Victories seem to come easy for the Wisconsin women's hockey team, who are seemingly unbeatable right now. The Badgers won big this weekend, sweeping the North Dakota Fighting Sioux as the Badgers extended their unbeaten streak to 22 games.
Wisconsin thoroughly dominated the Sioux this weekend, outscoring North Dakota 15 to one.
The Badgers improved their record to 9-0-1, while North Dakota fell to 2-6-0. The Sioux have scored just seven goals this season while allowing 37.
The Badgers won the first game of the series by the score of 8-1 as eight different players recorded a goal. After scoring two goals at the end of the first period, one by sophomore forward Erika Lawler and the other by senior forward Heidi Kletzien, the Badgers erupted for four goals in the second period.
Freshman forward Kyla Sanders opened the scoring with a power play goal, which was her third of the season. Sophomore forwards Kayla Hagen and Angie Keseley and senior forward Sara Bauer would all score in the span of less than three minutes.
It was a big series for Keseley, who came into the series with just one assist but finished the weekend with one goal and three assists to finally break out of her point scoring draught.
"I don't think anything was really different [in this series]," Keseley said. "Our line just connected really well, we moved the puck very well.
North Dakota's lone goal came in the third period when sophomore forward Casie Hanson beat Badgers' goalie Christine Dufour from the right faceoff circle. The goal was North Dakota's first goal against a conference opponent.
In Sunday's contest, Wisconsin shut out UND 7-0. The Badgers scored seven goals while the Fighting Sioux mustered just seven shots on goal compared to the Badgers' 43 shots. UW managed to accomplish a similar feat against the Sioux last season when Wisconsin won 8-0, holding North Dakota to just eight shots.
Wisconsin opened Sunday's scoring with a power play goal from senior defender Meaghan Mikkelson, followed by another power play goal from junior forward Jinelle Zaugg, who would record another power play goal in the second period. Lawler also added a pair of goals, while Bauer and senior Phoebe Monteleone rounded out the scoring.
Freshman goaltender Alannah McCready got into the game midway through the third period when she replaced starting goaltender Jessie Vetter. McCready faced just one shot.
"We put [the players] in different situations," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "We scored a couple quick goals in the middle part of the third period, so it's a good opportunity for [McCready] to get the jitters and butterflies out of her system."
The Badgers' special teams were also effective, however, North Dakota's power play is the worst in the conference with just one goal in 55 power play opportunities.
The Badgers had six power play goals in 12 chances and kept the Sioux scoreless during their nine power play chances.
"I think there are still some things that we need to work on," Keseley said. "Obviously, the more time you spend on the power play the better you get at it. I think we're doing pretty well on it and … as we continue to go on this season we'll keep getting better."
"I think we just moved the puck really well," Vetter said. "We played really well as a team this week … everyone contributed."
Wisconsin has been playing "really well as a team" for a quite a while now. They'll bring their 22-game unbeaten streak to Duluth, Minn., next weekend to take on the Bulldogs, who are unbeaten in WCHA play.