MADISON, Wis. - The top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team dominated from start to finish en route to a 5-0 victory over St. Cloud State on Friday night at LaBahn Arena. It was the Badgers' fifth shutout of the season.
Junior Alexis Mauermann opened the scoring for the Badgers (22-3-0, 12-3-0-0 WCHA) less than six minutes into the game, collecting a blocked shot between the circles and firing it past Huskie (8-17-2, 3-13-0-0 WCHA) goalie Emma Polusny. At the 11:36 mark, senior Sophia Shaver made it 2-0, converting in the slot off a pass from Annie Pankowski.
Junior Mekenzie Steffen recorded the lone tally of the second period, coming with just 15 seconds left in the stanza. A minute into the third period, Steffen again buried a blast from the point, recording the first multi-goal game of her career. Six seconds later, freshman Sophie Shirley beat everyone down the ice and scored on a breakaway, her 14th goal of the season.
Junior goaltender Kristen Campbell recorded 14 saves on her way to her 17th career shutout, tying her for fifth place on UW's all-time list.
Play of the Game
The Badgers scored two goals in a span of six seconds early in the third period, the fastest back-to-back goals in school history. After Steffen's second tally of the night, Abby Roque won the ensuing center ice face off to Shirley, who sped down the ice, skated around a St. Cloud State defender and found the back of the net with a backhand.
Three Notes of the Game
- Pankowski recorded assists on each of the Badgers' first two goals, giving her 100 for her career. She is the seventh Badger in history to reach that milestone.
- Wisconsin has allowed just 15 goals in 15 home games this season, outscoring its opponents 60-15 at LaBahn.
- The win was the 18th straight for Wisconsin over St. Cloud State, and 40th in the last 41 meetings with the Huskies.
Straight from the Rink
Head Coach Mark Johnson
On tonight's commanding victory
"We tried to keep things simple tonight. One of our objectives was to try and play a full 60-minute game. I thought we were able to do that. I thought we were also able to attack and create opportunities for each other. Scoring in the first five minutes of the game was a good start for us - and it certainly got the crowd into the game. It's been clost to two months since we last played at home, so we knew that we needed to play with energy tonight. And I thought we did a good job of that.
On Annie Pankowski's 100th career assist
"It's a credit to her. She's played with us for 3 and a half years, and 3 years she's led us in scoring, so certainly her career here has been very impressive. It was nice to see her get rewarded tonight."
Junior Defender Mekenzie Steffen
On the team's overall play:
"I thought we got a lot of pucks to the net and we competed for the full 60 minutes. Coach talked about that before the game and I really thought we brought our A-game today and it showed out there."
On the energy on the ice after Sophie Shirley scored:
"That was unreal. I think that must be a record of some sort. We had a lot of momentum going, and then we had those two quick goals, and I think that really lifted our spirits for the rest of the game."
On earning the first win of 2019 on home ice:
"It feels good. I think Kristen (Campbell) held a really good game back there. They did have some really good chances when they got them, and I thought she kept us in the game a couple times, so we played really well defensively."
On her two goals:
"Honestly, I was just throwing the pucks to the net. We had a lot of bodies out front, and they ended up going in, so I was pretty happy."
Senior Forward Annie Pankowski
On garnering 100th career assist
"It is always great to reach a milestone like that, but you have to realize that those milestones don't come by yourself. Assists are certainly one that I'm grateful to my teammates for, because without them that wouldn't as historic of a milestone. When you can come in and make a difference, starting from your freshman year, that is something I take a lot of pride in."
The Badgers and Huskies wrap up their series Saturday at LaBahn. Game time is 6 p.m.