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Badgers nearly slip in season opener to Minnesota State; tie 2-2

Game Photo
Wisconsin 2 Wisconsin 2, Minnesota State 2
All Seasons Arena • Mankato, Minn. • Attendance: 390

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Minnesota State


1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
 Wisconsin 1 0 1 0 2
 Minnesota State 1 0 1 0 2
 Scoring Summary
1st 11:34 MSU Barnes (Zrust)
1st 12:18 WIS Kelter (Jaminski, Ammerman)
3rd 10:28 MSU Smith (Germain, Andersson)
3rd 19:11 WIS Josephs (Decker, Ammerman)
 Goaltender Summary Min GA Sv
WIS Rigsby (0-0-1) 56:54 2 21
WIS EMPTY NET 00:06 0 --
MSU Butters (0-0-1) 60:00 2 41
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 43 32
 Power Plays 0-2 0-1
 Penalties-Minutes 2-4 3-6
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Sept. 28, 2012

MANKATO, Minn. -- The No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team avoided a complete upset at the hands of Minnesota State to open the new season, battling back to force a 2-2 tie on Friday night at All Seasons Arena in Mankato, Minn. The Badgers (0-0-1; 0-0-1-1 WHCA) beat the Mavericks (0-0-1; 0-0-1-0 WCHA) in the shootout after the game, 3-2 in three rounds, to claim an extra point for conference standings.

 Fast Facts
• Sophomore Katy Josephs scored the game-tying goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation
• Junior Madison Packer scored the shootout-winning goal as the final shooter for Wisconsin
Alex Rigsby made a total of 21 saves in the contest including five in overtime
• Wisconsin never had the lead and rebounded from two one-goal deficits

"I was pleased with our effort and the way we battled back, tying up the game in the third period," head coach Mark Johnson said. "I thought for our first game, our conditioning was good. We were able to sustain a lot of things for the entire 60 minutes, which was one of the concerns going in since most of the kids haven't played since last year.

I thought their goaltender played exceptionally well. If it wasn't for her, we probably would have had five or six goals in the game."

Minnesota State's junior goaltender Danielle Butters was the easily the biggest single factor in the contest, making a total of 41 saves, including four in overtime, to keep the Badgers goals in short supply. Butters was also saved by her goal posts on a few occasions, with the Badgers hitting the pipes four times in the game. In addition, the Minnesota State defense played relentlessly in front of her, blocking a total of 25 shots.

"A lot of good things happened, but when a goalie is playing that well it's easy to get frustrated," coach Johnson commented. "The talk on the bench was mostly about how to create opportunities and with more opportunities the puck is going to go in. But Butters played well and that's the fun part of the game; you just don't know what's going to happen. When you get a goalie like that you keep throwing things at her and hope they go in, but some nights they don't."

As if living a bad dream, the Badgers found themselves losing 2-1 with ten minutes remaining in the season opening game to a team that finished last in the WCHA a year ago. The Wisconsin offense, led by senior Brianna Decker, stepped up its pressure looking to find the equalizer in the closing minutes of the contest.

The effort looked futile as Butters turned away shot after shot. Fortunately, in the final minute of play, with the UW net empty for an extra attacker, Decker laced a pass across the front of the net to a wide-open Katy Josephs for the game-tying goal with just 49 seconds remaining on the clock.

As the game entered into overtime, Wisconsin continued to push, not satisfied with the possibility of a tie. The extra pressure on offense, however, led to a couple lucky chances for Minnesota State. Alex Rigsby came through for the Badgers making five saves in the five-minute overtime period to keep the Badgers in the game.

Overtime ended with neither team finding the back of the net which resulted in both teams recording a tie and earning one point toward WCHA standings. A three-round shootout was then commenced to determine which team would walk away with an additional point for the standings.

Minnesota State shot first with Lauren Smith putting the puck just under the right leg pad of Rigsby. Decker responded for the Badgers putting a snap shot top-shelf past butters.

Tracy McCann went second for MSU and scored on a deke across the crease. Brittany Ammerman answered right back placing a well-aimed shot under Butters glove hand.

In the third round, Lauren Barnes missed the net, giving the Badgers an opportunity to win with a goal. Madison Packer went last for Wisconsin and made it count, pulling Butters out of position to the left before slipping the puck softly around her to the right for the shootout-winning goal.

Minnesota State opened the scoring in the first period after Barnes and Lauren Zrust connected off a Badger turnover at the 11:34 mark. However, Wisconsin responded right away as Alev Kelter deflected a shot from Kelly Jaminski 44 seconds later. Ammerman also received credit for an assist on the play.

Smith scored the second goal for the Mavericks at the 10:28 mark of the third period on a similar broken play resulting in MSU's first goal.

Neither team found any success on the power play, as Wisconsin went 0-2 and Minnesota State went 0-1 on the mad advantage.

The Badgers close out the opening series with the Mavericks tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State
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