Mankato, Minn. --- The Minnesota State women's hockey team was unable to complete the comeback against the #8 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, falling 5-4 Friday at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.
The Bulldogs held a 2-0 lead after the first period of play with both goals coming between the eight and nine minute marks. Senior center Ryleigh Houston took advantage of sophomore netminder Abigail Levy biting on a fake to the near post and went back door for the first goal. Sophomore winger McKenzie Hewett scored the second goal on a tip in front of the net from sophomore forward Kylie Hanley's original shot.
The Mavericks were able to cut the two-goal deficit in half at the 5:38 mark in the second period with freshman winger Kelsey King scoring her fifth goal of the season. Senior captain Emily Antony fed King just inside the left dot and the backhanded shot went top shelf over senior netminder Maddie Rooney. Minnesota Duluth regained the multiple goal advantage at the 10:49 mark to take the 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Hanley took a shot from the point that made it through the pads of Levy.
The comeback attempt started in the third period as there were five total goals scored in the final period. UMD took a three-goal lead at the 2:51 mark as senior winger Sydney Brodt caused a turnover on an MSU power play and put away the short handed goal. The Mavericks also scored on the same power play as junior blueliner Tristen Truax netted her eighth goal of the season. Now tied for the team lead in goals, a rebound trickled to Truax on the backside as she scored in the open net. Sophomore winger Brooke Bryant brought Minnesota State within a goal as Bryant and junior center Brittyn Fleming completed a 2-on-1 break. Bryant's fourth goal of the season came at the 8:22 mark. The final Bulldog goal was scored at the 10:50 mark as sophomore center Gabbie Hughes won the battle in a scrum in front of the net. The Mavericks came within one goal once more at the 14:25 mark as junior defenseman Jessica Kondas hit a one timer from the point for her fourth goal of the season. Minnesota State's chance of tying the game up late fell short as a tripping penalty was called with two minutes left to play.
Sophomore Abigail Levy (5-11-3) made 24 saves against the Bulldogs in the loss.
The Mavericks were outshot by the Bulldogs by a slim 29-28 margin. Minnesota State went one-for-three on the power play, while Minnesota Duluth went zero-for-two with the man advantage.
Bryant netted a multi-point game by scoring a goal and collecting an assist, while Fleming and sophomore blueliner Anna Wilgren both also collected two apples.
Now standing with a 11-16-5 (4-14-3-3 WCHA) record, the Mavericks and Bulldogs will finish the series out tomorrow at 3:07 p.m., at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. Senior day festivities will begin prior to the game.