MADISON, Wis. - The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team ended the 2019 year with a barn-burning weekend sweep against No. 10 Minnesota Duluth, as Sophie Shirley led the Badgers to a 5-2 win Saturday night after netting two goals at LaBahn Arena.
The No. 10 Bulldogs (8-8-2, 4-6-2-1 WCHA) took the lead by the end of the first period with a straight shot passed the No. 1 Badgers (18-1-1, 10-1-1 WCHA) goaltender senior Kristen Campbell.
UW came back for blood in the second, tying the game up immediately as sophomore Sophie Shirley sniped the left side of UMD netminder Maddie Rooney off a pass by senior Abby Roque just 20 seconds in.
Senior Maddie Rowe stole top shelf from the point just six minutes later to give the Badgers a one-goal lead.
The second period action didn't stop there as Minnesota Duluth tied the game once again with a clean shot through the five hole at the 12:18 mark, but the Badgers returned the attack.
With 10:32 to go in the second, sophomore Britta Curl tapped in a power-play rebounder off senior Mekenzie Steffen's shot for the game-winning goal.
The Badgers battled hard in the third to post 41 shots on net to while Campbell only made 17 saves by the Bulldogs, and their play paid off by adding two empty-netters to the final score.
Shirley took away her second goal of the game with 36 seconds to go before senior Alexis Mauermann netted her second of the weekend 14 seconds later.
Three notes of the game:
- Sophomore Sophie Shirley enters the break with 38 points, which matches her season total from last year. In addition, Daryl Watts leads the country with 49 points, which is the second most in school history through 20 games.
- Senior Maddie Rowe's blue-liner was the Badgers' 100th goal of the 2019 season. UW leads the country in goals this year with 103.
- Wisconsin held an impressive record in the 2019 season tallying 34 wins with only four losses and three ties.
Straight from the Rink
UW head coach Mark Johnson
On the game:
"The girls played hard, blocking shots, chasing pucks and playing smart. We just kept plugging away and plugging away and knew we needed to be on our game and working hard with that 3-2 lead. Everyone was tired from last night's game and we did a good job of managing the puck and plugging away tonight.
On the season thus far:
"The thing I like about this first half of the season is our consistency. If we get the same effort and energy every night you're going to win a lot of games."
The Badgers head on a four-week hiatus before returning in the 2020 year to play in the Battle at the Burgh. Their second non-conference tournament of the season will be held Jan. 4-5 against Robert Morris and Colgate/Northeastern in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. UW opens the tournament against Robert Morris at 6 p.m. on Jan. 4.