No. 2 Badgers look to sophomores to keep home streak alive

Wisconsin looks to extend its hot start to the season against Ohio State this weekend.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Following a home sweep of Lindenwood last weekend, the No. 2 University of Wisconsin’s women’s hockey team (2-0-0) will look to continue a dominant home stand this weekend against Mercyhurst University (0-0-0).

The Badgers defeated Lindenwood 3-1 on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday behind a goal and assist per game from sophomore forward Presley Norby. Fellow sophomore forward Abby Roque chipped in two goals and an assist through the opening weekend.

This weekend’s matchup will feature two of the top three all-time winningest coaches in women’s college hockey history. UW head coach Mark Johnson ranks third with 430 wins in his 15 seasons, while Lakers head coach Michael Sisti has compiled 444 wins during his 19-year tenure.

While both programs have achieved success throughout the years, the Badgers have dominated the Lakers in all nine of their previous meetings. Four of the last nine showdowns between the two teams have been in the NCAA tournament, including the 2009 NCAA title game in which UW defeated MU 5-0 to capture its third national crown. The most recent meeting came in the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, where the Badgers blanked the Lakers 6-0 at LaBahn Arena to reach the Frozen Four for the ninth time in program history.

Last season, Mercyhurst struggled relative to its past success, finishing 15-18-2 overall and falling to Lindenwood 2-3 in its final game of the campaign.

UW, on the other hand, went 33-3-3 last season before falling in the NCAA championship to current-No. 1 Clarkson.

The Badgers will look to defend their now 14-game home win streak this weekend.

Most interestingly, the ripple effect of North Dakota’s decision to eliminate its women’s hockey program will be felt this weekend as a quartet of former Fighting Hawks now meet in Madison. Redshirt sophomore goaltender Kristen Campbell, who went 2-0 in net for Wisconsin last weekend, will face former teammates Emma Nuutinen, Vilma Tanskanen and Kennedy Blair.

UW will look to add to its impeccable all-time record in September, as the Badgers improved to 15-0-1 following the Lindenwood sweep. Wisconsin has averaged 6.1 goals per game during the ninth month of the year, while only giving up an average of 0.75 goals per game. UW is also 8-0 at home during September.

The puck drops in the LaBahn Arena tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. Tonight's game is Student Night, meaning the first 350 UW-Madison students to redeem their tickets online before the game get in for free.

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