TROY, N.Y. - The Minnesota State women's hockey team finished the road sweep as freshman goaltender Calla Frank debuts with a 3-0 shutout vs. Rensselaer Saturday afternoon at the Houston Field House.
This is the second year in a row that the Mavericks have swept the Engineers and got off to a 2-0 start before entering WCHA play. "The first period was a real test for us as RPI came out fast." said head coach John Harrington, "Mariah Gardner, along with her linemates Madison Oelkers and Kelsey King, had another strong game."
It was junior forward Mariah Gardner that started the scoring for the Mavericks 4:08 into the second period after both teams went scoreless in the first. Right after a power-play ended for Minnesota State, freshman winger Kelsey King found Gardner close to the net as she chipped in her second goal of the season.
The Mavericks added two more goals in the third period to seal the deal over the Engineers. Gardner was again the benefactor as she scored her third goal of the season, and second of the game, ten seconds into a power-play. The first power-play goal of the season came at the 4:33 mark in the period with King collecting her fourth assist of the series. Nearly nine minutes later came the Mavericks first short-handed goal of the season with sophomore forward Claire Butorac finding the back of the net for the first time this season. Senior forward Sofia Poinar assisted on Butorac's second career short-handed goal to give the Mavericks the insurance goal.
Frank (1-0-0) posted her first career shutout win by making 13 saves throughout the game. Rensselaer's netminder Ena Nystrom (0-1-0) finished with 46 saves on the night and allowed three goals.
The Mavericks, who outshot RPI by a 49-13 margin in the game, were one-for-three in power play chances in the game. Rensselaer was unable to convert on its five chances with the man advantage, including letting MSU score on its final attempt.
Coach Harrington also said, "The third period short-handed goal by Claire Butorac finally gave us some scoreboard breathing room. Calla Frank was solid throughout the game. It is always exciting to get a first career win, and it being a shutout was was impressive. This was a great weekend sweep to start our season, and we'll get back to work on Monday as we prepare for Minnesota in our WHCA home opener."
The Mavericks (2-0-0) will square off with Minnesota at Mankato Civic Center next weekend in the WCHA opening series with games beginning at 7:07 p.m., Friday night and 2:07 p.m., Saturday afternoon.