After suffering a series sweep at the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Minnesota State women’s hockey team is set to travel to Madison this weekend to take on the No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers, who are 24-4-4 overall and 16-4-3 in WCHA play.
The Mavericks come into this series 12-15-1 overall and 8-15-1 in the WCHA. This will also be the first time MSU will play in Madison since 2019.
A win this weekend for MSU would build them significant credibility for a higher spot in the nation’s Pairwise rankings. In turn, a sweep for the Badgers this weekend would help them reclaim the No. 1 spot in the nation, which is currently held by Ohio State University.
Wisconsin is just coming off a hard-fought series split this past weekend with the 4th-ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The Badgers boast a 93-3-3 record all-time against the Mavericks heading into this weekend, with MSU’s last win coming in 2020.
Minnesota State and Wisconsin met twice earlier this season in Mankato at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. Wisconsin took both games, winning by scores of 2-1 and 6-2.
Sophomore standout Makenna Webster shined for the Badgers, delivering four goals and one assist in their first series matchup with the Mavericks. On the other side of the ice, MSU senior forward Brooke Bryant potted one goal and two assists during the series.
One key player to watch for the Mavericks is senior forward Brittyn Fleming. The Wisconsin native had a quiet series against Ohio State, but is surely due to put up points in this weekend’s series.
Fleming leads Minnesota State in total points this season with 33 in 28 games played. Junior forward Kelsey King follows closely behind Fleming with 29 pts in 28 games played this season.
Another player to watch this weekend for Mankato is senior defenseman Jessica Kondas. Kondas registered her third goal of the season this past weekend against Ohio State.
One key player to watch for Wisconsin this week is fifth-year forward Daryl Watts. Watts was recently named WCHA forward of the week for producing five goals in three games against St. Thomas and Duluth. The fifth-year forward is tied for first place with Casey O’Brien in total points with 44 in 29 games played. Both Watts and O’Brien are also ranked sixth in the nation in points per game.
Defense will be a major factor this weekend for MSU as Wisconsin is ranked second in the nation for scoring margin. The Badgers have registered 117 goals on the season while limiting their opponents to only 37.
Puck drop for this weekend’s series begins on Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. and will return back to action on Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. Both games will be held at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wisconsin.
Header photo: Junior winger Kelsey King (20) is second on Minnesota State in points with 29 in her 28 games played. King only follows senior center Brittyn Fleming who leads the team at 33.