The No. 1 University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s hockey team (23-2-1, 13-2-1 WCHA) has only spent five weeks of the season not atop the USCHO.com rankings. The team taking their place at No. 1 for those five weeks was none other than rival Minnesota (20-4-3, 12-4-2 WCHA).
Earlier in the season, the Badgers and Gophers matched up in Minneapolis for a series that saw Wisconsin grab only one out of a possible six standings points and give up the top spot in the rankings for the first time all season. That meant the Badgers were seeking revenge at LaBahn Arena this past weekend, and they definitely found what they were looking for.
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In the opening game of the series, Wisconsin came out with a lot of energy from the sold-out crowd in Madison and grabbed the first goal of the game courtesy of senior Abby Roque. This stood as the only goal of the opening frame, as the Badgers led 1–0 heading into the second period.
Minnesota responded with a goal of their own in the second period to knot the game up at 1–1. But the second half of the period was dominated by the Badgers as they responded with three straight goals, including two from Roque to complete the hat trick, the second of her career.
Heading into the third, Wisconsin held all the momentum with a 4–1 lead, but Minnesota would not back down. The Gophers carried the play in the final frame, leading to three goals to tie the game. The game would remain tied through the remainder of regulation, leading to a sudden-death overtime period.
In overtime, Sophie Shirley cut to the front of the Minnesota crease and deposited a pass past the Minnesota goalie to win the game for the Badgers in overtime, 5–4.
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The second game of the series yielded a scoreless first period behind strong starts by each goaltender. In the second period, Wisconsin got a pair of goals from senior Presley Norby to snag a 2–0 lead going into the second intermission.
In the third period, Kristen Campbell continued her stellar play, stopping eight more shots on her way to a 22-save shutout, her sixth of the season. The Badgers added another goal from Daryl Watts in the third period to cap off the 3–0 win and the weekend sweep of the Gophers.
This was the final regular-season matchup against Minnesota for the Badgers, a team they are likely to see again in the postseason.
Wisconsin will be back in action at LaBahn Arena next week for a showdown with the St. Cloud State Huskies, a team the Badgers swept on the road earlier in the season.