MADISON, Wis. — The No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team made a statement on Sunday, bouncing back from a 2-0 loss on Saturday to topple No. 2 Minnesota 8-2 in front of a sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena.
Tallying eight goals for the first time since defeating Ohio State 8-0 on Oct. 11, 2015, Wisconsin (15-2-1, 11-2-1-1 WCHA) blitzed Minnesota (14-2-2, 12-2-2-2 WCHA) as five different Badgers lit the lamp.
Senior Sarah Nurse tallied her second hat trick of the season while matching a career high with four points. Nurse became the first Badger in program history to record a hat trick against Minnesota.
Junior Baylee Wellhausen recorded her third multi-goal game of the season with a pair of goals, while Sydney McKibbon, Alexis Mauermann and Annie Pankowski each scored in the triumph.
Senior Ann-Renee Desbiens earned her 12th win of the season, stopping 23 of the 25 shots she encountered.
The first period started off with a bang as Nurse put Wisconsin on the board early. After receiving a stretch pass from junior Maddie Rolfes, Nurse walked in from the boards and beat Minnesota goaltender Sidney Peters top shelf.
Less than five minutes later, the Gophers pulled even after Caitlin Reilly got one past Desbiens to level the game at one.
Unfazed, Wisconsin responded as McKibbon one-timed the puck past Peters after an initial shot from Nurse deflected off a Gopher defender and right onto McKibbon’s stick and into the net.
Wellhausen joined in on the scoring fun next, stripping a Gopher forward of the puck near center ice and splitting the defense to slide the puck past Peters’ low blocker-side.
Nurse tallied her second of the night shortly after, intercepting a breakout pass and driving to the net where she beat Peters and put the Badgers up 4-1. The four goals marked the most UW has scored in a period against Minnesota since Nov. 5, 2010.
The Gophers got their final goal of the game late in the first, as Megan Wolfe’s power play shot from the point got through traffic and past Desbiens to make it a 4-2 game after the first period of play.
Less than two minutes into the second, Nurse gave UW a 5-2 lead thanks to her third goal of the afternoon. Freshman Presley Norby fed her a one-touch pass to Nurse and the senior deked around Peters to beat the netminder blocker side.
Wellhausen finished off the second period after tallying her second goal of the afternoon. After receiving a beautiful behind-the-back feed from freshman Abby Roque, the junior put it home for UW’s sixth goal of the game, giving UW a 6-2 lead after two periods.
Entering the third, Wisconsin had Minnesota on its heels, forcing a change in net for the Golden Gophers as freshman Serena D’Angelo took over in goal for Peters.
Six minutes into the third, Mauermann scored her fourth goal of the season, picking up the puck in the offensive zone and sniping it over D’Angelo’s shoulder.
Pankowski recorded the final goal for the Badgers late in the third. Entering the offensive zone in a two-on-one with junior Emily Clark, Pankowski received a backhand feed from Clark and sniped the puck into the top corner of the net. Pankowski now has seven goals in UW’s last five games.
Wisconsin hits the road next weekend, traveling to Ohio State to wrap up the 2016 calendar year. Puck drop for Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT) and 2 p.m. (CT), respectively.