The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (6-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) left Madison for their first WCHA series of the season against surely their most formidable opponent yet, The Ohio State University Buckeyes (4-2-0, 2-2-0 WCHA).
The Badgers opened up the series Friday night with their fourth shutout victory of the young season behind the strength of two power-play goals and senior goalie Kristen Campbell’s 17 saves.
After a scoreless first period between the two teams, senior Abby Roque opened up the scoring with a power-play goal at the 7:09 mark of the second period, which stood as the lone goal of the contest until the Buckeyes pulled their goalie with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. With the extra attacker on for The Ohio State University, junior Daryl Watts gave Wisconsin some breathing room with an empty-net goal.
To punctuate the victory, senior Mekenzie Steffen netted the team’s second power-play goal with under a minute left in the game and the Badgers prevailed, 3–0.
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In the second game of the series, Wisconsin faced some adversity as they trailed for the first time all season after surrendering the opening goal of the contest about halfway through the first period. Despite this, they responded in a big way by scoring three straight goals, two of which came on the power play.
Following two more goals from The Ohio State University, the Badgers headed into the third period in a 3–3 deadlock. This tie did not last long as Wisconsin exploded for four goals in the final frame. Steffen opened the third period scoring barrage with a power-play goal, her second goal of the game and third of the series. Under a minute later, sophomore Sophie Shirley scored her fourth goal of the season to put the Badgers up 5–3.
Roque and Watts, the team’s leading scorers, also scored in the third period to top off the series sweep with a hard-fought 7-3 victory.
Saturday’s win provided some history along with it as long-time Wisconsin Head Coach Mark Johnson notched the 500th win of his career, becoming the first coach in NCAA women’s ice hockey to do so.
The Badgers have now outscored their opponents 30–5 through their first six games and have strengthened their spot at the top of the rankings.
Next up for Wisconsin will be a road series against Long Island University before returning home to Madison the following week for more WCHA play against Bemidji State.