|1st||16:34||WIS||1-0||EV||Annie Pankowski (13)||Lauren Williams/3|
|2nd||16:35||WIS||2-0||EV GW||Annie Pankowski (14)||Emily Clark/8, Jenny Ryan/18|
|3rd||8:12||MIN||1-2||EV||Sarah Potomak (8)||Dani Cameranesi/21, Hannah Brandt/19|
|3rd||19:44||WIS||3-1||EV EN||Sarah Nurse (12)||Emily Clark/9|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Amanda Leveille (L, 11-3-0)||59:06||2||8||11||5||24|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 16-0-0)||59:58||1||7||9||7||23|
MADISON, Wis.-- Fueled by a pair of Annie Pankowski goals, the top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey bested No. 3 Minnesota, 3-1, on Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd at LaBahn Arena to complete a sweep of its Border Battle rivals.
With the win, Wisconsin (18-0-0, 12-0-0-0 WCHA) swept the Gophers (15-3-0, 11-3-0-0 WCHA) for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. UW's 18-game winning streak is the second-longest in program history, and tied for the third-longest in WCHA records.
"I thought we did a good job today, especially in the first seven or eight minutes of the game," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "We knew they were going to come at us and it wasn't pretty at times but it was effective."
After the teams battles in a scoreless start, Pankowski's first score came with less than four minutes remaining in the first frame. Sophomore Lauren Williams blocked a shot taken from the Minnesota point, then cleared the loose puck up to Pankowski, who skated in on Gopher netminder Amanda Leveille and put the backhand shot right over her shoulder. The goal extended Pankowski's point streak to 21 games, the fifth-longest in UW history.
The first period offense was fairly even for both teams, as UW tallied seven shots on net, while the Maroon and Gold marked nine shots.
Pankowski's 14th goal of the season came late in the second stanza, when she skated to the top of the circles and sniped the puck past four Maroon jerseys and into the net.
"There were just small breakdowns on their part that we took advantage of." Pankowski said of the goal, "The second one was putting the pucks to the net when there was traffic, and you can't ask for much more."
The Gophers had one power play opportunity in the second period, but were unable to solve the UW penalty kill, which continues to lead the NCAA with a .980 clip.
Midway through the final period, freshman Sarah Potomak scored Minnesota's only goal of the game, tapping in a loose puck that Desbiens thought she had a hold of to bring the game within one.
In the final minutes, Minnesota pulled Leveille for an extra attacker, but Desbiens made numerous impossible saves to keep the Badgers' lead.
With the Gopher net empty, Nurse chipped the puck past the defensemen, then skated the loose puck down and scored to give the Badgers their insurance goal.
"We were just trying to figure out how to get one through and Pankowski's shot in the second period found a hole, found a lane, and it was a big lift going into the third period with a two-goal lead," Johnson said. "Even in the last minute, Emily Clark wins two key face-offs, one ends up with the empty netter. Those are the little things that help you get ready for the second half of the season and March, so it's a good learning opportunity."
Desbiens collected seven saves in the final period, for a game total of 23 saves. The win marked Desbiens's 53rd victory between the pipes, the fourth-most of any Badger.
"Coming into this weekend, we put aside our 16-0, number one spot - it really didn't mean much to us until we beat Minnesota," junior defenseman Jenny Ryan said when asked what the sweep means to the team. "Now we have that streak behind us and we know that we can beat any team now. We knew before, but now we actually did it. No questions asked now. We know we're a very good team and we just proved it."
The Badgers continue their season in North Dakota, taking on the UND Fighting Hawks Dec. 11-12. Friday's conference matchup is set for 7 p.m., while Saturday will be a 4 p.m. tilt.