MADISON, Wisc. - The Wisconsin women's hockey team scored two goals to defeat New Hampshire, 2-1, on Friday night, marking the UW's first win at LaBahn Arena.
"Obviously people are a little more comfortable in the building than they were a week ago, so it was good to see them create that energy," said head coach Mark Johnson.
The Badgers got on the board early with a power-play goal from Karley Sylvester 2:45 into the period, her fifth goal of the year. Sylvester deflected a shot from Kelly Jaminksi at the point to beat UNH goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara. Katarina Zgraja recorded the second assist on the play after feeding the pass to Jaminski.
Wisconsin's offense wasn't done yet, as Brianna Decker netted her eighth goal of the season. Decker got to a loose puck after a face off and made a move around the defense for an uncontested breakaway. Decker made a move, pulling the puck to her backhand before sniping it past Valattovaara.
After a scoreless second period, the Badgers were still up 2-0 going into the last 20 minutes of play. New Hampshire's sole goal on came off the stick of Kristina Lavoie during a three-on-one rush. The Badger defense kept fighting hard and closed out the game without conceding another goal.
The Wisconsin PK unit was stellar again, as the Badgers killed all four penalties.
Alex Rigsby recorded 29 saves with her defense blocking 16 shots for the win. Wisconsin out-shot New Hampshire 34-30.
"She (Rigsby) played very well," Johnson said. "The goal they ended up scoring, we gave them a three-on-one, so you can't fault her on that. She was sharp, very similar to the game she played up in Duluth the second night. She was seeing the puck for the most part and did a really nice job and gave us a chance to win the hockey game."
The Badgers return to LaBahn Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. to finish the series against New Hampshire.