MADISON, Wis. - The No. 5 University of Wisconsin women's hockey team scored five goals in the first period en route to a 7-0 season-opening victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic at the Kohl Center on Friday night.
Wisconsin (1-0-0) received two goals apiece from junior Carolyne Prevost (Sarnia, Ontario) and freshman Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.). Sophomore Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) led the team with three points on three assists.
"It is nice to have a game under our belt," head coach Mark Johnson said. "The whole object of this thing is to try and get better for tomorrow night's game and continue that form for next weekend. Overall, there were a lot of good things. We did make some mistakes, but we seemed to recover."
The Badgers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Prevost put UW up 1-0 just 15 seconds into the game. Wisconsin won the opening face-off and senior Geena Prough (Farmington, Mich.) sent a pass to Decker, who found Prevost streaking up the right side. Prevost beat RPI goaltender Sonja van der Bliek, slotting her sixth career game-winning goal.
Wisconsin went on to score four more goals in the first period, receiving tallies from 2010 Olympic silver medalists Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.), along with a pair of goals from Ammerman.
"Every freshman is nervous, but they're also excited," Ammerman said. "Once you get that first shift out of your system, you're good to go. And once you put the puck in the net, I don't think it gets much better than that."
Ammerman scored back-to-back goals for the Badgers at 4:39 and 12:53 of the first period to pick up her first two collegiate goals.
Prevost scored her second goal of the night in the second period before senior Mallory Deluce (London, Ontario) capped UW's scoring barrage with a shorthanded goal at the 18:18 mark of the third period. The Badgers skated away with a convincing 7-0 victory over RPI.
"One thing we have is we have some kids who get the puck in the net," Johnson said. "You put lines together, and you're looking for chemistry and for kids meshing together. We did some things pretty well, but it's a work in progress. We're just starting to build the foundation."
Sophomore goaltender Becca Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo.) recorded her third career shutout, stopping 11 shots in the team's season opener. Sonja van der Bliek and Shannon Ramelot combined for 24 saves for RPI (0-1-0).
Nine Badgers tallied points on the evening, led by Decker's three assists, which marked a career high for the sophomore. Prough, fellow senior Kelly Nash (Bonita, Calif.) and sophomore Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) each earned two assists, while Deluce recorded one assist for her second point of the night.
"Tomorrow's game will be totally different," Johnson said. "I'm not sure we're going to get the same sort of start, though I'd like to see the same type of start. It'll be a competitive game. Every team's prideful.
"RPI has a good coaching staff, and so again, similar to us, you look at what you did well and what you need to work on. Their goaltender (van der Bliek) has had three great years. She's a senior, and so she'll come back tomorrow night and certainly be a lot better than she was at the start of the game."
Wisconsin and RPI wrap up the series on Saturday night at the Kohl Center. The game is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on UWBadgers.com.
Prior to Saturday night's game, fans are invited to the Kohl Center to see the Badger men's team kick off its 2010-11 season with a free Red-White scrimmage beginning at 4 p.m.