|1st||12:19||NDK||1-0||PP GW||Layla Marvin (5)||Gracen Hirschy/4, Charly Dahlquist/3|
|1st||16:24||NDK||2-0||EV||Vilma Tanskanen (3)||Rebekah Kolstad/2, Tanja Eisenschmid/4|
|3rd||6:17||NDK||3-0||EV||Becca Kohler (9)||Samantha Hanson/6, Tanja Eisenschmid/5|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|North Dakota (11-6-2)||1/4||3/6||0|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (L, 16-1-0)||59:44||3||9||2||9||20|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Shelby Amsley-Benzie (W, 9-5-1)||60:00||0||8||15||3||26|
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- For the second time this season, the University of North Dakota women's hockey team took down the top team in the nation, as UND defeated No. 1-ranked Wisconsin, 3-0, on Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
"We know we can play with anybody, I think we've proven that to ourselves over time," head coach Brian Idalski said after the win. "Really, it was just playing with a quiet confidence and knowing that we can play. We just have to find some consistency and bring that kind of effort game-to-game."
The Fighting Hawks played spoiler to the Badgers' perfect record, handing them their first loss of the season. Wisconsin now stands at 18-1-0 (12-1-0-0 WCHA) and maintains its hold of first place in the WCHA. North Dakota improves to 11-6-2 (8-5-2-1 WCHA) and sits in fourth place in the conference standings.
Goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie earned her fifth shutout of the season to backstop UND to the win. She finished the night with 26 saves, including 15 in the second period.
"Shelby was lights out and that's a big part of (the win)," Idalski commented. "I thought everyone contributed and played well with a lot of passion."
The three goals scored by the Fighting Hawks are the most the Badgers have given up this season, who entered the weekend with a 0.50 goals-against average. It's also the third time Wisconsin has yielded at least two goals, and the first time since Feb. 6 that the Badgers have been shut out.
North Dakota got off to a fairly quick start to the game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and carrying that into the intermission, along with an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal.
Layla Marvin opened the scoring with her fifth of the season to put the Fighting Hawks ahead, 1-0, at the 12:19 mark of the first. On UND's first power play, she put a loose puck past Ann-Renée Desbiens, beating her five-hole.
About four minutes later, Vilma Tanskanen finished off a nice set-up from Rebekah Kolstad to make it 2-0. Kolstad needled a pass through to Tanskanen in front, who was stopped initially but collected her own rebound and shoved it past Desbiens.
After a strong opening period for UND, momentum shifted to the visitors' favor during the second frame, as Wisconsin outshot the Fighting Hawks, 15-2, through those 20 minutes. But Amsley-Benzie stopped every puck she saw to keep the shutout going, and the two-goal lead remained intact heading into the second intermission.
"You know what I told the team?" Idalski said about the team's second period performance. "That's the great thing about hockey and having three periods; as soon as it's over, it's done, it has no bearing; it doesn't matter. We were good in the first. Second, we got hemmed in, we turned pucks over too much. I said, that's over, let's go back to what we were doing in the first; keep things simple, manage the game a little bit. We did that and grinded it out in the third."
The third period saw North Dakota regain control of the game, with Becca Kohler extending the lead to 3-0. She crashed the net to pick up a rebound and stuffed it past Desbiens a little more than six minutes in.
After dominating the second period, Wisconsin was held to just three shots on goal in the period by the UND defense. With only 2:26 remaining in the contest, Wisconsin was whistled for a holding penalty, effectively negating a chance to tie it up with an extra attacker.
The win is the Fighting Hawks' first against the Badgers since a 1-0 victory on March 7, 2014, in a WCHA semifinal match-up.
Defenseman Tanja Eisenschmid earned two assists on the night, with helpers on UND's second and third goals.
UND hosts Wisconsin tomorrow for game two of the series and its last game of the 2015 calendar year. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. (CT).