MADISON, Wis. - Junior Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) scored two power-play goals to lead the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team (7-0-0, 5-0-0 WCHA) to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota State (2-4-1, 1-4-0 WCHA) at the Kohl Center Friday afternoon.
"We won the game and that's obviously the most important thing. That's why we're playing it," head coach Mark Johnson said. "When you have adversity and make mistakes, you can learn from it.
"It's still early in the process, and we're still learning things and trying to understand. We will show the team some video tomorrow, so they can understand what we are trying to tell them, and we can move forward."
Ammerman added an assist in addition to her two-goal effort, and senior Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) each tallied two assists. Minnesota State was led by goaltender Alli Altmann, who posted 38 saves.
In a physical game that saw 11 penalties, UW capitalized on its first power play opportunity of the game when Ammerman netted her first goal of the season. Junior Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) got the puck at the blue line and sent a pass to Decker at the top of the left faceoff circle. Decker found Duggan down low at the red line, and Duggan then centered a pass to Ammerman at the top of the crease. She buried the puck to give the Badgers the 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the power play at the 10:24 mark.
UW extended its lead to 2-0 on a goal by freshman Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) at the 12:23 mark. Brooke Ammerman skated the puck around the net and found younger sister Brittany just outside the crease. Brittany Ammerman's shot skimmed the post on its way past Altmann into the net.
Minnesota State came out strong to start the second period as Emmi Leinonen cut UW's lead to one when she scored her second goal of the season to make it 2-1 just 31 seconds into the period.
"As well as we played the first period, they came out to play in the second period," Johnson said. "When we gave up the goal in the first shift, we didn't react very well. That's when it becomes a hockey game. You get into special teams both ways, and the end result is we didn't have what we had in the first 20 minutes."
The Badgers answered at the 7:32 mark of the middle frame, extending their lead to 3-1. Duggan sent the puck across the slot to Decker, who then fired a shot from inside the left faceoff circle. Altmann made the first save, but the rebound deflected off Brooke Ammerman's upper body and into the net.
In the third period, the Mavericks capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity to come within one. With both Knight and sophomore Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) in the penalty box, Minnesota State's Kathleen Rogan netted her fifth goal of the season to make it 3-2 with 14:43 remaining in the game.
The Badgers held on for the 3-2 victory, outshooting Minnesota State 41-19 in the game, including a 23-3 advantage in the first period.
"I'm glad to see Brooke score," Johnson said. "She's been a big goal-scorer for us the past two years, so it's nice to see her get on the board. We could have had four or five more goals in the first period easily, but we didn't. A two goal lead is never comfortable because anything can happen. We were one bounce away from having a tie game today."
Freshman goaltender Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) earned her fourth win of the season, stopping 17 shots on 19 attempts. Wisconsin finished 2-for-7 on the power play while holding MSU to 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
The Badgers and Mavericks conclude the series at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.