Every sports streak must come to an end some day, right? Even one going back 15 years.
Minnesota State Mankato's long winless drought against the Gophers in WCHA women's hockey finally did Saturday. Kelsey King scored at 3 minutes, 49 seconds of overtime to give the Mavericks a 5-4 victory over No. 4 Minnesota at Ridder Arena.
The Gophers had won 53 consecutive games against MSU Mankato, going back to January 2007. The Mavericks' last victory at Ridder was Jan. 25, 2004.
"When you go down 3-1 in the first period, it's hard to come back," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "Our team battled back and got it to 3-3. After getting down 4-3, we got the equalizer to make it 4-4 and for one reason or another, couldn't find the go-ahead goal there. Once you get into overtime anything can happen."
Minnesota (17-6-1, 12-5-1) won the opener of this home-and-home series 7-2 on Friday, but the rematch was a lot different.
The Mavericks (10-11-1, 6-11-1) took a 3-1 lead in the opening period. Charlotte Akervik gave them a 2-0 lead on goals in the sixth and 11th minute, the second on a power play. Abigail Boreen answered 1½ minutes later to make it 2-1 but Kennedy Bobyck restored the two-goal lead with 1:51 left in the period.
Savannah Norcross and Catie Skaja scored for Gophers in the second period to tie it at 3-3.
MSU Mankato retook the lead on Jessica Kondas' goal at 7:40 of the third. And once again, Boreen responded with a power-play goal at 11:33.
In overtime, King, a junior forward who had two assists, tipped in a pass from Kondas for the winner.
Calla Frank stopped 41 shots for the Mavericks for the second game in a row. Gophers goalie Lauren Bench stopped only five of eight shots before Makayla Pahl replaced her at the start of the second and made 22 saves.