GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team had a tough test at hand after a long Christmas break as it returned to Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday afternoon hosting the defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers.
After suffering their first losing series in over two seasons and dropping out of the No. 1 spot in the rankings for the first time all season, the Badgers proved the hungrier team skating to a lopsided 8-2 victory at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Wisconsin's Brianna Decker led the Badgers with a 4-point game including a hat trick. Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark) and Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) scored North Dakota's lone goals.
After a fairly evenly skated period between the two teams, Wisconsin scored two deflating late goals in the first period and never looked back.
Kelly Jaminski scored the game's first goal at 16:43 of the opening frame as UND suffered an unlucky bounce. Defenseman Ashley Holmes (Miltona, Minn.) made a nice play with her stick breaking up a one-on-one rush with Jaminski, but the puck bounced back off Jaminski's leg and in position for a tap-in goal. It was the sophomore's first collegiate goal.
Decker scored her first of the night with only 27 seconds remaining in the opening stanza cashing in on a nice feed by Carolyn Prevost on a 2-on-1 rush as UND was caught attempting a line change.
After outshooting the Badgers 12-11 but trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, UND took some seemingly unnecessary penalties in the second and Wisconsin took advantage going 2-for-5 on the power play in the period to open a 6-1 lead.
Lamoureux finally gave the 1,621 fans in attendance something to cheer about at 16:22 of the second period when she put the Sioux on the board taking advantage of a rebound for her team-leading 20th goal of the season.
Karvinen would open the third period's scoring as she sniped a wrist shot past Alex Rigsby at 2:01, but Wisconsin would score a pair of unanswered goals to close out the game. Karvinen continues to lead the nation in points by a rookie with 33.
UND will look to rebound and earn a series split tomorrow afternoon with an opening faceoff set for 2:07 p.m. here at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.