Success has been simple for the Minnesota State Women’s Hockey team in recent weeks, and the team will endure another tall task this upcoming weekend against the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence,” said junior forward, Sydney Langseth. “We’re playing team hockey right now.”
Despite taking down previously-ranked No. 14 St. Cloud State this past weekend, the Mavericks still remain outside the top-15 rankings in USCHO’s weekly women’s college hockey poll. Minnesota State won a close game Jan. 13 against the Huskies 3-1, where a late third-period goal from Langseth gave the Mavs a 2-1 lead before an eventual empty-netter sealed the game.
The following night, the Mavericks blew St. Cloud State out of the water. The 4-1 final was indicative of the performance Minnesota State had that night, but a 41-18 shots-on-goal advantage tells the story a bit better.
In spite of a great weekend, the Mavs did not find themselves cracking the top-15. They will have a chance to break that spell this weekend with a good two showings against the Wisconsin Badgers.
When asked about the series against Wisconsin, Langseth was enthusiastic about the opportunity to play another one of college hockey’s best teams.
“We’re all really excited,” said Langseth. “With our three series winning streak, that definitely gives us some momentum going into the series. All the lines are meshing really well right now too. So, I think if we just stick to our game plan, it’ll be a good weekend.”
Langseth has been a solid offensive force for the Mavericks this season on her own, tallying six goals and seven assists for 13 points. That sits Langseth at seventh on the Mavericks in points, eight of which have come in the team’s last six games.
With another top-15 matchup coming up against Wisconsin, the Mavericks will have to continue to be on top of their game, and Langseth will surely help them stay there.
To do so, Langseth explained, “I have to continue to not overthink things and play to my strong suits. I like to lean on my teammates. Playing team hockey has really elevated our game on top of mixing up the lines. That has really generated something for us.”
After their sixth straight win this past weekend, Minnesota State now sits above .500 for the first time this year at 13-11-0. The Mavs are now also solidified at fifth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings with 22 points.
Fourth is a far reach this late in the season, as Minnesota Duluth currently holds an 11-point advantage on the Mavericks. However, with a string of successful weekends and a sweep over Duluth in early February, the Mavericks could get it done.
The Wisconsin Badgers are in Minnesota State’s way, however, and after two-straight losses to No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus this past weekend, the Badgers will be hungry to defend home ice and get back in the win column.
Write to Kole Buelow at Kole.Buelow@mnsu.edu
Header Photo: MSU Women’s Hockey team aims to extend their six-game win streak as they travel to University of Wisconsin-Madison for a two-game away series Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)