The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team steamrolled past the Bemidji State University Beavers 6-1, 4-2 for UW’s 500th win in program history.
The No. 1 Badgers (26-2-1-0, 21-2-1-0 WCHA) stunned the Beavers (9-16-3, 5-16-3 WCHA) Friday afternoon after junior Emily Clark found the back of the net for the Badgers less than 45 seconds after the puck dropped.
Within 10 minutes of her first, Clark doubled up with another strike for a pair of scores before the end of the first period.
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With only four penalties the entire game — the fewest this team has seen in a long time — it was just a matter of the Badgers getting the right momentum and producing quality shots at the net.
With both Clark and Abby Roque garnering two points in the first night, and Sydney McKibbon executing on a power-play goal from one of the two Wisconsin penalty opportunities, UW finally found its rhythm.
With a 6-1 final score, the Badgers headed into Saturday’s matchup confident they could gain yet another sweep this weekend. Even though Bemidji came out with a bang, scoring a goal in the first and second period, UW kept its composure and collected four goals to seal the Beavers’ fate.
Yet again, Clark contributed two of the Badgers’ four points that night, and Wisconsin’s starting line claimed five of the 10 total goals on the weekend. With Sarah Nurse switching places with Sam Cogan, Nurse, Clark and forward Annie Pankowski managed to adjust and establish a dynamic rhythm on offense.
Friday also saw yet another milestone for this decorated Badger team. With the victory against Bemidji, the Badgers totaled their 500th win in school history. While Wisconsin is only the 10th women’s program in NCAA history to achieve this mark, the UW women’s hockey program is less than 20 years old.
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One of the reasons for this level of success is the man at the helm, UW head coach Mark Johnson. Johnson, who has led the Badgers to four NCAA Championship titles, six WCHA playoff titles and five WCHA regular season titles credits this success to everybody, from the players all the way to the fans.
“It’s a reflection of what’s gone on for a long period of time,” Johnson told UW Athletics. “We have good support from our fans, good players, good commitment from a lot of different people and it’s something to be very proud of as a group.”
The Badgers come back home next weekend for their final home contest during the regular season. Wisconsin takes on No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth Saturday and Sunday afternoon.