NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - In its first-ever game with Merrimack, the top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team earned a 4-0 win on Friday afternoon at Lawler Rink.
The Badgers (3-0-0) were led by Milton, Massachusetts, native, Casey O'Brien, who potted a pair of goals after a six-goal weekend last weekend against Lindenwood. Sophomore Makenna Webster and freshman Sarah Wozniewicz also scored against the Warriors (0-3-0).
Wozniewicz netted her first collegiate goal just two minutes into play, getting the Badgers on the board first. O'Brien scored later in the period and Wisconsin went into the second period up 2-0.
Webster got the Badgers started early in the second, scoring the team's third goal 30 seconds in. O'Brien then lit the lamp again, increasing Wisconsin's lead to 4-0 headed into the final period.
Kennedy Blair made 16 saves to earn her second win of the year and her first shutout of the season.
Three Notes of the Game
- After scoring two goals in 21 games last year, O'Brien has eight goals in just three games this season. Her eight goals leads the country.
- Daryl Watts earned three assists and now is tied for 10th in NCAA history in career points with 248 points. The senior winger is tied with Amanda Kessel and needs only two more points to become the ninth NCAA player with 250 career points.
-The Badgers outshot Merrimack 38-16, including a 16-4 margin in the first period.
Straight from the Rink
Head Coach Mark Johnson
On player confidence:
"Kids that get off to good starts, that helps with our confidence. Again, we were able to play quite a few people tonight in different positions and different line combinations just to get a feel of things that we might have to do later on in the season."
On playing aggressive:
"If you want to get a scoring chance, you have to work to get it.This afternoon with the physical play that Merrimack was playing, you gotta be hungry and you gotta go get into those spaces, work to get in those spaces and if you do then you're going to get some chances."
On team speed:
"We connected a lot on our passes in the offensive zone and I think the biggest part of our game right now is our quick transitions. It takes the other team's defense by surprise a lot and that's why we're able to get the puck up so quick and put it in the back of the net."
On team confidence:
"With each game we keep getting closer and closer off the ice and everybody's having fun out there. I know each game we're going to get better and better. It's super fun and we're all super confident and ready for the next game."
UW wraps up its time at Merrimack with a 1 p.m. CT game on Saturday. Fans can watch the game live on College Sports Live. Following their time in Massachusetts, the Badgers return to LaBahn Arena for their home-opening series next weekend against St. Cloud State. Puck drop on both Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10 is set for 2 p.m. and UW will honor its 2021 NCAA Championship team prior to Saturday's contest.