Feb. 8, 2009

 

Courtesy of Wisconsin

In a back-and-forth contest, the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team battled to a 3-3 tie with No. 2 Minnesota in front of a crowd of 2,985 Sunday afternoon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Meghan Duggan’s backhander in the final round of the shootout earned the Badgers (18-2-4 in the WCHA; 24-2-4 overall) the extra point in the contest. Minnesota now sits at 19-2-3 in conference play and 24-3-3 overall.

After a five-minute overtime failed to solve things, the game, which officially goes in the books as a tie, went to a shootout. The first five shooters all missed, including two Gopher shots that hit off the left post, before Duggan netted the game-winner. Wisconsin now holds a record of 2-2 in shootouts this season.

Like game one of the two-game series, the Gophers got on the scoreboard first. Holding a 5-on-3 advantage, Anne Schleper sent a wrist shot from the blue line and got it past Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter at the 7:44 mark of the opening period. Assists were given to Monique Lamoureux and Jen Schoullis.

Minnesota held the slight advantage in shots on goal, 8-7, while going 1-for-3 on the power play. Wisconsin was 0-for-3 on the power play in the first period.

After generating just two shots in the first 18 minutes of the second period, the Badgers lit the lamp twice in the final 1:53 to give themselves a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Wisconsin’s first goal of the game came as Kyla Sanders poked the puck toward the Minnesota zone. She was able to get a shot on goal which Minnesota goaltender Alyssa Grogan was unable to control. The puck bounced free in the slot and Jasmine Giles stepped in and wristed a shot that beat Grogan top-shelf, stick side. It was Giles’ 11th goal of the season. Sanders had the lone assist on the play.

Just 1:10 later and with 43 seconds left in the period, the Badgers pulled ahead 2-1. Brooke Ammerman won a battle for the puck at the blue line and was able to push it into the Gopher zone. The play turned into a two-on-one for the Badgers, and Hilary Knight was able to snipe a shot glove-side past Grogan. It was Knight’s team-leading 32nd goal of the season. Ammerman and Rachel Bible were given assists on the play.

For the period, Minnesota outshot Wisconsin 12-to-5 and both teams went 0-1 on the power play.

The lead didn’t last long though as the Gophers scored the tying goal just 45 seconds into the third period. Jocelyne Lamoureux scored her third goal of the weekend off assists from Monique Lamoureux and Schleper.

The Badgers took the lead back at 3-2 with 5:49 left in the game. Angie Keseley fed it behind the goal line to Ammerman who then sent a pass in front to Duggan. Duggan went short-side to beat Grogan and register her 16th goal of the year.

Minnesota forced overtime by scoring with just 1:56 remaining. A scramble in front of the net led to two big saves by Vetter but she was unable to stop the shot of Emily West. Brittany Francis and Schleper assisted on the play.

For the game, Vetter finished with 26 saves on 29 shots, while Grogan had 24 saves on 27 shots. Wisconsin went 0-for-6 on the power play and Minnesota was 1-for-7.

Wisconsin now sits one point behind Minnesota in the WCHA standings, good for second.

The Badgers return to action next Friday and Saturday as they travel to Mankato, Minn. to take on the Mavericks of Minnesota State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.