MANKATO, Minn. --- Minnesota State and second-ranked Wisconsin were deadlocked at 1-1 with less than 18 minutes remaining, but the Badgers struck for two unanswered goals to claim a 3-1 victory in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday afternoon at All Seasons Arena.
The contest marked the 400th game in MSU women's hockey history. The Mavericks slip to 12-21-1 overall and 7-20-1 in league play, while the Badgers rise to 25-5-2 on the season and 21-5-2 in conference competition.
The contest remained scoreless entering the first intermission as neither team could light the lamp in the initial period. Minnesota State received a pair of opportunities on the power-play, but the Badger defense and freshman goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens stood tall. MSU senior netminder Danielle Butters (London, Ont.) turned away all 11 shots she faced in the frame.
Wisconsin broke through at 4:49 of the second period taking advantage of a five-on-three power-play. Sophomore Courtney Burke beat Butters inside the right post with a slap shot from the blue line extending UW a one-goal lead.
Minnesota State retaliated at 2:05 of the third period when senior Lauren Barnes (Burnsville, Minn.) scored her fifth goal of the season, a new career-high. Sophomore Katie Johnson (Anoka, Minn.) and senior Kelsie Scott (Souris, Man.) teamed up to hit Barnes behind the net, before she tucked the puck past Desbiens. However, Wisconsin answered back with a goal from freshman Sydney McKibbon at 6:54 after a scramble in the crease, then countered again 10 seconds later on a marker by sophomore Erika Sowchuk to secure the victory.
Butters recorded a game-high 41 saves for MSU which was denied on three power-play opportunities. Desbiens stopped 27 in the win for Wisconsin which converted one-of-five chances with the advantage.
By virtue of their league standing, the seventh-seeded Mavericks will play the second-seeded Badgers once again next weekend in Madison, Wis. The best-of-three series will kick off at LaBahn Arena at 7:07 p.m. next Friday.