MADISON, Wis. - The No. 5 Wisconsin women's hockey team earned a 2-0 victory to complete the series sweep over Bemidji State in its WCHA opening weekend at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon.
Wisconsin (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) was led by sophomore Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), who assisted on the game-winning goal and scored her second goal of the season to give UW the 2-0 lead midway through the third period.
"We'll have other games this year where we're up 1-0 and down 1-0, and we'll have 20 minutes to go, so today was an opportunity for us to showcase what we're made of in the early part of the season," head coach Mark Johnson. "For the most part in the third period we were okay, but we've got some things that we need to work on.
"We've got some young players, and they just have to learn how to play a little better in these situations, so when its 1-0 and they're buzzing a little bit, they've got to be able to be relaxed. But it was good, it was a good win. It's good to get the three points and move on to the next weekend."
Junior goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova led Bemidji State (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA) with 41 saves as the Badgers outshot the Beavers 43-11 in the game, including a 16-4 advantage in the third period.
"Staying patient is the toughest thing, and I know when I was a player, as long as I was getting chances I was okay with that," Johnson said. "(Tomcikova) was obviously a great goaltender, and we were getting some quality opportunities.
"If you look throughout our league, there are a lot of good goaltenders. Duluth has got a couple. Minnesota's got a world-class Finnish goalie. We've got some good goaltenders. St. Cloud and Mankato, they've got great goalies, and some nights they're capable of making 30, 40, 50 saves, so you just have to be persistent and eventually the tables will turn and the puck will go in."
Junior Carolyne Prevost (Sarnia, Ontario) scored her second-straight game-winning goal for the Badgers with 1:12 remaining in the first period. Frykas found junior Brittany Haverstock (Hammons Plains, Nova Scotia), who carried the puck into the zone. Haverstock then centered the puck to Prevost, and she buried it from just outside the crease.
After a scoreless second period, Frykas tallied her second point of the game with a goal at the 10:01 mark of the third period. Freshman Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) played the puck up the boards on the left side to junior Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.), who then found Frykas on BSU's blue line. Frykas skated up through the slot and solved Tomcikova to put UW up 2-0.
The Badgers had one of their best scoring opportunities with 11:16 remaining in the game when junior Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Prevost broke through on a two-on-one. Knight skated the puck to the right faceoff circle before firing a shot, but Tomcikova came up with a glove save.
Sophomore Becca Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo.) made 11 saves for Wisconsin, earning her second shutout victory of the season.
The Badgers were 0-for-1 on the power play while holding BSU to 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
UW hosts Ohio State (2-0-0) in a Friday/Saturday series Oct. 22 and 23 after a break from competition next weekend. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center both nights. The Buckeyes host St. Cloud State Oct. 15 and 16 before traveling to Madison the following weekend.
On Oct. 23, the Badgers will hold Breast Cancer Awareness Game. All fans that wear pink to the game will receive admission for $1 courtesy of UW Health. Fans arriving early will also receive a free Wisconsin Women's Hockey t-shirt courtesy of Becker Law Office, while supplies last. The Badgers will also celebrate UW Student Day on Saturday against the Buckeyes, with free admission and free pizza for UW students with a valid UW student ID card.