After being swept at home last weekend against border rival and top-ranked Minnesota, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team (13-9-2-2 WCHA, 17-9-2 overall) rebounded nicely to grab a pair of road wins against St. Cloud State (4-19-1, 8-20-2) this weekend. With the sweep, the Badgers have now won three straight conference games away from Madison.
Wisconsin came out of the gate strong, scoring three goals in the first period of the series opener to run away with a 6-0 win. Sophomore forward Karley Sylvester led off with an opportunistic rebound off a shot by junior forward Madison Packer to give the Badgers the early lead.
Contributions by senior forward Saige Pacholok and senior defenseman Alev Kelter tripled the Badger lead by the end of the first period. The Badgers capitalized off some redirection in the second period, securing the win when a shot by senior forward Briana Decker deflected off freshmen forward Erika Sowchuck.
On Saturday, the Badgers overcame an early Husky goal to score five unanswered for a 5-1 win. St. Cloud State senior forward Alex Nelson put up the only Husky score of the weekend on a one-timer just right of the goal. Wisconsin came back to tie it 10 minutes later off a redirected Decker shot by Sylvester that found the net, her second goal of the series and ninth of the season. A rush of three second-period goals by the Badgers locked down the sweep, with scores coming via the sticks of freshman forward Rachel Jones, senior defenseman Jordan Brickner and Decker. The victory marked Badger head coach Mark Johnson’s 200th WCHA win.
On the weekend, junior goalie Alex Rigsby recorded 44 saves while only giving up one goal for a save percentage of .978. Friday’s win marked the Delafield, Wis., native’s fifth shutout performance of the season.