MADISON, Wis. - In a weekend of honors and celebrations for UW hockey legend Mark Johnson, the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team made a little more history for its legendary coach in UW's series-opening victory over Minnesota State, 7-2, Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Nicole LaMantia, senior Emily Clark, junior Abby Roque, junior Mekenzie Steffen, senior Annie Pankowski and freshmen Sophie Shirley and Britta Curl all scored for Wisconsin (25-4-0, 15-4-0-0 WCHA) in Saturday's victory.
Wisconsin got off to a fast start thanks to freshman LaMantia burying a rocket past Mavericks (9-14-5, 3-13-3-0 WCHA) goalie Chloe Crosby at the 18:18 mark of the first. It marked her first career goal for the freshman from Wayne, Illinois.
Five minutes later the Badgers struck again, this time from senior Clark, who fought over a fallen MSU defender to grab the puck and send it top shelf for the Badgers second goal of the day.
The Mavericks would cut UW's lead down in the second, grabbing a goal on a power play six minutes into the frame.
But Roque scored her own power-play goal, her 100th career point as a Wisconsin Badger to give UW a 3-1 advantage before Steffen scored a power-play goal, giving UW a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. It marked Steffen's seventh goal of the year and her fourth in the last five games.
Pankowski tallied her team-leading 16th goal of the year a minute into the third period before Shirley added to the lead with a score six minutes later on a breakaway backhand goal at the 8:48 mark of the third. MSU would knock in another goal in the final frame, but UW quickly responded with 6:39 remaining on a goal from Curl who rocketed in her 15th goal of the season.
Play of the Game
Abby Roque's goal at the 8:55 mark of the second period was not only a major momentum shot in the Badgers 7-2 victory, but was also the junior's 100th career point during her tenure at UW. Roque's clutch power-play goal makes her the 25th Badger in UW women's hockey history to reach the century mark for career points.
Three Notes of the Game
- The Badgers have been thriving on early goals all season, outscoring opponents 44-12 in the opening frame. UW continued their first period dominance Saturday with goals from LaMantia and Clark.
- The Badgers not only outshot the Mavericks, 44-13, but UW also held MSU without a shot in the game until the 4:51 mark of the first period, and even later for MSU's first shot on goal which came at the 3:39 mark of the period.
- Seven different Badgers grabbed goals in Saturday's victory over Minnesota State. Over the past two games, nine different players have found the net for Wisconsin.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
On responding after the Bemidji State loss:
"I thought we played pretty well all last weekend, and we didn't give up too much. Obviously there are a lot of things going on this weekend so my big point was to make sure we were focused and paying attention to details to get off to a good start and we did that today, so that's good."
On opening the game up:
"I really thought we got off a good start. Everything went well the first eight or nine minutes and there were a lot of good things I was looking for which we were able to do."
On the weekend's events:
"You can talk about distractions, but I liked the way we prepared all week. Our practices were good and we prepared well on what we needed to do to come out and do things well."
Senior forward Annie Pankowski
On Saturday's result:
"We've had an uphill battle the past two weeks. But we got back to the fun and the simple joy of hockey this week in practice. It just clicked today. It was nothing more than just a great day with a lot of good bounces."
On her four-point performance:
"It's nice to contribute to the team, but seven different people scored tonight so I'd say what's amazing is when everybody contributes."
Junior forward Abby Roque
On scoring her 100th point:
"It's obviously puts you in a great group of NCAA players and in Wisconsin hockey. I think I'm 25th and obviously those 25 players are really good. I'm waiting for Sam (Cogan) to do it tomorrow hopefully. We were trying to get the points together. We really wanted to cut the puck in half, so when I scored the first thing I thought was 'Shoot.' I actually apologized to Sam."
On Mark's jersey retirement:
"It is a big weekend. I think a lot of people are excited for coach. This is a big weekend for him. We all came out ready to play because we wanted to get him the win. We wanted him to have a good night and not have to worry about a loss. We're really excited for this, it's going to be awesome."
The Badgers cap off the series with Minnesota State on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game is sold out, but fans can watch the game on BTN Plus, FloHockey or listen to it on 1310 WIBA AM.