MADISON, Wis. - The No. 5 Wisconsin women's hockey team wrapped up its season-opening series against Rensselaer Polytechnic with a 6-0 win over the Engineers in front of 1,819 fans at the Kohl Center on Saturday night.
Junior Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) led Wisconsin (2-0-0) with five points coming on two goals and three assists. Junior Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) each tallied a goal and an assist, and freshman Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) posted two assists.
"Lots of good things came out of this weekend, but from a teaching standpoint there are things to work on," head coach Mark Johnson said. "It was a good weekend to start, now we move forward and focus on the next one. RPI played hard both games. It's a good opportunity this month to work on things. We have to continue to get better. It's always a process starting out."
Knight's first goal came just 33 seconds into the first period off a pass from senior Anne Dronen (Chaska, Minn.). The goal marked the second straight night Wisconsin scored in the opening minute of the game.
Knight then gave UW a 2-0 lead, netting her second goal of the night at the 7:48 mark of the first stanza. Ammerman and Pacholok picked up an assists on the play.
"It always helps to have great linemates and a great team behind you," Knight said. "We caught them off guard with our speed on our first goal. Some games you have it, some you don't. We had it tonight. Through and through, we worked hard."
The second period saw senior Mallory Deluce (London, Ontario) put the Badgers up 3-0 with her second goal of the season on a feed from Knight. Decker then increased the Badgers' lead to 4-0 with the team's first power play goal of the year. Decker's goal, her first of the season, came on a rebound from a shot by Knight in the slot.
The Badgers took a 5-0 lead in the third period when Pacholok netted her first goal of the year with assists credited to Knight and Decker. Wisconsin tallied its sixth and final goal of the night after Ammerman slid a pass through the crease to sophomore Breann Frykas (East St. Paul Manitoba) for her first goal this season.
In her first collegiate appearance, freshman Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) recorded her first win as a Badger. Rigsby stopped all ten RPI shots to earn the first shutout of her college career as well.
"It was a big thing getting the first game out of the way, and it feels good to have it be a shutout," Rigsby said. "Getting the first save was a big thing, and then it was about staying focused the rest of the way. It's awesome having a great defense in front of me. I really trust them clearing the puck and watching the players in front."
For the second night in a row, Wisconsin recorded 31 shots on goal, outshooting the Engineers 31-10 in the game.
The Badgers will host Bemidji State (1-1-0) at the Kohl Center on Friday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 10. Friday's game will begin at 7 p.m. CT while the puck will drop at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday.