The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team hosted the Minnesota State Mavericks this past weekend with hopes to respond in a big way after failing to pick up a win on the road at Minnesota and falling from the No. 1 spot in the rankings for the first time this season.
Early in the opening game of the series on Saturday, the No. 2 Badgers (12-1-1, 6-1-1 WCHA) looked as though their off-week following the Minnesota series was beneficial as they raced out to a 3–0 lead through two periods over Minnesota State (6-6-2, 2-6-2 WCHA). The three goals were provided by familiar faces on the score sheet: Daryl Watts, Sophie Shirley and Abby Roque. The trio is currently tied for the team lead in goals, all with 12 through 14 games.
After building a three-goal lead, Wisconsin saw Minnesota State chip away at it throughout the third period, scoring two goals in the final frame. But, backstopped by Kristen Campbell’s 27 saves, Wisconsin held off the Mavericks’ empty-net charge to sneak away with a 3–2 victory.
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In the second game of the weekend series, the Badgers capitalized on a power play with under five minutes left in the first period to take a 1–0 lead on a goal by Sophie Shirley. This stood as the only goal through the opening 20 minutes, but halfway through the second period, Roque added a goal to put the Badgers up 2–0. Wisconsin continued to outshoot Minnesota State throughout, and later in the period, Brette Pettet netted the second Wisconsin power-play goal of the game as a familiar 3–0 lead was built through two periods.
Unlike the Saturday game, the Badgers continued to build on their three-goal lead with an early third period goal from Roque, her second of the game and third of the weekend series.
Wisconsin continued their dominant play, eventually jumping out to a 6–0 lead with goals from Alexis Mauermann and Watts before Minnesota State’s Brittyn Fleming spoiled Campbell’s shutout bid with seven minutes remaining in the game. Campbell finished the game with 19 saves and the Badgers finished off a productive weekend sweep over the Mavericks with a 6–1 win.
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The weekend series saw Wisconsin’s top players find the back of the net and allowed the team to get back on track as they move through their conference schedule.
Wisconsin will be back in action Friday when they travel to Minnesota to take on the St. Cloud State Huskies in a two-game set.