MADISON, Wis. -- The defending national champions opened the season in style as the University of Wisconsin women's hockey team cruised to an 11-0 victory over Lindenwood University Friday night at the Kohl Center.
While losing one of the most prolific women's hockey players in recent history and missing seven skaters from the lineup, there were some unknowns about the depth of UW's roster going into the game. All doubts were cast aside as 12 of the total 13 skaters recorded points for the Badgers, including all four freshman.
"The nice thing about this group is they spent the summer training and conditioning themselves and we only started camp a short while ago. That indicates to us, as a coaching staff, that the players are committed to what they want to do," head coach Mark Johnson remarked.
Kelly Jaminski had a breakout game leading the team with five points. Having gone her freshman campaign without a goal, she netted not only her first collegiate goal, but put in a second for good measure. Jaminski had a string of assists in the second period as she lent a helping hand on three-consecutive goals.
Junior Brianna Decker had two goals and two assists in her debut as assistant captain. She scored the opening and closing goals of the second period, as the Badgers tallied seven goals in the period. Decker also assisted on two other goals to bring her points total for the night to four.
Senior captain Hilary Knight had a relatively quiet start to the game, not getting on the score sheet until she tacked on an assist with the Badgers' six goal of the night. She had one goal and a total of two assists in the game.
The first period started off a bit slow for the Badgers as the Lady Lions came out with a lot of jump in their skates and recorded the first shot on goal in the game. It wasn't until the latter half of the first period when Wisconsin started getting its offense rolling. Senior Brooke Ammerman tallied the season-opening goal at the 13:02 mark with help from Decker and Laurel Miller.
Coming out in the second period the Badgers put on an offensive display, tacking up seven goals on 23 shots. After Decker opened the scoring five minutes into the period, Brooke Ammerman and her sister Brittany Ammeran traded goals in the ninth and 11th minutes. Karley Sylvester was the first freshman to net a goal and fellow freshman Blayre Turnbull helped assist on it.
After assisting on both the Ammermans' and Sylvester's goals, Jaminski put in her first collegiate goal off a screened shot from the point. Knight and Decker assisted on the play and scored their own goals, only 11 minutes apart, to close out the offensive blitz in the second period.
"We always say the second period is our period," Decker said about the team's performance. "We knew that we had to keep taking shots and hopefully the goalie would break down a little bit. We just kept peppering her and once we got a couple in the second it just kind of opened the gates."
Jaminski and Unser added goals in the third period to bring a close on the first game of the year.
Sophomore goaltender Alex Rigsby recorded the win for the night stopping six shots in the first two periods. Nikki Kaasa played in the third period, recording her first career minutes as a Badger. She stopped five shots in the 20-minute slate and helped keep the Lindenwood Lady Lions off score sheet.
Wisconsin went 3-5 on the power play and killed off two penalties. Jaminski and defensive partner Natalie Berg led the team in plus/minus with a rating of +7.
The Badgers extended their unbeaten streak to 28 games, which dates back to Nov. 28, 2010.
Game two of the series against Lindenwood will be played Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. back at the Kohl Center. Admission to the game will be free.
- Kelly Jaminski scored her first collegiate goal and led the team with two goals and three assists
- The Badgers are now 10-3-0 in season openers
- UW extends its unbeaten streak to 28 games