MADISON, Wis. — Senior forward Brianna Decker had a hand in three of the four Badger goals, including scoring the game-winner on a short-handed breakaway, helping No. 8 Wisconsin take down No. 10 Ohio State 4-1 on Friday night at LaBahn Arena.
Mirroring the series against OSU (14-6-1, 9-5-1-1 WCHA) earlier in the season, the Badgers (13-6-2, 9-6-2-2 WCHA) opened the weekend series scoring two short-handed goals. Wisconsin opened the Nov. 16-17 series at Ohio State with two short-handed goals, beating the Buckeyes 4-2.
However, unlike the earlier series, the Badgers opened the scoring with an even-strength goal from Madison Packer at the 16:47 mark of the second period.
Karley Sylvester started the play with a shot on net from the near-side post. Ohio State goaltender Chelsea Knapp made the first save, but Decker shot the rebound back on net. Decker’s shot bounced off the left post and crossbar before landing on the far side of the net, where Packer finished the play, burying the puck in the back of the net.
Both teams looked a bit sluggish coming off winter break, as the shots on goal in the first period only totaled 9-3 in favor of Ohio State.
The Badgers got back into the swing of things in the second period, scoring the game’s first goal and outshooting the Buckeyes 16-9. The third period continued to favor Wisconsin, as the Badgers scored three more goals while outshooting Ohio State 13-6.
After assisting on the first goal, Decker created a turnover at her blue line while on the penalty kill early in the third period. Decker raced toward the Ohio State net, where she made an easy move around Knapp for her 20th goal of the season. It was Decker’s third short-handed goal of the season, which is second-most in the nation.
Alev Kelter scored Wisconsin’s second short-handed goal of the game midway through the third period. Kelter picked the puck up after a shot from Courtney Burke was deflected by Erika Sowchuk. With Knapp out of position, Kelter placed the puck in the unguarded section of net, scoring her 12th goal of the season.
Decker capped off the Wisconsin offense with a power-play goal at the 14:53 mark. After getting a pass from Burke, Decker traded passes with Sylvester in the corner as the senior drove to the net for her second goal of the game.
Ohio State scored its lone goal in the third period after the Badgers claimed a 2-0 lead. Ally Tarr scored on a scramble in front of the net, but only after Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby made two saves on shots by Tina Hollowell and Kara Gust.
Rigsby made a total of 23 saves in the contest, picking up her 13th win of the season.
The Badgers were perfect on the penalty kill, successfully staving off five penalties in the game, including three in the first period. On the power play, Wisconsin went 1-for-3.