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Minnesota State Mankato beats U women's hockey to open WCHA playoff series

Freshman Kamryn Van Batavia scored with 82 seconds remaining to lift Minnesota State Mankato to a 5-4 victory over the Gophers on Friday at Ridder Arena in the first game of their best-of-three WCHA playoff series.

The sixth-seeded Mavericks (13-23) had lost 61 of the past 62 meetings with the third-seeded Gophers (25-8-2) and were 4-107-3 all-time against them before Friday. But this game continued the teams' season-long trend of close games: the Gophers swept all four regular-season games, but they won three by just one goal and the other by two.

"Not the result we wanted here tonight. We lacked some detail in our game and discipline in our structure," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "Unfortunately, when you give up five in a playoff game, it's going to be hard to win. We have to have a short memory and get back after it tomorrow, as that's all we're guaranteed."

The third-seeded Gophers led 2-0 early in the second period, but the Mavericks tied it before the period ended. Minnesota State then had leads of 3-2 and 4-3 in the third period before the the Gophers tied it with 6:39 left on Ella Huber's third goal of the game.

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Jamie Nelson's second goal of the game had given the Mavericks a 4-3 lead with 10:56 remaining.

Madison Mashuga gave the Mavericks a 3-2 lead 2:20 into the third period. Huber re-tied the game just over three minutes later.

The teams play again on Saturday at Ridder Arena. A third game, if necessary, would be played Sunday.