Bemidji State University was sent home empty handed Sunday afternoon, after losing 5-0 the Wisconsin women’s hockey team, allowing the Badgers to sweep the series.
The first period Sunday looked like it was going to be a quiet one up until Alex Ehlert of Bemidji received a penalty for hooking. The Badgers capitalized on having an extra player on the ice, with freshman Sarah Nurse scoring the first goal of the game, tipping in a shot by senior forward Madison Packer, and slipping it under the Bemidji goaltender’s legs.
Five minutes later sophomore Molly Doner netted the second goal of the game for UW, tucking in a rebound that the goalie couldn’t quite cover. These two goals scored by the third and fourth line forwards just shows the depth of the Wisconsin bench. Mark Johnson has been proud that the offensive contributions have been coming from all four lines this season, and that his younger players have adapted well to the pace of the games.
“When a team gets contributions from different people, it becomes much harder to play against them,” Johnson said.
This is something that proved to be true as the game went on. The second period consisted of Madison Packer hitting the top shelf and making the lead 3-0, and the third saw two more tallies for the Badgers. The first goal of the last period was a contribution of sophomore forward Kaitlyn Harding and Packer. The senior threw a hard pass across the ice to Harding, who was waiting at the back door to slam it into the net, earning Packer her third point of the game and sixth point of the series. She now sits three points away from becoming the 18th player in Wisconsin women’s hockey history to record 100 career points.
To finish off the game, senior forward Blayre Turnbull broke away with the puck while the Badgers were short-handed and made her way to the net. As she approached a Bemidji defenseman standing just in front of goaltender, she took off to the left of the defender while pushing the puck around the right side, faking out both Bemidji players and putting up the fifth goal of the afternoon.
The Wisconsin women’s hockey team doesn’t play again until January 3rd, and both the Badgers and Coach Johnson agreed that ending the first half of the season on such a high note was just what they needed.
“We played six straight road games, so it’s easy to come back and just be feeling good and not put the time and energy and effort into having a success, but I was very happy with how we played,” Johnson said.