MADISON, Wis. - In their first-ever matchup at LaBahn Arena, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team cruised past the Syracuse Orange, 6-1, Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Britta Curl scored twice while junior Alexis Mauermann, freshman Sophie Shirley, senior Annie Pankowski and sophomore Delaney Drake each potted a goal for the Badgers (16-1-0, 7-1-0-0 WCHA) in their series-opening victory.
Both teams lit the lamp early in the opening period. Wisconsin struck first off a goal from Curl at the 6:01 mark of the frame, but Syracuse (4-11-1, 4-3-0 CHA) responded back with a goal of their own just four minutes later, tying the game at 1-1 with 9:34 left in the first frame.
Utilizing a last minute power-play, the Badgers broke the tie with just 30 seconds left in the period thanks to a top-shelf goal from Mauermann that put UW up 2-1 heading into the middle frame.
Wisconsin extended its lead in the second period when Shirley scored a beautiful backhand shot midway through the stanza.
The Badgers carried their two-goal-advantage into the third when UW would pour on three more goals. Pankowski only needed 21 seconds of the third period to find the back of the net to put Wisconsin up 4-1.
Curl struck again at the 9:16 mark of the third period, netting her second goal of the game. UW found its sixth and final goal of the game off a shot from Drake.
Play of the Game
Freshman Sophie Shirley showed off her offensive arsenal in Saturday's victory. In an already dominant scoring showcase by the Badgers, Shirley's second period backhand goal was the highlight of the game.
Three Notes of the Game
- UW matched a season high with six goals on Saturday as the Badgers also scored six times against Lindenwood (Sept. 29) and Mercyhurst (Oct. 5).
- Wisconsin outshot Syracuse, 54-13 in the victory. The Badgers have totaled at least 50 shots on goals in two of their past three games. UW also outshot Syracuse 22-4 in the second period and its 22 shots were its most in a period since the Badgers since the third period against St. Cloud State on Jan. 27, 2018, when they had 26.
- The Badgers continued their dominance in the first period this season, outscoring their opponents 27-6 in the opening frame.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
On the overall play:
"A lot of areas were good. I thought the energy level was good and for the most part our puck possession was good. I talked about a couple of things before the game about different ways to get the puck to the net, whether we shoot it, whether we skate it, whether we tipped it, and I thought we focused in on that area and did a nice job. If we can get more of that, that is pretty good. Keep the momentum going and keep the puck going at the net and eventually you'll win. The lines were good, the energy was good, and everyone made contributions."
On Abby Roque's line:
"They had a couple shifts where there would have been highlight goals, but the goaltender got in the way whether it was her glove or the post. So those are good things. As long as you're creating opportunities that is real positive in my estimation because eventually the puck is going to have to find its way to the back of the net."
Freshman forward Britta Curl
On her line's performance:
"We've been playing well all year, but today was good to get some goals. I think we just focused on getting the puck to the net, and good things happened."
On how the team played:
"I think this year we've struggled sometimes. We've played well and we've gotten a lot of shots, but we couldn't put any in. So, today was a really big positive for us putting so many up on the board, so I think everyone's happy about that."
On scoring so many goals as opposed to previous games:
"Yeah, you definitely want to get one early just to put them on their heels. We kind of broke down one shift, they got one back, but we stayed focused and got one at the end of the period, which was nice."
On the second period:
"Before the game, Coach (Mark Johnson) told us to do whatever we had to do to get the puck to the net, whether that's shoot it or skate it right into the crease. I think a lot of us had that at the front of our minds."
The Badgers play the series finale against Syracuse on Sunday at noon at LaBahn Arena. A limited amount of tickets are still available for UW's final home game of 2018.