MADISON, Wis. - Senior Hilary Knight scored the game-winning goal midway through overtime as No. 1 Wisconsin (4-0-0, 2-0-0-0 WCHA) battled back from a 2-0 deficit to secure a 3-2 win over No. 6 North Dakota (1-3-0, 0-2-0-0 WCHA) at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon.
Brianna Decker, Brooke Ammerman and Knight amassed a total of five points. Senior Carolyn Prevost added two assists in the game along with Brittany Ammerman and Katy Josephs who each tallied one.
In a physical game that saw a combined 18 penalty minutes, Wisconsin and North Dakota ended with an even 26 shots a piece. The Badgers went 1-for-6 on the power play while the Fighting Sioux were 2-for-3.
Sophomore goaltender Alex Rigsby improved to 4-0-0 after stopping 24 of the 26 shots she faced. UND's goaltender Stephanie Ney moved to 1-3-0, making 23 saves but giving up three goals in the process.
"The thing that I like about (the come from behind win) is that the power play wasn't very effective," head coach Mark Johnson said after the game. "There were a lot of good things to take away from this game.
"We didn't give up a five-on-five goal today and I thought for the most part, Alex (Rigsby) kept us in the game for six periods (on the weekend). There are a couple things to work on and we'll get ready for our next game."
The Badgers went down 1-0 on a five-on-three power-play goal as UND was able to capitalize on two Wisconsin penalties. The goal came at the 18:39 mark of the first period, when Jocelyne Lamoureux and sister Monique Lamoureux-Kolls connected with Andrea Dalen to give the Sioux the lead heading into the first intermission.
North Dakota extended its lead in the second period on another power-play goal, this time from Lamoureux to go up 2-0.
Undeterred, Wisconsin answered back less than a minute later. Brittany Ammerman came around the backside of the net and found a wide-open Decker, who one-timed the puck past Ney to put the Badgers on the board.
The Badgers entered the third period down one goal and being out-shot 19-15. The third period saw neither team gain many offensive chances until late in the period when a checking penalty on UND's Michelle Karvinen put the Badgers on their sixth power play of the game.
With one minute remaining in the period, Knight gained control of the puck inside the blue line in the offensive zone and fired a shot that was blocked by Jocelyne Lamoureux, but Knight picked up the loose rebound and through it towards the front of the net where Prevost was waiting. Prevost's shot was saved by Ney, but the rebound fell right in front of her and Brooke Ammerman found the puck first and banged it home to tie the game.
"I think towards the end we were just trying to put everything on net and maybe in the first two periods we were being a little fancy with the puck," Knight said. "Our power play didn't work as well as we wanted it to in the first period, most of the first period was special teams, but once we got the puck on net it gave us a little bit more momentum."
In the first overtime period of the season for both teams, UND came out looking to put a quick one in, but Rigsby stood her ground stopping two shots in the half of an OT-period that was played.
At the 3:03 mark in overtime, Prevost found Knight alone in of the goal and was able put the puck past Ney for the game-winning goal.
"I think we fed a lot on the momentum of that last goal and the momentum shifted to us," Brooke Ammerman said of the late goal. "We just thrive in those situations with our veterans. Coach (Johnson) always believes in us and never gives up on us, so at no point did we think we didn't have a chance. Being able to battle this early in the season and to be able to show that we can do that is really promising."
The Badgers wrap up their first homestand of the season against No. 3 Minnesota next weekend. Game times are 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Sunday game.
- Decker has recorded at least one point in the last 14 games
- UW is undefeated in the last seven overtime games
- Rigsby made 58 saves this weekend against UW