|1st||11:41||WIS||1-0||EV||Sydney McKibbon (6)||Jenny Ryan/7, Sarah Nurse/12|
|2nd||16:31||NDK||1-1||PP||Emma Nuutinen (8)||Ryleigh Houston/14, Halli Krzyzaniak/11|
|3rd||5:13||WIS||2-1||PP GW||Sydney McKibbon (7)||Annie Pankowski/15, Jenny Ryan/8|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|North Dakota (12-9-5)||1/4||7/14||0|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Kristen Campbell (L, 1-2-0)||58:14||2||12||6||5||23|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 18-1-1)||60:00||1||6||5||4||15|
MADISON, Wis. - Thanks to a pair of goals from senior captain Sydney McKibbon, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team completed a sweep of North Dakota with a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at LaBahn Arena.
After scoring midway through the first period, McKibbon scored the game-winning goal on a UW power play early in the third period to give the Badgers (22-2-1, 17-2-1-1 WCHA) their eighth-straight victory.
"We got good scoring chances and Syd (McKibbon) banks one off the goalie and makes it 1-0," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "They score a nice power-play goal and then, like I said, you weren't getting many opportunities so who was going to capitalize and we certainly capitalized ours in the third and we withstood what we needed to do."
"It was definitely one of our tougher battles," senior defenseman Jenny Ryan said. "We haven't been tested like that in a long time so it showed a lot of character for our team to stick with it and get a goal late in the third and keep the lead and fight through adversity today."
Sunday's win gave Wisconsin a regular-season sweep of North Dakota (12-9-5, 9-7-4-2), marking the first time since the 2010-11 season that the Badgers won all four regular season matchups with the Fighting Hawks.
"I think it's huge," McKibbon said. "It's huge for our confidence and it's huge for us as a team because we know that we can beat teams like that and teams that are going to battle with us."
McKibbon struck first midway through the first period, after defenseman Jenny Ryan's shot went wide and McKibbon picked the puck up off the boards and threw it on net from below the goal line. Her shot hit UND goaltender Kristen Campbell's foot and bounced into the net to put the Badgers up 1-0.
North Dakota tied the game up in the second frame, as Emma Nuutinen scored a power play goal to draw even with Wisconsin.
The Badgers earned a power play goal of their own late in the third period when McKibbon found the scoresheet once more. Receiving a pass from junior Annie Pankowski, McKibbon drove towards the net and backhanded the puck past Campbell to earn the game-winner and seal the win for UW. The goals marked McKibbon's 98th and 99th career points.
"One of our focuses was to drive the net," McKibbon said. "They had a different goalie in today so we wanted to test her and try to get as many pucks to the net as we could."
Senior Ann-Renée Desbiens made 15 saves to improve to 18-1-1 in net for Wisconsin this season. Desbiens continues to lead the NCAA in goals against average (0.75), save percentage (.957), winning percentage (.925) and shutouts (10).
Next weekend the Badgers closeout their six-game homestand with a series against Minnesota State. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday a 3 p.m. on Saturday.
"We love playing here," Ryan said. "We had a lot of away games in the first half so it's really nice, especially with school starting, to be able to stay home for three weeks in front of a great crowd. Obviously that was a big factor in this weekend's games. The crowd obviously really gets us going. It's really nice to be home and not have to travel far and catch up on school work."