MADISON, Wis.- Thanks to a pair of third-period goals, the top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team rallied to defeat No. 4 Ohio State, 2-1, on Friday afternoon at LaBahn Arena.
Senior Daryl Watts and junior Nicole LaMantia scored at 9:29 and 13:39, respectively, in the final frame to give the Badgers (4-1-0 4-1-0-0 WCHA) their first home win of the year.
Neither team was able to score in the first as Ohio State (4-3-0, 4-3-0-0 WCHA) paced Wisconsin in shots on goal, 10-6.
OSU broke the scoreless tie in the second period thanks to a Paetyn Levis tally that gave OSU a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Badgers found the back of the net in the third thanks to Watts' third goal of the year as she slipped past the OSU D. Assists went to linemates Sophie Shirley and Brette Pettet.
Not long after the Badgers got on the board, LaMantia snuck the puck past OSU netminder Andrea Braendli to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish. It marked LaMantia's first goal of the season.
Three Notes of the Game
- Kennedy Blair, the reigning WCHA Goaltender of the Week, stopped 28 of the 29 shots she faced to earn her fourth win as a Badger.
- Watts, along with linemate Sophie Shirley, have points in each of the Badgers' five games this year.
- UW remains perfect on the penalty kill this year, killing all 11 of its penalties.
Straight from the Rink
UW head coach Mark Johnson
On what changed in the third period:
"We just challenged the players to go win some 50-50 battles in the third period and any time we could get some middle drive and get some pucks to the net, we did. We made a couple changes with one of our groups, with (Maddie) Posick going out there with (Maddi) Wheeler in the middle. They seemed to create some energy in their play in the third period, so obviously when we scored the goal, that certainly helped boost out energy and put them on their heels a little bit."
On Kennedy Blair's performance:
"(Kennedy Blair) was good, very consistent the whole game. As you mentioned, the one (save) she made in the third period was on the two-on-one, that's a highlight-reel type save and probably nine times out of 10 the girl that shot that puck puts the puck in the back of the net, but Blair came across and gave us a chance to continue to play."
Junior defenseman Nicole LaMantia
On her game-winning goal:
"I just saw a lane to go to the net and we were trying to get pucks past their second layer. Their defense is pretty active compared to most teams, so I just tried to tip it by her, use my speed and try to just take it right to the paint, drive the net and have my teammates crash. I think it happened to hit off my foot or some part of my body after it went off the goalie originally."
Senior forward Daryl Watts
On the decisive third period:
"I think the third period, it's now or never mentality. There's only 20 minutes left in the game, you have to score now or lose the game. So it's kinda like a fighting mentality that comes into play and just pushes us to leave it all on the ice and fight."
UW wraps up its series with Ohio State on Saturday with a noon game at LaBahn Arena. Fans can watch it live on Big Ten Network+ or listen to it in the Madison area on 100.9 FM.