Senior forward Madison Packer scores hat trick for Badgers

Senior forward Madison Packer scored a hat trick for the Badgers

MADISON, Wisc. - Senior Madison Packer made history during the No. 2 Wisconsin women hockey team's 7-2 win over Bemidji State Friday, scoring three goals to achieve the first hat trick in LaBahn Arena history.

After earning her first career WCHA Offensive Player of the Week award this past week, Packer tallied a goal in the second period and two in the third to claim her second career hat trick, the last of which occurred on Feb. 19 of 2011 against Minnesota State. The effort brings her career goal total to 43 and career point count to 94, putting her in 19th-place on the UW all-time point list.

"It feels good, I'll enjoy today and then tomorrow go back to work," Packer said. "We're not winning games by the margin that we were winning last year so tonight was a nice game to win like that. But I'm scoring when I need to right now and I don't really have any flop goals so it was nice to get the hat trick tonight."

"It was a breakout day for her," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "It's nice to see her come out and do some of the little things to give herself an opportunity. If she's scoring along with our other scorers it makes us tough to play against. You have to get in the dirty areas if you want to get rewarded and she did that tonight, especially on her two power play goals."

Sophomore Courtney Burke also added fuel to the fire on offense, matching her game-high assist and point records with three assists for three points in tonight's contest.

Junior Katy Josephs marked two goals and redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman and freshman Sarah Nurse each tallied a goal apiece.

Freshman Ann-Renée Desbiens guarded the goal for Wisconsin, making 14 saves to improve her season record to 5-0-0.

"Overall, she was good. If you asked her she would probably say she wants that second goal back," Johnson said. "It's a different game than the period and a half she played in Duluth. It's a learning opportunity and hopefully she learned from this game, comes back and plays strong again on Sunday afternoon."

Josephs lit the lamp first for the Badgers, sending a floater from the blue line into the top shelf less than two minutes into the game. Ammerman followed suit, firing a slapshot past BSU goaltender Jessica Havel midway through the first period to tally her 11th goal and 22nd point of the season at the 9:46 mark of the first.

But the Beavers fought back, as sophomore Kaitlyn Tougas managed to sneak a wrister over the shoulder of Desbiens to cut the Badgers' lead to one heading into the second period. Wisconsin outshot BSU 13-5 in the first.

The second stanza saw four goals between the teams, the first coming from Bemidji State's Lauren Miller as she snuck a shot past Desbiens on a rush 46 seconds into the period to tie the score at 2-2.

But the end of the period belonged to the Badgers, who netted three goals in a 2:12 span that gave UW a 5-2 lead heading into the second intermission

At the 6:26 mark, Burke sent the puck toward BSU's goal, where Josephs managed to poke it out of the air to mark her second goal of the night.

Just a minute and a half later, Packer wove her way through the BSU defense on a UW power play and slipped a shot past Havel, putting the Badgers up by two with five minutes remaining.

Freshman Sarah Nurse finished the offensive push for Wisconsin, sliding a low puck from the wall in front of UW's bench past Havel with 4:14 left in the period to propel the Cardinal and White to a 5-2 lead.

The Badger combination of Burke and Packer dominated the final stanza, beginning with a pass from Burke that ricocheted off Packer and into the twine four minutes into the period. The same combination was successful near the end of the period as Burke found Packer by the BSU crease to give Packer the hat trick and Wisconsin the 7-2 lead they would finish with.

"After spending the past few weeks on the road, we talked earlier this week about coming out and playing with a lot of energy and we did that for 60 minutes tonight," Johnson said. "It was a good win."

Wisconsin concludes its series against Bemidji State this Sunday with a 2 p.m. tilt at LaBahn Arena. The Badgers are unbeaten in their past 13 games.