Wisconsin survives North Dakota, keeps perfect record

first_imgForward Brianna Decker finished scored a goal and assisted on the game-winner in Wisconsin’s Saturday victory.[/media-credit]After trailing 2-0 Sunday, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team battled back to defeat North Dakota, 3-2, in an overtime victory that gave UW a weekend sweep at the Kohl Center.The decisive moment for the Badgers (4-0-0) came with just one minute of play left in the game when senior forward Brooke Ammerman scored off a rebound shot to tie the game at 2-2 and send the Badgers and the Sioux (1-3-0) into overtime.“Once that shot came through and it was kind of close, I just kept jabbing at [it] and thought maybe it will skip through,” Ammerman said. “Thank God it did.”Wisconsin carried the momentum from the last-minute goal into the overtime period, as senior forward Hillary Knight scored the game-winning goal.“We created an opportunity in overtime and walked away with a win,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “Any points including the victory today are very meaningful and certainly help us with the conference, and more importantly, it gives us two points that you can’t take away.”While the overtime goal gave Wisconsin the victory, North Dakota dominated play for most of the game, attempting 22 shots in the second period to Wisconsin’s nine. The Sioux were able to capitalize on power play opportunities that aided in building a 2-0 lead.Freshman forward Andrea Dalen knocked the first goal in for the Sioux in the first period, sending UW to the locker room scoreless despite having four power play opportunities in the period. “North Dakota did a great job in the first period with the opportunities on the power plays that we had,” Johnson said. “[They] try to play a real high tempo game, so if you are not ready to play, they are going to be in your face.”Junior forward Jocelyne Lamoreux added to the Sioux’s lead midway through the second period off a slap shot that sailed right past Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby during a power play. This added to the Sioux domination throughout the first half of the game as they continued to shut down the Badgers in the second period.“They tried to take away our speed, and I think a lot of the strengths in our game is speed,” Ammerman said. “Not getting the flow really slowed us down. Sometimes you have to battle and fight through adversity, and that’s what we did.”Lamoreux’s goal finally awoke the Badgers as they answered with a score of their own. Just 53 seconds later, senior forward Brianna Decker put the Badgers on the board, though they still trailed by one goal.“Once we got the puck on net, it gave us a little bit more momentum,” Knight said. “As we showed [Sunday night], we can come in the second and third period and capitalize on the opportunities, which gives us confidence as we go forward.”In terms of confidence, Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Sioux was no different. The Badgers kept the game close going into the third period, leading 2-1, and dominated play with three more goals.Senior forward Carolyne Prevost had a stellar first game with a hat trick that led the Badgers to their first WCHA victory of the season. Prevost, along with four other teammates, completed her run with the Canadian national team during Wisconsin’s season-opening series against Lindenwood two weeks ago.“They came out extremely hard the first period, and as soon as Carolyne put the puck in the net, it gave us so much more momentum,” Decker said. “A couple of early goals really help us out.”Ammerman assisted all three of Prevost’s goals in Saturday’s game. Their chemistry on the ice was apparent throughout the game.“It’s funny, because we have never played together as linemates and we’re both seniors,” Prevost said. “We had great chemistry tonight, and she seemed to find me at the right place and they were incredible passes all over the ice.”“I think over the four years we have been together here, we have such a great friendship off the ice, so it was just easy to play with her,” Ammerman said.A key to the Badgers improving will be extending their dominance throughout the game, instead of just the last period, which was evident in both games this past weekend.Next week, Wisconsin faces the Minnesota Gophers at home in what should be another close contest for UW.“The pace and tempo next weekend will be the same as it was [Sunday],” Johnson said. “We have a couple of things we need to work on and get ready for next weekend.”last_img read more