|2nd||18:31||WIS||1-0||EV||Sarah Nurse (18)||Annie Pankowski/23, Emily Clark/13|
|3rd||1:27||NDK||1-1||PP||Becca Kohler (10)||Layla Marvin/2, Anna Kilponen/5|
|3rd||18:48||WIS||2-1||PP GW||Emily Clark (15)||Annie Pankowski/24, Sydney McKibbon/22|
|3rd||19:35||WIS||3-1||EV EN||Annie Pankowski (17)||Emily Clark/14|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|North Dakota (13-8-3)||1/2||3/6||0|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Shelby Amsley-Benzie (L, 11-7-2)||59:33||2||13||8||10||31|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 22-1-1)||60:00||1||10||7||10||27|
MADISON, Wis.-In front of another sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena, the No. 2 ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team extended its home-winning streak to 18 games as the Badgers battled to a 3-1 victory over No. 8 North Dakota to complete the series sweep.
Sophomore Emily Clark scored the game-winning goal on a Wisconsin (24-1-1, 18-1-1-1 WCHA) power play with less than 90 seconds remaining and fellow sophomore Annie Pankowski added an empty-net tally with 25 seconds remaining to seal UW's sixth-straight victory.
Junior netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens collected 27 saves on the win, improving her goals-against average to 0.67 and her save percentage to .964. The Badgers continue to lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 16 goals in 26 games.
Despite outshooting North Dakota (13-8-1, 10-7-3-1 WCHA) 13-10 in the first frame, neither team was able to capitalize and went into the intermission tied 0-0.
"They're an experienced team with quality players and they are well coached," UW head coach Mark Johnson said of North Dakota. "If you're going to score against them, you're going to have to work for it. You're not going to get any cheap goals. It's a matter of doing the little things that count."
For an extra offensive push with just over a minute to play in period two, Johnson put junior Sarah Nurse on the ice with usual line mates Clark and Pankowski, and it paid off. Clark won the face-off to Pankowski, who was able to chip the puck up ice to Nurse. >From there, Nurse dangled between two Fighting Hawk defenseman and sent the puck between UND goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie's legs to give Wisconsin the 1-0 lead.
"It's always tough when you have to shoot through four people, but I think that makes the goal even more rewarding. When you can't get the puck in, it's a bigger celebration for sure," Pankowski said of North Dakota's stifling defense.
The Fighting Hawks would get their chance early in the third period during a Pankowski penalty. Piling three forward in front of Desbiens proved to be beneficial, as Becca Kohler was able to grab a rebound and throw it past Desbiens to knot the game at 1-1.
Both squads continued to battle through the period, and the game looked as if the Badgers would go into overtime with UND for the second time this season. However, with less than two minutes left in regulation, North Dakota's Kayla Gardner took a kneeing penalty to give the Badgers their third power-play opportunity of the afternoon.
Clark scored the game-winning goal on a textbook power-play setup, taking a pass from Pankowski and sniping the puck over Amsley-Benzie's right shoulder.
"We are usually pretty point-shot driven," Clark said. "Annie did a great job of finding me in the slot and I had quite a bit of time to get the shot off. We just took advantage of the opportunity."
"We executed that power play very well," Johnson said." I'm happy for Clark as her parents are in town and it's the first time they've been to Madison since she started playing here last year. As we saw yesterday through three tough periods and again today, it's 1-1 and it comes down to somebody getting an opportunity and capitalizing."
North Dakota pulled Amsley-Benzie for an extra attacker in the final minute of play, allowing Pankowski to score the empty-net insurance goal to lift UW to the 3-1 triumph. Pankowski leads the Badgers with 41 points and 24 assists this season.
The Badgers wrap up their homestand next weekend as they host St. Cloud State at LaBahn Arena. Faceoff on Saturday is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday's contest begins at Noon. Members of the 2005-06 National Champion team will be honored during the game on Saturday.