The Minnesota State women’s hockey team made history in several ways this past weekend, when the team found itself topping the No. 14 St. Cloud State Huskies 3-1 and 4-1 on Friday and Saturday.
“You could just feel the energy,” said senior forward Kelsey King after Friday’s win. “Every shift we were emptying the tanks, and I think that was the difference maker.”
Energy was much needed for the Mavericks squad this series, as they were looking to break a 10-game losing streak this season to opposing teams ranked inside USCHO’s top 15. On top of that, the Mavs had been in a 16-year drought from winning back-to-back games against a ranked opponent. Saturday night, that changed.
The series began Friday night on Jan. 13, as the two interstate rivals settled game one at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in downtown Mankato. The St. Cloud State Huskies broke the 0-0 tie at the beginning of the first period.
Freshman forward, Svenja Voigt, collected the tally for the Huskies, earning her second goal of the season over MSU goaltender Lauren Barboro’s blocker side. The Mavericks began their short comeback in the second, after senior Brooke Bryant tied up a faceoff, setting up King to fire the puck low glove side to even the score.
The game remained tied until the third, but junior forward, Sydney Langseth, broke that tie to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead. Langseth’s goal held until the Huskies desperately pulled their netminder, but with a quick empty net shot, Minnesota State clinched game one of the series.
Despite the Mavericks controlling possession for most of the contest, shots on goal were tied at 25 at the conclusion of the game. In order to be successful the following night, King explained the Mavericks have to simply, “Outwork them.”
King also went on to say, “This is one of those teams where we are pretty evenly matched. We are both gritty, and we both work really hard. We have to keep outworking them, stay tenacious, and bring intensity and energy. That will be the key for tomorrow.”
Now that all is said and done, it is safe to say Minnesota State took King’s game plan to heart. The Mavericks dominated game two, not only in time of possession but also shots on goal.
Gritty play and an edge in speed held the Mavs at an advantage all contest, finishing the team with 41 shots on goal to the Huskies’ 18. In quick fashion, the Mavericks struck first on Saturday at the 7:24 mark of the first.
Senior defenseman, Taylor Wemple, notched the goal, marking her first of the season and third of her career. Just over two minutes later fellow senior, Kennedy Bobyck, found a goal of her own to help the Mavericks jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
The Huskies responded in the final minutes of the first, but Minnesota State headed into the first intermission up by one. A scoreless second period paved the way for goals in the final period of play, where MSU added to their lead.
Langseth got things rolling for her second goal of the series, tapping home a rebound right outside the crease. Not even a minute later, junior Madison Mashuga joined the spotlight. Freshman Taylor Otremba collected the puck from behind the net and found Mashuga in the slot for a nice top-shelf strike to go up 4-1.
The score stood there and the Mavericks completed their first series sweep over a ranked opponent since 2007.
This upcoming weekend Minnesota State will be traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for a two-game series against the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers. The Mavs lost 2-5 and 1-5 in previous contests this year and will have a chance to continue their six-game win streak against a good Badgers team, who is looking to catch up to Ohio State in the conference standings.
Write to Kole Buelow at Kole.Buelow@mnsu.edu
Header Photo: MSU Women’s Hockey are victorious with a two-game home series sweep against St. Cloud State. With a final score of 3-1 Friday, Jan. 13 and 4-1 Saturday, Jan. 14 the Mavericks extend their streak to six-straight wins. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)