Coming off an impressive road sweep of the Mercyhurst Lakers, the Badgers looked to continue their hot start to the season as they faced off against the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. UMD came into the series ranked No. 4 in the nation, setting the stage for a powerhouse matchup in Madison against the No. 2 ranked Badgers.
The Badgers struck first and struck quickly during the opening period of Saturday’s match as junior Presley Norby netted a goal within the first four minutes. Fifth year senior Annie Pankowski would also score, giving the Badgers a commanding 2–0 lead at the conclusion of the first period.
But the Bulldogs would not stay quiet. UMD went on to dominate the entire second period, stealing back the game’s momentum. The Bulldogs scored two unanswered within a span of just over four minutes, tying the game 2–2 after the penultimate period.
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Tensions ran high throughout the opening half of the third period, as neither teams were able to score a go-ahead goal. Finally, during a power-play just over halfway through the third period, freshman Britta Curl gave the Badgers the lead. Junior Abby Roque added the Badgers second power-play goal of the period, widening the gap to a 4–2 lead they would maintain for the remainder of the game.
UMD struck first during Sunday’s installment of the two-game series, scoring a first minute, unassisted goal. But Wisconsin quickly responded with their own equalizer as sophomore Natalie Buchbinder snuck one past the UMD goalkeeper at the seven minute mark.
The Badgers scored two more unanswered in the second and third periods, with goals coming from both junior Alexis Mauermann and sophomore Brette Pettet. Sunday’s contest ended with a score of 3–1 in favor of the Badgers, giving them a home sweep of the No. 4 ranked UMD Bulldogs.
While the Badgers did not move up in the national rankings from their No. 2 spot after this past weekend’s sweep, the series of victories against the top five Bulldogs sets the stage for another hopefully strong performance in next week’s contest versus Princeton.