MADISON, Wis. - In a relentlessly vigorous afternoon at LaBahn Arena, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team earned a 4-1 win over Bemidji State on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd.
The Badgers (10-0-0, 4-0-0-0 WCHA) raced off to a two-goal lead against the Beavers (3-4-1, 2-2-0-0 WCHA) thanks to a pair of goals from UW's top line.
Senior Abby Roque flipped in a rebound off junior Daryl Watts' shot just 4:27 into the first period before Watts claimed her own goal with an on-ice rocket from sophomore Sophie Shirley and freshman Chayla Edwards at the 17:16 mark.
Shirley netted another for UW with a tip-in off sophomore Nicole LaMantia's laser one minute into the second.
After killing three penalties in the second, junior Caitlin Schneider snuck in her fourth goal of the season and the fourth goal for the Cardinal and White unassisted at the top of the third.
The Badgers held off the Beavers affront throughout most of the game, only allowing BSU to find the net in the last two minutes of the game.
Three notes of the game:
- The Badgers have killed their last 26 penalties and have given up only two power-play goals all season. UW ranks seventh in the country with a .943 clip.
- The Badgers have gone 10-0 in their first 10 opening games making this the third longest opening undefeated streak in school history behind the 18-game streak in 2015-16 and the 17-game streak in 2017-18.
- Sophie Shirley holds a five-goal streak after Sunday's game and has tallied at least one point in every game this season.
Straight from the Rink:
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
On the game:
"It was good. I think five-on-five compared to yesterday's game; we were better. Took care of the puck better than we did most of the game yesterday. We came out and were able to establish some things with a couple goals in the first period. I thought the start of the second we were really good, and then we got ourselves into some penalty trouble. We have to be disciplined and stay off the penalty sheet. We take three penalties in the second period and did a good job of killing it, but again it's a learning opportunity. I thought our overall play was much better than it was yesterday."
On the penalties:
"Discipline. So if I'm going in on a player in the corner I have to angle. I can't go skating in there as fast as I can skate, I have to have some control in my body because you get near the boards and if you make contact and you light somebody up they're going to call checking, they're going to call interference or something like that. We took one of those last night and we took a couple today but again they are teaching opportunities. There are a lot of ways to be disciplined and that's one of them, especially when you come out to start the second period and make it three nothing. I talked to them in between periods about taking control of the game. If we play well the second period, we can take really good control of the game and we did make it three, nothing. Then you're relying on certain groups of players to help you kill the penalty. Your lines and your rhythm and the flow gets taken away from you and that's what I don't like about it. You're relying on probably five, six, seven kids to kill penalties and one is fine, but two and then three, it gets people tired. And surely it gets the other kids away from the game because they haven't played for four, five, six, seven minutes. A lot of things going on there that we think about as coaches, but again it is an understanding of the situation and how the game is going and being disciplined."
On the Gophers next week:
"It should be at a really high level. Both groups get excited to play each other. It'll be good for our younger players to see what that atmosphere is like. The big thing is to continue to make improvements, so we'll start that Tuesday and show them some more film. Having to compete this weekend and you know, having a little adversity at different times of the game is all helpful. One thing when we play Bemidji, we know we're going to have to work. Having worked for six periods and face some things that don't go well for you, it will be helpful for next weekend. We'll see how we adjust and how we come out Saturday afternoon."
No. 1 Wisconsin hits the road to take on No. 2 Minnesota in a border-battle series and a rematch of last year's national championship, Saturday and Sunday. Puck drop is set for 2:07 p.m. both days and fans can listen to Saturday's game on 1310 WIBA and Sunday's contest on 100.9 FM.