|1st||5:41||WIS||1-0||EV||Mikayla Johnson (3)||Erika Sowchuk/6|
|1st||7:36||WIS||2-0||EV GW||Erika Sowchuk (7)||Mikaela Gardner/5, Kaitlyn Harding/4|
|1st||9:29||WIS||3-0||EV||Annie Pankowski (15)||Emily Clark/10|
|1st||19:26||WIS||4-0||EV||Sarah Nurse (13)||Sydney McKibbon/18, Courtney Burke/19|
|2nd||6:51||MND||1-4||PP||Jessica Healey (2)||Ashleigh Brykaliuk/16, Michela Cava/9|
|2nd||8:50||WIS||5-1||PP||Sarah Nurse (14)||Annie Pankowski/19, Sydney McKibbon/19|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota Duluth (9-11-1)||1/4||1/2||0|
|Minnesota Duluth Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Maddie Rooney (L, 5-8-0)||20:00||4||13||0||0||13|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 17-1-1)||60:00||1||7||9||1||17|
MADISON, Wis. -- Thanks to a four-goal first period, the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team opened 2016 with a 5-1 win over Minnesota Duluth on Friday at LaBahn Arena.
Wisconsin (19-1-1, 13-1-1-1 WCHA) picked up its 15th consecutive home win, matching the program's longest home winning streak that lasted from Nov. 25, 2006 until Oct. 13, 2007.
The Badgers outshot Minnesota Duluth (9-11-1, 6-8-1-0 WCHA) 56-18, marking the sixth time this season the Badgers have taken 50 or more shots in a game.
The Badgers' high-flying offense was paced by Sarah Nurse, who scored twice for the Cardinal and White. Mikayla Johnson, Erika Sowchuk and Annie Pankowski also lit the lamp in UW's first game of the new year following a month long
Johnson opened the floodgates for the Badgers, catching a pass between her legs and flipping it over the glove of UMD netminder Maddie Rooney.
Less than two minutes later, Sowchuk tabbed her second point of the afternoon when she redirected a low slapshot from freshman Mikaela Gardner into the Bulldogs' net
Finishing off a three-goal flurry in a four-minute span, Pankowski shot a rocket between Rooney and the pipe the give Wisconsin a 3-0 lead.
After trading possessions for the rest of the first frame, the Badgers struck again to take even more momentum into the intermission. Nurse took a centering pass and shot it up and over Rooney for the 4-0 lead.
"We didn't score that whole last series against North Dakota," Nurse said of the scoring run. "Getting that first goal, we kept rolling. We got four in the first period and that was huge for us."
Minnesota Duluth's Jessica Healey took advantage of an early Bulldog power play in the second stanza, crashing in on Desbiens with her line mates and collecting an open rebound.
A goaltending change for UMD proven beneficial, as Karissa Grapp only allowed one goal for the Bulldogs. Nurse again received a centering pass and slammed it into the back of the net to widen the gap 5-1. With the goal, Nurse now holds the sixth spot in the nation for goals per game, averaging .82 scored per contest. Junior Sydney McKibbon was awarded the assist, her second of the game.
"I think when you have a month off you get pretty antsy. You want to start playing games, especially after practicing for two weeks." McKibbon said. "It was nice, especially to score five goals and really dominate the game."
Both teams remained scoreless in third, despite the Badgers heavily outshooting UMD 20-1.
UW continues to lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 0.62 goals per game this season. The Badgers also lead the nation in penalty kill with a .951 clip.
"They're missing a few players, and we're missing one, so Sunday we will definitely be loaded up. We should have everybody back so it makes for a little bit of a different task," UW head coach Mark Johnson said of the series finale.
The Badgers take to the ice again on Sunday, closing out the home conference series with Minnesota Duluth at Noon. The game will be televised on the Wisconsin Channel.