The No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (11-2-1-0, 11-2-1 WCHA) is coming off an undefeated Border Battle weekend against the second-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-7-1, 9-7-1) after winning the first game and tying the second.
The Badgers carried the momentum over to the following weekend, taking two games from the Bemidji State Beavers (2-12-2, 2-12-2, WCHA) in their last home series of the regular season.
This series was the first meeting between the two teams. The season has taken two separate turns for the squads with the Badgers sitting on top of the WCHA standings and the Beavers at the bottom of the conference.
Wisconsin entered the series at LaBahn Arena boasting the top-ranked scoring offense in the WCHA, averaging four goals per game. The Badgers’ defense and goaltending has also been strong, allowing just over a goal per game (1.3), good for second in the conference.
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The Badgers came out hot in the first game against the Beavers, scoring two goals in the opening period. Senior forward Brette Pettet scored the first goal halfway through the frame, assisted by juniors Sophie Shirley and Nicole Lamantia. Junior forward Britta Curl followed Pettet’s goal, giving Wisconsin a two-goal lead before the end of the first period.
The Badgers held the lead to the third period with no blood from either side in a scoreless second. Early in the final period, Wisconsin extended their lead with a goal two minutes in. Later in the third, the Badgers capitalized on their first power play as freshman forward Lacey Eden found the back of the net.
This offensive outburst in the first five minutes of the third period put the game away for good, leading to a 4-0 Badgers win. Redshirt senior goaltender Kennedy Blair picked up the shutout, her fifth of the season.
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In the second game of the weekend series, Wisconsin showed off their top-tier offense, putting up seven goals in the victory. The Badgers did most of their offensive damage in the third period. Heading into the third, Wisconsin already held a 3-0 lead off goals from forwards Makenna Webster, Sophie Shirley and Lacey Eden.
Then, in the final period of the game the Badgers outshot the Beavers 13-2 and added four goals to their lead. Kennedy Blair stood tall again in net, adding to her shutout total.
Fresh off a dominant sweep, the Badgers will face Minnesota Duluth in two weeks, after a week off in the schedule. They will look to maintain the top spot in the WCHA and national rankings.