MANKATO, Minn. - The Minnesota State women's hockey team extended its winning streak to three games with a 4-3 win over Merrimack on Friday afternoon at the Mankato Civic Center.
The Mavericks improved their record to 5-4-2 (2-4-2-2 WCHA) after coming back from two goals down in the second period and winning the nonconference match-up over the Warriors.
After a scoreless first period of play, four total goals were scored in the second period as the game remained tied at 2-2 with 40 minutes being played. The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead by scoring at the 4:38 and 7:21 marks. Senior forward Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored the first goal after blocking a MSU shot and converting on the breakaway to sophomore netminder Abigail Levy's stick side. Freshman winger Dani Castino scored the second goal, going five-hole on Levy who lost her stick seconds before. Minnesota State got on the board at the 11:13 mark when sophomore winger Brooke Bryant out hustled the Warriors down the ice to hit a slap shot from the right face-off circle. Bryant's second goal of the season was her first career short-handed goal and went top shelf on freshman netminder Emma Gorski. The Mavericks tied the game up less than a minute later as junior forward gathered a loose puck in front of the net and flicked it up over Gorski's pad for her fourth goal of the season.
Minnesota State took it's first lead of the game 7:49 into the third period as Kelsey King got the puck at the right face-off circle and went top shelf on Gorski for her first goal of her collegiate career. The Mavericks extended their at the 15:46 mark with Gardner scoring her second goal of the game, and eventual game winner, in a scrum in front of the net. The Warriors pulled within a goal on the power play with junior forward Megan Fergusson being credited with the goal before falling.
Sophomore Abigail Levy (3-2-1) made 19 saves in her second consecutive win in net. The Mavericks outshot the Warriors by a 39-22 margin in the game. Minnesota State did not convert on its only power play attempt and killed off two out of three penalties against Merrimack.
Gardner finished the game with two goals, King had a goal and an assist and then senior winger Emily Antony finished with two assists as they all garnered two points in the win.
The Mavericks and Warriors will close out the series tomorrow with puck drop being at 2:07 p.m.