MADISON, Wis. - Senior Carolyne Prevost led the top-ranked Badgers (3-0-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) to a 5-2 victory over No. 6 North Dakota (1-2-0, 0-1-0 WCHA) in the conference opener on Saturday afternoon, recording a hat trick in her first game of the season.
The win brings the Badger's unbeaten streak to 30 games, having gone 28-0-2 since losing to Minnesota Duluth on Nov. 28, 2010.
In addition to Prevost, two other Badgers scored in the 5-2 victory. Junior Brianna Decker added a goal and two assists, while senior captain Hilary Knight recorded a goal and assist. Senior Brooke Ammerman tallied three assists in the win, while Stefanie McKeough finished the day with two of her own.
Alex Rigsby earned her third shutout this season, finishing the game with 34 saves to improve to 3-0-0.
The Fighting Sioux goaltender Stephanie Ney took the loss, giving up five goals and making 33 saves.
North Dakota controlled the puck for most of the first period, but the Badgers were the first to score. Fresh from the Team Canada's fall training camp, Prevost opened the scoring at the 11:53 mark when she beat Ney low blocker side after getting a centering pass from Brooke Ammerman.
Jocelyne Lamoureux tied the score up at the 02:28 mark in the second period with help from Michelle Karvine and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls.
Prevost scored her second goal with another great pass from Brooke Ammerman, outpacing the defender and getting in alone with Ney. Prevost made a move to her left before pulling it to her backhand and putting the puck top shelf to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead.
"Well I thought it was a big goal for us," Johnson said. " It puts us back in the lead. We've talked about power plays can either score goals or create energy and the first one (for North Dakota) in the second period got them moving. We were a little bit on our heals, but we weathered the storm and that was huge."
The Badgers came out a different team in the third period as Decker put UW up 3-0 after passing the puck to Knight in the neutral zone. Knight's got a shot on goal, but Ney let the rebound go to the far side of the net and Decker was there to put home her sixth goal of the season.
"I think people just got their legs underneath them, momentum shifts and a couple of early goals helped out." Knight said of the third period shift. "Alex Rigsby was standing on her head tonight. It was a combination of different things that let us to feel more comfortable with the puck and one another and enabled us to go out and really put the pressure on in the third period."
Less than three minutes later Prevost scored her third goal of the day from a back-door pass from Brooke Ammerman.
After a slow start, Wisconsin didn't back down after gaining momentum with a 4-1 lead. Decker won the face off back to McKeough who then dished the puck over to Knight to score the Badger's fifth and final goal at 15:44.
"On the five-on-three I was just trying to see what they were going to give us." Knight said. "Stefanie (McKeough) moved it over and I was seeing if Carolyn (Prevost) was up around the net or someone was open on the side, but I think I caught the goalie off guard, it was on a slide. We have great forwards; we're going to put the puck in."
North Dakota finished the game with one more goal at the 18:14 mark as Allison Parizek scored to make the final, 5-2.
The Badgers will wrap up the series tomorrow against the Fight Sioux at 2 p.m. at the Kohl Center.
- UW has won the last six straight games against UND
- The Badgers have a perfect penalty kill on the season
- Prevost's hat trick was the third for a Badger this season