ERIE, Pa. - Five different Badgers scored on Saturday to lead the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team to a 5-3 win over Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Freshman Sophie Shirley, senior Mikaela Gardner, junior Mekenzie Steffen, senior Annie Pankowski and senior Sam Cogan all scored for Wisconsin (4-0-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) to lead UW to its 13th-straight win over Mercyhurst (0-4-0, 0-0-0-0 CHA).
UW scored twice in the first three minutes to build an early 2-0 lead. Shirley placed herself in front of the net and knocked home an Abby Roque rebound to give UW a 1-0 advantage a minute into the game.
Two minutes later, Gardner received a feed from Pankowski and netted her first goal of the year to give UW a two-goal advantage.
However, Mercyhurst scored twice to tie the game up before Steffen scored a power-play goal with 46 seconds left in the first to give UW a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Pankowski scored her second of the weekend, launching a rocket into the top of the net to give UW a two-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Mercyhurst scored in the middle of the third period to cut the Badger advantage to one before Cogan put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Play of the Game
After giving up a power-play goal in the first period, the UW penalty kill was stellar in the second period, going a perfect 4-for-4 a player down. UW also successfully killed off a 90-second 5-on-3 power play from Mercyhurst.
Three Notes of the Game
- UW head coach Mark Johnson moved past Mercyhurst head coach Michael Sisti for second in NCAA history in career wins with 463 victories. Johnson is now one win behind Harvard's Katey Stone for the most wins in NCAA collegiate women's ice hockey history.
- Wisconsin improved to 40-1-0 all-time against teams from the College Hockey America conference.
- Wisconsin outshot Mercyhurst 40-15, marking the third time this year UW has garnered more than 40 shots on goal.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
On the game:
"Well one thing, we play them for a reason, you don't know what's going to happen. We got off to a good start then let them get back in the game and I think a lot of things that you look at as far as we knew we were up against a team that worked extremely hard and for most of it we were able to match that and figured out how to get to the finish line and get a win, so it was a good learning opportunity for everybody involved and when we get back on Monday we are going to continue to make progress."
On the team's balance:
"If you can do that it creates a difficult matchup for the other team and we got some great contributions, we could've had numerous other ones with breakaways and things like that. Through some adversity that we had today, those type of situations constraint you, and the objective of that now is to take some of the things that we learned from today's game and try to become more solid."
On the penalty kill:
"That was the turning point in the game, we killed off almost two minutes of a 5-on-3, similar to what we had yesterday when they scored on us. We did some things that took away some opportunities, some looks, we blocked some shots, we cleared it a couple of different times, and got fresh people out there. That was a big momentum change, and then of course Annie's goal, the first latter part of the second period, instead of 3-2 you're going into it up 4-2 so now it's a learning opportunity to play in the third with a two-goal lead and they ended up scoring a few seconds after a power play but a lot of learning and a lot of lessons to be learned from the game. From a teaching standpoint, we will be able to use those things"
Senior forward Annie Pankowski
On the win:
"As a team, we had to really work for that win, and honestly everyone was contributing so it made the game a lot easier. I think there was a lot that went into it, and everyone had their share it in tonight."
On takeaways from the victory:
"I think everybody learned something from that game, we got an opportunity to work on a 5 on 3 and we also got the opportunity for everybody to get a chance to play so I think going down the line if everybody can get those opportunities early, it'll pay off more."
The Badgers return home to start WCHA play against Minnesota Duluth at LaBahn Arena. Puck drops on Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14 are set for 2 p.m. CT.