Dec. while having a .959 save percentage in six games played.

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