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Mavericks hang tough, Gophers hang on to sweep series, improve to 4-0

Swedish freshman winger Josefin Bouveng had her first career hat trick as the Minnesota Gophers survived a push from Minnesota State Mankato, then pulled away late to take the second game of their weekend series.

Minnesota forward Abbey Murphy celebrated the first of two goals she scored in a win over Minnesota State Mankato on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
Justin Wolford / WCHA

MINNEAPOLIS — Scandinavians are generally known for being quiet and polite, so maybe Josefin Bouveng was just timidly waiting her turn. Bouveng, a Minnesota freshman from Sweden, scored her first three collegiate goals on Saturday as the Gophers kept their perfect record intact, surviving a tight game with Minnesota State Mankato and pulling away late for a 9-4 win.

Coupled with Friday’s 11-0 win in Mankato, the Gophers improved to 4-0-0 overall and in the WCHA. Abbey Murphy scored a pair of goals for the Gophers.

Minnesota State (0-6-0 overall and in the WCHA) got a pair of goals from Alexis Paddington and 37 saves from goalie Lauren Barbro, but could not hang with the Gophers over the course of 60 minutes.

“We played better and I think we competed a little bit better today and hung in there,” said MSU coach John Harrington. “I was happy to see us come back when we got behind again. We talked about having a good start and they got a few goals, but we battled back and got ourselves back in the game. Just a couple mistakes at the end.”

Seemingly in complete control with a 3-0 lead, the Gophers found themselves in a tight race quickly. MSU got on the board in the final minute of the first on a power-play goal by Paddington, and then the Mavericks’ initial shot of the middle period, also off Paddington’s stick, slipped between Pahl’s knees to make it a one-goal game.


“You could tell as soon as Mankato scored that first one they started to get a little momentum and then they get that second one,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “The more they scored, the more belief they had, the harder they played.”

Gophers starting goalie Makayla Pahl stopped 18 of the 22 shots she faced. Frost lifted her in the third period and put in Skylar Vetter, who stopped the last two MSU shots of the game.

Murphy magic

One of the most highly-touted recruits in college hockey before she got to the U of M, Murphy hails from the Chicago suburbs and had a good first season in college, then spent 2021-22 training for and playing with Team USA in the Winter Olympics. Back in Minnesota for her sophomore season, Frost is seeing what he expected from a now-veteran winger, even if it’s not always exactly what he wants.

With the Gophers killing a penalty in the third period, Murphy messed up but redeemed herself before she got to the bench, scoring shorthanded for her second goal of the game and fifth of the season.

“I got ticked off at her because she did the wrong thing on the faceoff on the (penalty kill) and then she goes down and scores,” Frost said. “That’s Muph. She has the ability to break the game wide open at any moment. You give her time in the slot, it’s going to go in most of the time … There’s not too many players in college hockey like Abbey Murphy.”

Minnesota forward Catie Skaja crashed the net while Minnesota State Mankato goalie Lauren Barbro worked to keep the puck out during the Gophers in over the Mavericks on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
Justin Wolford / WCHA

Rare off night for Pahl

The Gophers have been splitting their goalies so far this season, with Vetter getting the shutout on Friday in Mankato and Pahl getting the Saturday start. After the Mavericks scored in the third period to pull within 6-4, Frost made a goalie change in-game, which is rare.

‘It just needed to change the momentum a little bit,” he said. “A couple backhand (goals) and those are hard pucks to save sometimes because you don’t know where they’re going, but they just kind of squeaked through. I felt like we needed a change there.”


At least one teammate said afterward that they have full confidence in Pahl going forward.

“It’s not always going to be perfect,” Murphy said. “She’s a heck of a goalie and they’ll never go lower than that. Just a couple tough shots. She’ll be alright, we’ve just got to lift her up a little bit.”

Bouveng breakout

If not for the pandemic, Bouveng might be an Ivy Leaguer right now. The talented forward originally committed to Princeton, but changed course when the Ivies canceled all sports for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. Instead she skated for Sweden in the Olympics last winter, then made her way to Minnesota like so many Swedes have done for more than a century.

Her coach and teammates said they could see the three-goal breakout coming.

“She’s got such a great shot. Her first goal was just textbook,” Frost said. “She does that in practice every day, so I challenged her after yesterday’s game to make sure she was shooting the puck. That’s a huge gift of hers.”

According to Murphy, the addition of Bouveng has meant good times on and off the ice already

“She’s fitting in perfectly. Lots of laughs. She’s an awesome player and a great teammate but an even better person,” Murphy said.


Extra pucks

Up next for the Gophers is a home-and-home series with in-state rival St. Cloud State on Oct. 21-22. The Friday game is a 3 p.m. start in St. Cloud, while the Saturday rematch will be at 2 p.m. at Ridder Arena.

The Mavericks, after facing WCHA powerhouses Ohio State, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota in their first three series, have a home-and-home with St. Thomas, which will be played Thursday in Mankato and Friday in Mendota Heights.

Scratches from Saturday’s game for the Gophers were Sadie Lindsay, Maggie Nicholson, Allie Franco, Josey Dunne and Tristana Tatur. Scratched from the Mavericks lineup were Anna Wilgren, Lyndsey Howard, Emerald Kelly and Calla Frank.

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Minnesota 9, Minnesota State 4

Minnesota 3-2-4—9

Minn State 1-2-1—4

First period — 1. MN, Abbey Murphy 4 (Grace Zumwinkle, Emily Oden), 2:00. 2. MN, Catie Skaja 3 (Abigail Boreen, Lizi Norton), 4:55. 3. MN, Josefin Bouveng 1 (Peyton Hemp), 11:15. 4. MS, Alexis Paddington 1 (Jamie Nelson, Sydney Langseth), 18:20, (PP). Penalties — Skaja, MN (holding), 18:02.

Second period — 5. MS, Paddington 2 (Kennedy Bobyck), 0:25. 6. MN, Audrey Wethington 1 (Savannah Norcross, Madeline Wethington), 7:05. 7. MS, Sydney Shearen 1 (Jayden Seifert, Jessica Boland), 10:518. 8. MN, Bouveng 2 (Ella Huber, Hemp), 17:54. Penalties — Murphy, MN (holding), 13:51; Langseth, MS (interference), 14:29; Brooke Bryant, MS (slashing), 15:41.


Third period — 9. MN, Crystalyn Hengler 1 (Oden), 1:14. 10. MS, Madison Mashuga 2 (unassisted), 3:31. 11. MN, Zumwinkle 5 (Murphy, Taylor Heise), 8:42. 12. MN, Murphy 5 (Helgler), 14:52, (SH). 13. MN, Bouveng 3 (Huber), 19:27, (SH). Penalties — M. Wethington, MN (checking), 5:29; Shearen, MS (high sticking), 5:29; Shelbi Guttormson, MS (boarding), 8:42; Madison Kaiser, MN (elbowing), 14:32; Hemp, MN (elbowing), 17:29.

Shots on goal — MN 13-18-15—46; MS 9-11-4—24. Goalies — Makayla Pahl, MN (22 shots-18 saves); Skylar Vetter, MN (2-2); Lauren Barbro, MS (46-37). Power plays — MN 0-of-3, MS 1-of-4. Referees — Gui Bradshaw, Christopher Binkley. Linesmen — Aaron Neville, Brian Jasen. Att. — 1,225.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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