Oct. 31, 2009

 

Courtesy of Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. - In the first of a two game series, the No. 8/9 Wisconsin women’s hockey team (4-3-0) handed second-ranked Minnesota (8-1-0) its first loss of the season in a 4-2 victory Friday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

The Gophers led the Badgers 2-1 in the first period, but it was the cardinal and white who tallied three goals and shut out Minnesota in the second and third periods to seal the Border Battle win.

“I knew they were undefeated, and I knew that they had been pretty successful in watching them on tape,” interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser said. “They didn’t look like the same team as we had watched on video previously, so I think mentally we got into their heads early on, and it helps."

With almost 15 minutes left in the first frame, Minnesota’s Emily West carried the puck into Wisconsin’s zone and took a shot from the right. Sarah Erickson capitalized on the rebound to give the Gophers the 1-0 lead at the 5:14 mark.

Less than two minutes later junior Kelly Nash (Bonita, Calif.) sent the puck up the boards near the right circle to sophomore Brittany Haverstock (Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia). Haverstock centered it to senior captain Jasmine Giles who backhanded it past UM’s Noora Raty  to tally her first goal of the season and split the score 1-1 at 7:12 in the first.

Minnesota’s Laura May responded and took the puck up the length of the ice at 8:51 to give the Gophers the 2-1 lead heading into the second frame. Despite the scoreboard the Badgers outshot the Gophers 16-8 in the first period.

Wisconsin turned the score around, taking control for the final two periods.

After almost 15 minutes of scoreless play junior Geena Prough (Farmington, Mich.) won the face-off, sending the puck to Nash. Nash centered it to senior Emily Kranz (Waukesha, Wis.) who found the back of the net to tie the game at two with five minutes left in the second frame. The goal marked Kranz’s first point of the season.

Wisconsin proved that every second counts. With just 2.6 seconds left, Prough again won the face-off and sent the puck to sophomore Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) near the left circle. Ammerman brought the puck past the goal line and then back over to go five-hole for her second goal of the season. The 2-1 lead was the first time the Gophers have trailed all season and UW’s first lead in the first game of a series.

The Badgers did not let up in the last 20 minutes of play. Wisconsin captured its final goal of the game just 53 seconds into the third period. Sanders passed the puck to Stefanie McKeough (Carlsbad Springs, Ontario) who sent it up the boards to junior Mallory Deluce (London, Onatrio). Deluce brought the puck into the crease from the right circle and sent a wrist shot to the top right shelf to secure her fourth goal of the season and the 4-2 win.

 “We started to step up and take away their space,” Giles said. “They haven’t played an opponent like us all year, we haven’t played one like them, so they weren’t used to that at all. Thankfully they didn’t return the favor, they gave us time and space and everything. It was really nice to see our defense step up like that.”

Wisconsin tallied a season-high of 43 shots outshooting the Gophers 43-28.

Wisconsin goaltender Becca Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo.) tallied a career-high 26 saves after shutting down the Gopher offense in the second and third periods. Ruegsegger also had an impressive stop on a Minnesota breakaway.

The Badgers, who had not given up a power-play in the first two periods, killed off three straight Gopher power plays to remain a perfect 32-for-32 on the penalty kill this season. Wisconsin didn’t have any success either, going 0-for-7 on the power play.

Wisconsin looks to get its first series sweep against Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Kohl Center. The puck drops at 2 p.m.