Minnesota State earned a 5-4 overtime victory over Minnesota last Saturday at Minnesota’s Ridder Arena. The victory snapped a 53-game losing streak for the Mavericks against their in-state rival that dated back to 2007. It was also their first victory at Ridder Arena since 2004.
Minnesota took the first game of the weekend series in Mankato; allowing a goal 25 seconds into the game, but then scoring seven consecutive goals for an easy 7-2 victory.
Saturday’s game was a tighter affair. The Mavericks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and led 3-1 after the first period, which chased Minnesota starting goalie Lauren Bench from the game. Minnesota responded with a strong second period to even the game at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Minnesota State would strike first in the third period, but Minnesota answered back with a power play goal that tied the game once again.
In the 3x3 overtime period, both teams had multiple Grade-A scoring chances that they failed to capitalize on, until the final 90 seconds of the extra frame, when Minnesota State’s Jessica Kondas found Kelsey King in front of the net and King tipped in the winning goal.
Here’s the play:
The victory is another positive step forward in the tenure of Minnesota State head coach John Harrington. Though the Mavericks have bigger wins in recent history, Minnesota has always presented a uniquely difficult challenge for them.
The two league points helped keep Minnesota State in fifth place in the WCHA standings with 20 league points. And while there still remains a sizable gap between Minnesota State and the league’s Big 4, there is also a growing separation between Minnesota State and the other three teams in the bottom half of the league.