MADISON, Wis. -- Led by junior Blayre Turnbull's two-goal performance, the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team battled through an intense final period before topping No. 10 Ohio State, 3-2, in the series conclusion Sunday at LaBahn Arena.
Turnbull scored twice for the Badgers (8-2-0, 6-2-0) in the victory, bringing her season goal count to six. Redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman tallied Wisconsin's third goal and two assists, continuing to lead the team in both categories with eight goals and nine assists.
It was a tough contest for both team's goaltenders, with Wisconsin senior goaltender and captain Alex Rigsby recording 25 saves and Ohio State goaltender Chelsea Knapp making 27. Rigsby earned her 89th career win in the effort, placing her three wins away from breaking the record for most wins in school history.
The victory improves Wisconsin's all-time series record against WCHA-rival Ohio State to 51-9-6.
Despite outshooting the Buckeyes 11-8, Wisconsin trailed OSU by one goal after the first period of play. With just 17 seconds remaining in the first frame, Ohio State's Claudia Kepler snuck through the Badger defense and flicked the puck past Rigsby to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead heading into the second.
"They ended up scoring the goal with not much time left, but they only had really one scoring opportunity other than that," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "Overall, the first period was good. We played well, we had a lot of offensive zone time and a lot of puck possession time."
But in similar fashion to Saturday's matchup, the second stanza belonged to the Cardinal and White. Turnbull first put Wisconsin on the board four minutes into the period after breaking down the left side of the ice and sending the puck past Knapp.
"We all know how important it is to get that first goal. We get the first goal, we tied up the game, and we have the momentum," Turnbull said. "The break after their goal in the first period was definitely a good thing for us because we were able to regroup in the locker room and talk about what we wanted to do and go out there and execute our plays."
But Turnbull wouldn't stop at tying the score; just over two minutes later, she lit the lamp again for the sixth time this season, putting the Badgers up 2-1 with 14 minutes left in the second period.
Ohio State took three more shots than Wisconsin in the second, tying the total shots on goal at 21 by the end of the period.
The action of the final stanza had the 1,807 fans at LaBahn on the edge of their seats. Almost six minutes into the period, OSU's Kari Schmitt managed to put the puck over Rigsby's shoulder, tying the game at two goals apiece. With the atmosphere intensifying by the minute, senior Natalie Berg broke off down the right side of the ice and sent the puck into the Buckeye's crease, where Ammerman managed to poke it into the back of the net. The effort gave the Badgers a 3-2 lead with just under half of the period left to play.
The remainder of the contest was scoreless but not without action. Seven penalties were called in the final nine minutes, four stemming from a shoving match on Wisconsin's end of the ice with 26 seconds left in the period. The flurry of violation calls left the Buckeyes in the box for 18 total minutes in the third period, and gave the Badgers a 5-on-3 power play to finish the game.
Wisconsin tallied four penalty kills amidst the aggression, upping their season penalty kill percentage to .947.
"Obviously we got the victory, so that's the positive part of it," Johnson said. "When you're in an intense situation, it provides experience for your younger players. Whether you're on the ice or you're on the bench, you're either watching it or you're involved in it."
After having next weekend off, the Badgers will begin a six-game string of contests on the road with a two-game tournament in Vail, Colo. Wisconsin's first game on the road will be against Northeastern on Nov. 15 at Dobson Arena.
- Junior Blayre Turnbull scored two goals, bringing her season goal count to six.
- Redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman earned three points on one goal and two assists.
- Senior goaltender Alex Rigsby recorded 25 saves and her sixth win of the season.