The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team was victorious this weekend against non-conference foe Lindenwood, earning their first two victories of the season.
The Badgers took on their out of state nemesis with a lot of uncertainty in the air. While Wisconsin did show a dominant show of force when they took on the South Korean Olympic team, it was still uncertain how the women would perform during the regular season.
Wisconsin and Lindenwood have played many times in the past few years, but this was probably one of the most inexperienced teams Wisconsin has ever had during this matchup. With a grand total of eight veteran players missing from the UW roster, a large percentage of this year’s team is comprised of underclassmen.
Thankfully, UW head coach Mark Johnson has a great eye for recruiting young talent, and it showed from the minute the Badgers hit the ice Friday night. The sophomore class came out shining, with all three of the night’s goals being tallied by one of its members.
Presley Norby was the first Badger to tally a point on the board, scoring late in the first period of the game. Norby would soon be joined by fellow teammate and classmate Abby Roque, who would manage to net a power play goal during the second period of the game.
The game between the Badgers and the Lady Lions became physical in the second period, with a grand total of six penalties being acquired by both teams. While UW would manage to score a goal during one of these power plays, their opponents would also manage to net one as well, bringing the score up 2-1.
Although it would technically be Roque who would walk away with the game-winning goal, Mekenzie Steffen would be the Badger who would ultimately make it impossible for the Lady Lions to catch up. With her third period goal coming in during the first five minutes of play in the final period of the game, this goal would cement Wisconsin’s win for the night.
Saturday night proved to be much of the same as Thursday, with a large majority of underclassmen adding their names to the scoreboard. Wisconsin would score four different goals throughout the night, all of which would be scored by a different player than before.
Badgers co-captain and redshirt senior Claudia Kepler would be the first Badger to get on the board. Kepler would also be credited with an assist later on in the game.
Aside from Kepler, Sam Cogan, Alexis Mauermann and Norby would also add points to the scoreboard, helping Wisconsin shut out Lindenwood for the second time in a row. Wisconsin goaltender Kristen Campbell also managed to get her first shut-out victory since transferring from North Dakota.
Campbell, who managed to earn a .944 save percentage this weekend, made her mark on this program as the starting goaltender. Before coming to UW, Campbell had only played in five games for the Fighting Hawks, allotting her a .894 save percentage.
Wisconsin is looking at a short turnaround after this weekend, with their next game happening on Thursday against Mercyhurst. The series begins 7 p.m. in Madison, and will be the final non-conference home series for the Badgers this season.