The Wisconsin women’s hockey team defeated Ohio State 8-2 Saturday night to sweep the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the road at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus.

“We had one of our better periods all year in the second period, and we were able to score some real nice goals,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said following the game. “You go up 6-2 and it’s just a matter of controlling and playing with good habits in the third period. Overall, I was pleased with how we finished the series.”

All three members of Wisconsin’s second line turned in three-point performances to lead the Badgers in scoring. Sharon Cole and Lindsay Macy tallied two goals and one assist each, while Sara Bauer recorded three assists to help lead Wisconsin to its 22nd victory of the season.

Badger goaltender Meghan Horras posted 20 stops in the UW net for the win, while Buckeye netminder Erika Vanderveer finished the game with 35 saves.

Saturday night’s matchup started slowly, but the first period between these teams saw a fast and furious ending. After fending off an Ohio State power play at 10:15 on a slashing call, Wisconsin climbed on the scoreboard first to take a 1-0 lead on an even-strength goal at 15:14 by junior Amy Vermeuelen.

Ohio State raced back into the game two minutes later courtesy of a cross-checking penalty against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes tied the game up 1-1 on a power-play goal by Jeni Creary at 17:55 and claimed their first and only lead of the series 30 seconds later on a tally by OSU team captain Erin O’Grady at 18:25 of the first stanza.

The UW tied up the game 2-2 on a power-play goal by Macy with assists from junior Molly Engstrom and Bauer with just 22 seconds left to enter the second period.

Wisconsin clinched the victory during the second period, scoring four unanswered goals. Jackie Friesen ignited the Badger offensive attack with her goal 3:07 into the stanza.

The Badgers’ next two goals were separated by just 17 seconds as Cole fired in her back-to-back tallies at 8:02 and 8:19.

The Badgers continued to dominate scoring in the final 20 minutes of play. Rickard, a senior from Bowmanville, Ontario, added Wisconsin’s seventh goal of the game just 50 seconds in with assists from defenders MacLeod and Engstrom to gain her third tally of the series against the Buckeyes.

UW sophomore Grace Hutchins gave Wisconsin its 8-2 lead and final score on her first goal of the season at 14:56 of the third period. Hutchins chipped the puck past Vanderveer on an assist from Cole.

With Saturday’s win against the Buckeyes, the Badgers improved to 22-5-3 overall and 16-5-1 in the WCHA. Wisconsin’s 22 wins this season ties the team’s best program finishes in both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. Additionally, Wisconsin’s 16 league victories lie just one win shy of tying the program’s best-ever WCHA finish of 17 wins during the 2001-02 season.

-compiled from staff reports