Mavs search for ‘W’ against ‘The U’

As they head into their fourth straight matchup with a ranked opponent, the Minnesota State women’s hockey team has received votes of their own in two separate Division I polls.

They are currently a consensus top-20 team by the results of the polls from USA Hockey and US College Hockey Organization, despite having a 2-6 record. 

The Mavs will play their in-state rivals this weekend as they look to double their win total. The University of Minnesota is ranked no. 4 in the country in Division I women’s hockey with a 5-2 record.

The Gophers and Mavs are both looking to rebound after being swept last weekend. Ohio State handed the Gophers their first two losses of the season in two very close games that were decided by only one goal each. The Mavs, on the other hand, have lost six straight . 

The Gophers have outscored their opponents 30-12 this season and outshot them 245-202. Abbey Murphy (nine) and Ella Huber (five) lead the Gophers in scoring. Murphy and Huber also rank second on the team in assists with six, behind Josefin Bouveng who has eight.

In net for the Mavs’ opponents will likely be Skyler Vetter, who has started five games and has played nearly 300 minutes for the Gophers. Vetter has a 3-2 record this season with 156 saves on 93.4% save percentage. If it is not Vetter, Lucy Morgan will suit up to defend the goal. She is 2-0 in games she has started, with 34 saves on .97 save percentage. 

The Minnesota State/Minnesota rivalry is in its 25th season, but it has overwhelmingly been controlled by the Gophers, who hold a 102-4-3 record over the Mavs. Although the Mavs did get the best of the Gophers in early 2022, the Gophers had won 53 straight against the Mavs up to that point. 

However, there is always time for a new streak to begin. The Mavs’ leading scorer, Jamie Nelson, has scored five goals already and nine different Mavs have scored goals this season. Suzette Faucher and Lauren Barbro each have started four games and have a 1-3 record. Barbro’s save percentage is slightly higher than Faucher’s, but she has 22 fewer saves and has been the second goalie in terms of minutes played. A starter for the series has not been named.

The first game of this home and home series is 6 p.m. Friday  in Minneapolis. Game two is 4 p.m. Saturday in Mankato.

Header Photo: The Mavs received votes in the most recent USA Hockey Poll and the USCHO Poll. They have not yet become nationally ranked in Division I women’s hockey this season. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics and Jackson Forderer/SPX)

Write to Hayden Lee at hayden.lee@mnsu.edu

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