After suffering a loss in their opening game of last week’s series against Bemidji State, the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (26-4- 4, 16-4-0 WCHA) jumped at the opportunity for a fresh start against Minnesota State (9-15-5, 3-14-3) at LaBahn Arena.
The Badgers lit up the Mavericks with a flurry of early goals in Saturday’s game, scoring their first two within just seven minutes of the opening puck drop.
And the Badgers would continue to build on this lead, beating Minnesota State 7-2 in their first matchup of the weekend. After the final buzzer, each Wisconsin goal was credited to different player.
On top of a dominating offensive performance, the Badger defense limited Minnesota State to just 11 shots on goal all game.
Unfortunately for Wisconsin, redshirt junior goalkeeper Kristen Campbell allowed two of these shots into the net, resulting in a save percentage significantly lower than her senior average.
While not as offensively dominating, Wisconsin managed to produce a similar result in game two.
Freshman Sophie Shirley was the standout performer for the Badgers, adding a goal to the scoreline in both the first and the second period.
Also scoring for the Badgers were junior Alexis Mauermann and freshman Britta Curl, making the final score of game two, 4–1.
With the majority of offensive production coming from freshmen, the future of women’s Badger hockey appears to be as strong as the present.
The Badger defense was stifling in Saturday’s fixture, and Campbell maintained that defensive diligence, only allowing one puck to hit the back of the net.
Head Coach Mark Johnson had a significant night of his own, making history for the Badgers by being the first player to have his number retired and jersey hung from the rafters of the Kohl Center. Johnson played for the UW men’s hockey team from 1976-79.
Johnson is the winningest coach in NCAA women’s hockey history and was a member of the iconic “Miracle on Ice” 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. His name will survive the test of time as he has made history for the women’s hockey team, UW and the nation as a whole.