The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (2-0-0) won their first two games over the weekend versus Lindenwood (0-2-0) in the LaBahn Arena.

Hopes are high for this year’s women’s hockey team, to say the least. While the Badgers fell short of the national title last season, losing to Colgate during the first stage of the Frozen Four, a whole host of new and returning talent bolsters an already promising roster.

Critical to the revamped Badger roster are Emily Clark and Annie Pankowski, who return from a year off to compete on their respective Olympic teams. Forward Abby Roque, the team’s leading scorer from last season, also returns to the fold alongside Sophie Shirley, a promising young freshman recruit.

Despite the star-studded lineup of this year’s team, the Badger’s home opener against unranked Lindenwood did not begin as planned. Lindenwood jumped out to an early lead in the first period, giving reason to believe that the Badger’s undefeated record of 14–0 against the Lions may be at risk. Shirley was quick to make her mark on the ice, however, as she righted the ship late in the first period with a game-tying goal.

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With an equalizer coming late in the first period, it seemed all but certain that the Badgers would be able to maintain their momentum and provide a final scoreline that fulfilled expectations for their season opener. However, an errant pass early in the second period resulted in the puck finding the back of the Badger’s net, once again giving Lindenwood the lead.

It wouldn’t take long for the Badgers to respond, as returning sophomore Delaney Drake and returning Olympian Emily Clark scored in quick succession during the remainder of the second period. The score would remain 3–2 in favor of the Badgers until the final buzzer, giving the team their first win of the season.

The Badger’s season opener was undoubtedly closer than expected, but a win at home allowed the promising squad to advance to Saturday’s contest with another opportunity to perform against an unranked team — they took advantage of it.

Saturday, the Badgers faced off against the Lions for the second time in a row. Unlike the previous game, this one resulted in a very one-sided affair. Wisconsin took no time getting out in front of their opponent, as senior Sam Cogan scored within the first 17 seconds of the opening period.

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Wisconsin didn’t let off the gas pedal for the rest of the game and managed to rack up a final score of 6–0, as well as an extremely impressive stat line. Wisconsin outshot the Lions by a stunning 45 shots to eight, winning nearly double the number of faceoffs. The Badger’s goalkeeper, returning junior Kristen Campbell, was forced to only make one save during the entirety of the game.

The dominating performance by the Badgers capped off their opening weekend with a resounding win following a shaky start against the Lions. Next on the schedule for Wisconsin is a two game away series against unranked Mercyhurst.