Nov. 28, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Following a successful series against North Dakota last weekend, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team will look to extend its 10-game unbeaten streak in a road series against Minnesota Duluth Friday and Saturday night at the AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. Both contests will begin at 6 p.m.
The teams have long been WCHA conference rivals, playing every year of the Badgers’ 14-year program history. Wisconsin trails Minnesota Duluth 28-29-10 in the all-time series record between the teams. The Badgers last faced the Bulldogs in February, where Wisconsin claimed a 3-2 victory in overtime.
“Hopefully this weekend, knowing that we just have four more games before break, two of them at home and two in Duluth, we stay focused and continue to do the little things like we’ve done the last couple of Saturdays,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “You try to gear your practices and try to keep people fresh, while at the same time pay attention to details.”
The No. 2 Badgers improved their season record to 11-2-1 last weekend after earning five of six possible points in a series against then-No. 4 North Dakota.
Friday’s contest at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., ended in a tie after scoreless regulation and overtime minutes, forcing a final shootout. The only player to score in the shootout was junior Blayre Turnbull, who flicked the puck past UND goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie in the third round to give the Badgers the shootout win and two points in the WCHA standings.
Saturday’s tilt showed similar aggression and intensity from both sides, but the Badgers were dispatched North Dakota, 3-1. Junior Karley Sylvester scored first for the Badgers with a short-handed goal in the second period, but UND retaliated just a minute later with a goal that tied the score heading into the final stanza.
Senior Madison Packer and redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman sealed the game for Wisconsin, each netting a power play goal in the third period to gain the 3-1 lead.
“What I liked about the weekend was the way we came back and played very strong Saturday night,” Johnson said. “We didn’t give up a lot and when we did (Rigsby) made some saves within that game, but to hold (UND) to that few of shots and that few of quality scoring opportunities says a lot about our commitment and our willingness to do a lot of little things.”
Packer’s offensive effort resulted in her 88th career point, putting her in the 20th spot on Wisconsin’s all-time list.
Ammerman leads the team with 21 points on 10 goals and 11 assists so far this season, putting her in eighth place nationally for total points. Turnbull also made the list, checking in at 22nd with 15 points on seven goals and eight assists.
Senior goaltender Alex Rigsby also made a statement last weekend, stopping 54 of 55 shots during the series and holding UND scoreless during Friday’s contest. She recorded her 91st career victory on Saturday, matching the school’s win record held by former Badger Jessie Vetter.
The Last Meeting
February 17, 2013
But even with the milestone achievements made by the Badgers so far this season, Johnson said the team will continue to focus on the road ahead.
“You enjoy (the win) for a couple of days and then you get back to work and you get refocused to go into another difficult building against a team that has been playing very well the last three or four weekends,” Johnson said. “We’re looking for six good periods. That’s what we’re hoping for as we start the practice and preparation for the games Friday and Saturday.”
Minnesota Duluth also took to the ice last weekend, splitting a home series with conference-foe Bemidji State to bring their season record to 7-5-2, with 5-5-2 in the WCHA. The Bulldogs defeated the Beavers 3-0 Friday night, with freshman Ashleigh Bryaliuk, junior Emma Stauber and sophomore Hannah Bramm tallying goals for Duluth. UMD was then shut out 1-0 by BSU the next day as the Beavers scored with 15 seconds left in regulation.