Injuries prove too much as Mavericks fall to No. 2 Gophers 

Another winless series is in the books for the the Mavericks women’s hockey team, but things look to be trending upward.The team has started its season 0-6-0, despite earning one point in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action. 

This past weekend was the most the Mavericks have been stretched beyond their breaking point, being outscored by 16 goals by the No. 2 University of Minnesota. Playing three teams with a 16-0-0 combined record to start the season is never easy.  

The Mavericks got the worst of it this weekend. Playing without senior defensemen Charlotte Akervik and Anna Wilgren, Minnesota State was on its back foot from the moment the  puck dropped. 

Minnesota State head coach John Harrington commented on the absence of his senior defensemen saying, 

“We’re talking about two players, one that was one of the last cuts from the US Olympic team, and the other that both played on the collegiate USA national team against Canada this summer,” said head coach John Harrington. “They’re two of our better players.

“We’re with two freshmen and two sophomores on D and a forward playing back on D to give us another D back there. You miss them when you play teams like this and you find out how much they are missed.”

Harrington knows injuries happen, however, and knows others need to step up in their absence. 

“They have to play better and they have to play better as a group to make up for the individual skill we missed. We need to be stronger as a group and we weren’t strong enough today.”

Despite losing the first game 11-0 , the Mavericks knew they could start fresh the next day. 

“We’re starting over and we have to reflect on our game: what did we learn? We always talk about how you either win a game or you learn something. What did we learn from today and what can we take into the game tomorrow?”

The mindset change was evident for the team as it put up its first goals of the series. Sophomore forward Alexis Paddington got the Mavericks on the board first in game two, scoring a powerplay goal in the remaining two minutes of the first period. 

Paddington didn’t stop there, putting the second tally up for Minnesota State just 24 seconds into the second period. The No. 2 Gophers’ Olympic talent proved too much for the Mavericks, but two more goal tallies by forwards Sydney Shearen and Madison Mashuga helped Minnesota State walk away with four positives in a weekend of negatives. 

The Mavericks now have a short five-day turnaround for their next series, where they will play the University of St. Thomas in a home-and-home series Thursday and Friday. Minnesota State swept St. Thomas last year in four contests, outscoring the Tommies 13-3.

Header Photo: The Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Women’s Hockey team will play St. Thomas this Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Mayo Clinic Civic Center at 6 p.m. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Kole Buelow at

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