Women’s hockey makes history, snaps Gopher’s 53-game streak

Despite a 2-7 loss at home against the No. 4 team in the nation, the Minnesota State women’s hockey team had one of their most historic moments in team history this past weekend. The Mavericks got to play their first game in nearly a month at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center against No. 4 Minnesota, losing that contest 2-7 in game one of their home and home series. 

The Gophers undoubtedly got the best of MSU in the onslaught, scoring four goals in the first period and never looked back. The Mavs got on the board first only 25 seconds into the game, where senior forward Brittyn Fleming took the team’s first shot and turned it into their first goal. 

That was just about all that went well for the team from there on out, as the Gophers proceeded to score four goals before the first period expired. Minnesota continued to pile on the goals until Maverick’s junior forward Kelsey King stopped the madness with a goal of her own with less than a minute left to play in regulation.

Minnesota’s Amy Potomac and Savannah Norcross each tallied three points in the game, Potomac doing so with a first period hat trick and Norcross with three assists for the playmaker. The two teams then traveled north to the twin cities for game two of the series where the Mavericks made history.

MSU got on the board first once again in this one, as junior defenseman Charlotte Akervik buried a shot from the point to go up one on the power play. Akervik cashed in again nearly five minutes later with another goal to put the Mavs up two with 9:31 remaining in the first period. 

It was not long before the Gophers responded with a goal of their own on the power play, but the Mavs got it right back thanks to junior Kennedy Bobyck’s two on one breakaway finish. Minnesota left MSU scoreless in the second while scoring two goals of their own, bringing a tie game into the third period. 

The 3-3 score lasted nearly half the third period before the Mavericks scored the seventh goal of the game on a Jessica Kondas left point shot to go up one. The Gophers responded quickly on the power play and the two teams headed into overtime. 

As the time winded down in overtime, Kondas ripped a shot towards King’s side of the ice. King tipped the shot past the Gopher goaltender’s right side to seal the first Maverick win over the Gophers in 53 straight games. 

The Mavs took home their first win against Minnesota since 2007, and their first win on the Gophers home ice since 2004 with the overtime win. With two goals and three assists on the weekend King received WCHA Forward of the Week recognition.

Upcoming for MSU is a home and home series against St. Thomas, one of the games being played outdoors at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato as a part of Hockey Day Minnesota. The two teams played each other earlier this season with the Mavericks coming out on top in both games by scores of 3-0 and 3-1. 

The Mavs 6-11-1 conference record in the WCHA is good enough for fifth in the standings while St. Thomas sits last at 2-13-1. 

With two wins this weekend MSU can improve on their conference record as well as their overall record of 10-11-1, pushing the team back above .500 for the first time since their Nov. 5 loss to the St. Cloud State Huskies.

Header Photo: Kelsey King (20) totaled two goals and three assists against the Gophers that included the Mavericks’ game-winning goal in overtime on Jan. 15. With five points King earned WCHA forward of the week honors.

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