MADISON, Wis. - It was a banner afternoon at LaBahn Arena on Saturday as Daryl Watts and Sophie Shirley each scored twice to lift the top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team to a 6-0 win over St. Cloud State.
The duo led the Badgers (5-0-0, 1-0-0-0 WCHA) to a memorable afternoon that started with UW unveiling its 2021 NCAA championship banner in front of a sellout crowd of 2,273 fans.
The game got off to a slow start and neither team scored in the first period.
Maddi Wheeler was the first one on the board, scoring her third of the year with just under two minutes left in the second period. The Badgers went into the third up 1-0 on the Huskies (2-1-0, 0-1-0-0 WCHA).
Daryl Watts scored the second goal for Wisconsin in the third. This goal marked her 250th career point and moved her into ninth-place in NCAA history. Watts then answered herself, lighting the lamp to score the Badgers' third of the game six minutes after her first goal.
Sophie Shirley joined in on the third period thrills, scoring twice in three minutes. To end the home season-opener, freshman Sarah Wozniewicz scored a goal with 16 seconds left to play, marking the third-straight game the WCHA Co-Rookie of the Year has scored in.
Three Notes of the Game
- It marked the first game in Madison in front of fans since February 16, 2020. The Badgers had their 86th sellout at LaBahn Arena since the start of the 2015-16 season.
- Daryl Watts scored her 250th and 251st career points in the game. She passed Kendall Coyne for all-time points scored in NCAA history to now be sole holder of ninth. She is just 11 points behind Wisconsin hockey legend Hillary Knight, who sits in eighth place in NCAA history with 262 points.
- Kennedy Blair recorded her third consecutive shutout of the season with 19 saves.
Straight from the Rink
Head Coach Mark Johnson
On being back at LaBahn:
"From a coaching perspective, it was nice to see the fans back. They were energized, they were lined up all the way to the Kohl Center before the game. It was a nice tribute, a nice way to do it. As the game went along we got better and it is early in the season and there are a lot of things we need to continue to work on."
On getting the rings:
"I probably made a mistake yesterday, I gave the girls their rings after practice. They were so excited, and they were hyped up before the game, which they should be. People don't do that very often, so it's something they have to enjoy. And we talked about working hard and playing hard. We were sloppy in the first period, and the second and third was better, so it was a good day."
Senior forward Daryl Watts
On hitting 250 career points:
"It's a special milestone. I think about all of my linemates, all of my teammates that I've ever played with going back to my freshman year, Caitrin Lonergan, she's an incredible player. Without her I wouldn't be where I am today. Without Sophie Shirley, Brette Pettet, Makenna Newkirk, I could name so many great players that I played with over the years. My teammates here, Brette, Sophie, Mal, Casey, Makenna, they're all incredible and I just feel so fortunate to have played with so many incredible players. Mark, I know I've said this before but I'm just so grateful to be here and to learn from him and Jackie."
Senior defenseman Grace Bowlby
On playing in front of fans again:
"I think there were a lot of jitters from everyone. But I think we settled down, especially in the second and third and definitely picked it up each period."
The Badgers wrap up their series with St. Cloud State on Sunday with a 2 p.m. puck drop at LaBahn Arena. A limited amount of tickets are available on UWBadgers.Com