The dry spell continues for Minnesota State women’s hockey. This weekend, they were swept by the University of Minnesota in two low-scoring games.
Friday night, the Mavs lost 3-1 to the Golden Gophers at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. The first period was looking like it would become a 0-0 standstill until, with 1:11 remaining, Whitney Tuttle scored what would become the Mavs’ only goal of the evening.
On their first power play of the game, the Gophers were able to score their first goal after just 35 seconds with the advantage, 1-1. The score would remain the same as they entered the third period.
In the third, Minnesota scored two more goals, including another power play goal. The Gophers were two for two on power plays while the Mavs failed on five attempts.
Hailey Hansen was the Mavs’ goalie to begin the game, but was replaced with Suzette Faucher toward the end of the second period. Hansen stopped 16 of 17 shots while Faucher stopped 14 of 16.
The power play goals proved to be the difference in the game, and head coach John Harrington was well aware.
“At the end of the night, special teams were the difference,” said Harrington in a press release posted to the Maverick Athletics website. “Minnesota went 2-2 in power play chances while we weren’t able to generate the right opportunities going 0-5.”
Saturday’s game was played back at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center as the Mavs looked to avenge their loss from the previous day. The first period was a scoreless one as both teams battled to put the first points on the board.
Both teams would end up getting points in the second period. First, Mavs freshman Lauren Zawoyski notched her first career goal at the 6:40 mark, but the Gophers matched her goal just six minutes later to tie the game at one.
The go-ahead, game-winning goal was scored by Madison Kaiser of the Gophers at 13:36 in the final frame.
Faucher remained in goal after her brief appearance in the first game of the series and stopped 30 of 32 shots.
Despite their recent losses, Harrington says he is staying positive and focusing on internal improvements rather than what their record indicates.
“We’ve made progress this weekend. We’ve made strides in developing while learning from the last three series,” Harrington said. “Our freshmen have been able to step up in big moments like you saw this weekend and give us quality minutes.”
The Mavericks will now have to move a little quicker than they are used to as they will now play on Thursday against St. Thomas in the Hall of Fame game. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. in Maple Grove at the Maple Grove Ice Arena.
Header Photo: The Mavs will play their next game in Maple Grove in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame game. Their opponent will be St. Thomas. (Dalton Grubb/The Reporter)
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