Last weekend, the University of Wisconsin Badgers (30-4-2, 18-4-2 WCHA) took on St. Cloud State (10-25-2, 5-19) in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
The No. 2 seeded Badgers played the opposing No. 7 seed Huskies at home in a best-of-three game series Friday and Saturday. But, a dominant showing from the Badgers made it only a two-game series.
In the first game Friday, the Badgers jumped out to a quick lead with goals from Emily Clark and Britta Curl, making the score 2–0 after the first period.
The Badgers’ combination of stellar offense and tough defense made them a fierce opponent for St. Cloud.
Curl scored another goal in the second period along with Annie Pankowski and Presley Norby each making a goal of their own in the third.
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The Badgers made a statement in game one, winning 5–0 with goalie Kristen Campbell recording her eighth shutout of the season.
The Badgers aggressive play resulted in a decisive victory that built up the team’s confidence as they entered game two.
Saturday’s game saw the Badgers once again play at an extremely high level.
Campbell earned another shutout and Pankowski recorded her sixth career hat trick — scoring a goal in every period of play.
The Badgers were relentless throughout the game, jumping out to another fast start, scoring four goals in the first period alone. The pressure they applied offensively proved to be too much for St. Cloud and the Badgers were able to win the game 8–0.
Wisconsin’s wins over the Huskies put them at 30 wins on the season — the fourth straight season the Badgers boasted such a figure.
The Badgers also received several individual awards following the series versus St. Cloud.
The WCHA named Pankowski the WCHA offensive player of the year, Campbell the WCHA goalkeeper of the year, Sophie Shirley rookie of the year and Mark Johnson head coach of the year.
The Badgers large number of awards is a big confidence-booster heading into next week’s game against Ohio State. Wisconsin recently took on the No. 3 seed Buckeyes in which they tied both games.
The puck drops on Friday at 5 p.m. in Minneapolis. Tune into 100.9 FM to listen to the game or follow it live on Twitter at @BadgerWHockey.