MADISON, Wis. - The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team scored three unanswered goals to dispatch No. 3 Minnesota, 4-1, on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena.
Freshman Sophie Shirley, sophomore Natalie Buchbinder, freshman Britta Curl and senior Annie Pankowski all scored for Wisconsin (9-1-0, 3-1-0-0 WCHA) in UW's series-finale victory.
This rivalry isn't nicknamed a Border Battle for nothing, as both sides turned up the intensity and clashed with series after series of back-and-forth play.
Shirley scored the first goal of the weekend for UW at 15:43 mark, but Minnesota (7-2-1, 5-2-1-0 WCHA) quickly answered back with a goal of its own with just 2:25 left in the first. The foes remained tied heading into the second frame.
In the second, Buchbinder hammered the 2-1 tie-breaking goal past the Golden Gopher's Sydney Scobee with just 6:22 remaining in the frame.
Wisconsin carried its 2-1 advantage into the third period when the Badgers would add another pair of goals to their lead. Curl hammered home a goal with 5:16 left in the contest that gave the Badgers a comfortable two-goal gap.
Pankowski sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute, her fifth goal of the season.
Play of the Game
The play of the game for UW comes from the clutch goal in the second frame from sophomore Natalie Buchbinder. Buchbinder went top shelf on Scobee to record her second career game-winning goal.
Three Notes of the Game
- Senior defenseman Maddie Rolfes recorded a career-high three assists and earned a +3 plus/minus rating.
- Goaltender Kristen Campbell stymied off an active Minnesota offense with 30 saves on the afternoon, including 18 of those coming in the third period.
- For the first time all year, UW was outshot as the Golden Gophers recorded 31 to UW's 29.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
"The coaching staff was interested in how they would respond after our first loss. I think we came out and played a real strong game. Every game presents its teaching moments and certainly in the third period. The effort was good, the crowd was good, and we got to give the players a lot of credit for responding in a real positive way.
On a calm, cool, collected Kristen Campbell:
"I think for all positions if you are comfortable and confident you have a chance to play well. Building off of yesterday, I thought she played well; she held us in there at times and had to make some key saves. The third period was some penalties she helped us win the game in a big way.
On playing Minnesota throughout the season:
"From our end it is an understanding on how they play, what they try to do to create their offense. I think as you play them more often you get a feel. Hopefully next time we get to play them we can prep in responding to them. Part of it is the effort, committing to certain things, and we did that today. You cannot make many mistakes. But it was nice to walk out with a win."
Freshman forward Britta Curl
On being able to get closer to the net today:
"I think we just shot the puck a lot more. Yesterday we were trying to do too much so just keeping it simple today helped us get some more chances."
On her first weekend playing against Minnesota:
"It was unreal. I grew up wanting to play against the Gophers so just to have it come true and to get the win the second night was really fun."
On the chemistry between her and Sophie Shirley tonight:
"She's a great player. She gets in positions to make great plays so it makes my job easy. She gets me the puck and it's easy to find her."
Sophomore defenseman Natalie Buchbinder
On the difference between today and yesterday:
"I thought we applied more pressure in the offensive zone. Obviously yesterday we gave them too much time to make plays with the pucks so our forwards did a really good job of sitting on them in their offensive zone. I thought they really controlled the play today."
On her goal:
"I saw an opening. Obviously Grace (Bowlby) made a great pass. She basically faked out their whole team and sent it back to me and I kind of just kept my head up and looked for where the opening was."
Junior goaltender Kristen Campbell
On withstanding Minnesota's onslaught in the third period:
"I think we all knew that they were going to come out hard. Obviously they were down a goal, they were hungry, so just being ready for that and knowing that we've been in this position before where we've had a one goal lead. I just had to be ready for anything and having to kill a couple penalties, too, everyone had to have each other's backs out there. It was great to get the win."
On keeping her teammates calm:
"When we are killing penalties I think we're all just communicating well, making sure they're giving me the shot. Minnesota does a really good job of getting in front and taking the eyes, making me not see the puck so that's what we're talking about out there. I think we just keep each other calm, especially when we're up a goal and killing penalties. It's all about communication as a team."
The Badgers travel to Mankato, Minnesota for a series with Minnesota State starting Friday Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.