|1st||13:04||WIS||1-0||EV||Sarah Nurse (16)||Maddie Rolfes/10, Presley Norby/11|
|1st||16:50||NDK||1-1||EV||Gracen Hirschy (5)||Emma Nuutinen/5|
|2nd||11:53||WIS||2-1||PP||Jenny Ryan (7)||Mellissa Channell/10, Annie Pankowski/14|
|2nd||14:09||WIS||3-1||EV GW||Annie Pankowski (15)||Mellissa Channell/11|
|3rd||17:31||NDK||2-3||EV||Charly Dahlquist (4)||Ryleigh Houston/13, Abbey Stanley/3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|North Dakota (12-8-5)||0/5||8/16||0|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Lexie Shaw (L, 11-7-5)||58:45||3||11||13||5||29|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 17-1-1)||59:55||2||7||3||18||28|
MADISON, Wis. - Thanks to a pair of second-period goals, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team dispatched North Dakota, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon in front of a sell-out crowd at LaBahn Arena.
Eight penalties were issued to each team in a chippy game, but the Badgers (21-2-1, 16-2-1-1 WCHA) were able to survive a late comeback from the Fighting Hawks (12-8-5, 9-6-4-2 WCHA) to extend UW's win streak to seven-consecutive games.
"Well if you're not on special teams, either way power play or killing the penalties, you get in a rhythm," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "If the game is five-on-five, kids get into more or a rhythm and more of a flow. Those type of games, it is just harder because you're not used to it.
"We did what we needed to do, had a good second period and then they did a good job of clogging up the middle of the ice and creating turnovers and capitalized on one and the second one did the same type of thing. It was good."
Senior Sarah Nurse scored in the first for UW before fellow senior Jenny Ryan scored on a power play midway through the second. Junior Annie Pankowski scored her 15th goal in her last 11 games, which proved to be the game-winning effort.
"We always know that North Dakota gives us a good game," Ryan said. "Regardless of how their season has gone, in the past years they always give us a tough game. It's really a true test of our character and our strength that we need to battle though being close, which we're maybe not used to, and battle though the physicality of the game."
Senior Ann-Renée Desbiens made 28 saves, including 18 in the third period, to improve to 17-1-1 on the season.
Nurse broke the scoring open midway through the first period, redirecting a Maddie Rolfes shot from the point past UND goaltender Lexie Shaw to put UW up 1-0.
With the goal, Nurse leads Wisconsin with 16 goals and has 67 career tallies to her name.
North Dakota evened the contest up just minutes later, as Gracen Hirschy recorded a tap-in goal for the Fighting Hawks to close out the first period.
The Badgers offense came alive in the second frame, outshooting the Fighting Hawks 15-3 and tallying two goals.
Ryan gave UW a 2-1 lead on a power play, walking the puck in from the top of the circle and sending a wrist shot that beat Shaw under her arm. It marked the fourth-straight game UW has recorded a power-play goal.
Pankowski tallied her third game-winning goal of the season when she received a stretch pass from defenseman Melissa Channell and took the puck into the offensive zone alone, faking to her backhand before beating Shaw on her forehand.
Pankowski's goal would prove to be the game-winner after North Dakota pushed for a late third period comeback and Charly Dahlquist scored for UND to come within one, but the Fighting Hawks couldn't capitalize after pulling Shaw for a player advantage.
Desbiens continues to sit atop the NCAA in goals-against average (0.73), save percentage (.958), winning percentage (.921) and shutouts (10).
Wisconsin will look to continue the momentum Sunday when they complete the series with North Dakota. Puck drop is now scheduled for 12 p.m., as the game was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but was moved up to accommodate fans who wish to enjoy the Green Bay Packers game as well.
"It will be interesting to see what energy levels both teams are at," Johnson said. "Obviously when it's physical you expend a little bit more energy so the key tomorrow will be for us to come out and try to utilize some of our speed and some of the things that we do well and try to create some chances in the offensive zone early on. If we're able to do that, that'll be a good start for tomorrow's game."