MADISON, Wis. -- The Badgers opened their weekend series on a high note taking down Minnesota State in a 5-2 victory at the Kohl Center on Friday afternoon.
Wisconsin (25-2-2; 19-2-2-1 WCHA) came back from an early 1-0 deficit with eight different Badgers finding action on the day as Brittany Ammerman and Madison Packer led the charge combining for seven points in the win. Minnesota State (7-20-0; 3-20-0-0 WCHA) fell in their eighth-straight game and remain in last place in the conference.
Alex Rigsby earned her 25th win of the season making 24 stops and MSU netminder Alli Altmann dropped to 6-15-0 after stopping 42 shots while giving up five goals.
The Badgers started off with strong puck control, but a broken play resulted in an early breakaway for the Mavericks. Lauren Smith took the opportunity, putting Minnesota State up within the first two minutes of the game. Despite not finding an opening past Altmann, the Badgers stayed in control riffling off 17 shots in the first period.
"They did get a good start with that goal, blocked shots, and put their sticks in passing lanes," Brooke Ammerman said. "When we were able to get a goal, that deflated them a little bit.
"I don't necessarily think we were getting out played. They had one goal, one shot. We had eleven-to-four shots at one point, so I don't think we were getting out played. I just don't think that we like to go down a goal. It makes it seem like things aren't very good, but we did apply pressure pretty much the entire game."
Minnesota State came out with a spark in the second period, but the Badgers turned things around with their first goal at the 9:03 mark while killing a penalty. Brianna Decker stole the puck from the MSU power-play unit and worked her way into the Maverick end. Brooke Ammerman joined in on the shorthanded rush and received a pass from Decker while crashing the net and put a backhander past Altmann to tie the game at 1-1.
The momentum stayed with Wisconsin as the other Ammerman sister gave the Badgers the lead less than two minutes later. Brittany found an opening past Altmann after Packer fed her on a breakaway to go up 2-1.
The Mavericks became more aggressive picking up three of their six penalties in the second period, but MSU was not able to convert its energy into goals. Wisconsin pushed its lead late in the second period with another goal from Brittany Ammerman.
Wisconsin stayed in control in the third period and Packer picked up a goal of her own on a Wisconsin power play with assists from Kelly Jaminski and Brittany Ammerman. Hilary Knight finished off the Wisconsin scoring at the 16:44 mark with another assist from Brittany Ammerman.
MSU's Nicole Germaine found one last goal for the Mavericks with eight seconds left, but it was too little too late as the buzzer went off and Wisconsin earned the 5-2 victory in the series opener.
The two teams will wrap up the weekend series back at the Kohl Center on Sunday at 2 p.m.
- Brittany Ammerman posted a season-high four points
- Wisconsin recored 10 shots on the power play
- Brooke Ammerman scored her first shorthanded goal of the season