|3rd||11:14||WIS||1-0||EV GW||Baylee Wellhausen (5)||Abby Roque/8, Maddie Rolfes/6|
|3rd||15:29||WIS||2-0||EV||Sarah Nurse (12)||Mekenzie Steffen/4|
|3rd||19:09.7||WIS||3-0||EV EN||Annie Pankowski (4)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Paula Voorheis (L, 3-3-0)||58:48||2||11||17||23||51|
|Nikki Cece (W, 2-1-0)||59:49||0||5||3||3||11|
MADISON, Wis.-- Rookie netminder Nikki Cece earned her first career shutout in just her third start, leading the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team to a 3-0 victory over Cornell on Friday night at LaBahn Arena.
Cece saved all 11 shots she faced in the win, earning her second career win between the pipes in front of a sellout crowd of 2,273.
"She didn't get tested a lot," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "But when you have the three power plays they had and anytime you get that situation teams get excited because they know they have a chance to score.
"I was happy for her because it was the first time she's played at home in front of a sold-out crowd. Her parents were in the crowd and those things give her experience to come back tomorrow night and hopefully put in another good solid effort."
Wisconsin (13-1-1, 10-1-1-1 WCHA) scored all three goals in the final nine minutes of play, despite outshooting Cornell (6-3-1, 4-2-1- ECAC) 54-11.
The Badgers battled the Big Red through 51 scoreless minutes, peppering Cornell goalie Paula Voorheis with high-quality chances all game.
"The hardest thing about our sport, whether it's our level or other levels, the men's side, is scoring," Johnson said. "People defend well, you run into goaltenders that play well and that's what happened tonight. It could've ended very easily 0-0 and we go to a shootout."
"I guess the biggest thing for us is not to get frustrated," senior Sarah Nurse said. "We're a good team and we know that. When we come out in games and the puck's not going in the net, we know it's going to go in eventually. To not get too frustrated on the ice is really important."
Junior Baylee Wellhausen opened up the scoring for Wisconsin, receiving a pass from behind the net from freshman Abby Roque and stuffing the puck between Voorheis and the post.
Nurse doubled the Badgers lead four minutes later, blowing past two Cornell defensemen and backhanding her 12th goal of the season into the net.
"It was kind of near the end of the shift," Nurse said. "Mac (Mekenzie Steffen) kind of bumped the puck up and it was either dump or skate the puck in. I saw that I had the edge on her and I just went in. I didn't have any net to shoot on, so I just took a chance, took it across and put it in."
With her 63rd career goal, Nurse surpassed Brittany Ammerman for sole possession of 10th among program goal scorers.
Junior Annie Pankowski sealed the win in the final minute of play, potting an empty netter to put the Badgers up 3-0.
"If we can come out with the same energy," Johnson said, "history tells us that we've been able to do it for 14, 15 games, so that's what I anticipate happening tomorrow night. The big thing is can you score."
The Badgers return to LaBahn Arena on Saturday for the series finale facing Cornell at 8 p.m.