MADISON, Wis. - Back in its home barn, the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon in front of a packed house at LaBahn Arena.
The Badgers (11-1-1, 5-1-1-0 WCHA) came out with a one goal lead with less than four minutes left in the first as junior Daryl Watts slid the first point of the night past the Mavericks (6-4-2, 2-4-2-2 WCHA).
Watts tallied her off an unlikely tic-tac-toe from sophomore Sophie Shirley and senior Abby Roque.
Just 27 seconds into the second, Shirley tapped in a trickle through Mavericks' goaltender Abigail Levy off senior captain Mekenzie Steffen's blue-liner.
Shirley then snagged the puck from Minnesota State with 13:43 minutes to go in the second and passed to Roque who tosses it to the bottom left for another Wisconsin goal.
MSU brought the heat toward the end of the second following the Badger 3-0 lead, but the Badgers were able to enter the second intermission with their three-goal advantage.
Minnesota State scored twice in the third period, but the Badgers held tough as Kristen Campbell made 11 saves in the final frame
Three notes of the game:
- After Saturday's game, Abby Roque is one goal off her career high of 11 and only four assists away from becoming the eighth Badger to record 100 career assists.
- UW allowed their first opponent power play goal since Sept. 28 against Lindenwood to go in ending their 28 penalty kill streak. Wisconsin ranks second in the WCHA in penalty killing with a .928
- The Badgers defended their unbeaten home streak of 21 games and improved their winning streak against the Mavericks to 26 games.
Straight from the Rink:
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
On the game:
"You could sense after three minutes after you take a penalty that they came out and they were continuing to compete, and we weren't. You give them the power play goal and all of a sudden they got a little bit of life, and for the next four or five minutes, they had the momentum. It shifted at that point, and then they took another penalty. We were able to kill that off and then they just outworked us. You have six or seven minutes and if you do the little things you end up taking a penalty which is going to give them the golden opportunity to tie the game. The goaltender will have six on four, but Britta Curl had a good block and did things necessary when they pulled their goalie to keep the puck out of the net."
On the Badgers' top line
"I think they understand that if we are going to be successful, they're the good that is going to have to lead us. It was nice to see them capitalize, especially in the second period. The first shift of the second period you go from one to two nothing, shortly after that you make it three. It was good for them because they are a good group. All three are good players and they can create scoring opportunities, obviously if they score some goals that big. It was good to see them get rewarded and hopefully it continues."
"Big thing is to compete for 60 minutes. That is the first step in anything you want to try to do."
Wisconsin rematches Minnesota State at LaBahn ARena on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. Follow the game live on BTN+ or hear it on 100.9 FM or via iHeartRadio.
Parking on Sunday is also $5 in Lots 29, 46 and 91 and fans should allow themselves extra time to find parking due to the UW men's basketball game at noon. In addition, fans on Sunday must leave immediately following the game due to the women's basketball game at 6 p.m.