Tremendous through ten: Wisconsin moves to 10-0 after Bemidji State victory
Wisconsin moved to 10-0-0 for only second time in program history after a win against Bemidji State.Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger
In its only home series of the month, the Wisconsin Badgers continued its winning ways. The women’s hockey team extended its winning streak, and it is now 10-0-0 after a convincing 5-1 victory against the Bemidji State Beavers (1-6-1). It is the second time in team history that the Badgers have started off with 10 straight wins, with the 2015-16 team being the last to do it.
Bemidji State’s record is slightly misleading. The Beavers, who have only one win, have already played three out of the four leaders in all-time national championships in Clarkson, Minn., and Wisconsin. Bemidji State lost to Clarkson by scores of 2-0 and 5-4, and then to Minnesota 3-1 and 4-3 (OT). Like those previous contests, the Beavers initially has some success against Wisconsin. Specifically, in the opening game of the series, the Beavers led after the first period. Tonight, however, the Badgers were determined to not let Bemidji State get off to such a strong start.
Senior captain Claudia Kepler scored her seventh of the season only 46 seconds into the game. Freshman defenseman Natalie Buchbinder then scored the first of her collegiate career with a little over two minutes left in the period to cap off a dominant opening frame.
Coach Mark Johnson stressed the importance of a strong start after the game. “If you’re going to draw it up before the game, it was a good period for us getting a two-goal lead. It was big.”
These sentiments were echoed by Kepler. “It was huge [to start that fast]. It was great to get on the right foot . . . we’ve always been preaching in the locker room to start off strong and it was great to see us finally do it today.”
Kepler led by example, leading the team with two goals on the night. She also leads Wisconsin with eight for the season. Buchbinder, winger Maddie Rowe and defenseman Mikaela Gardner all added goals. Freshman winger Presley Norby, sophomore center Abby Roque and junior center Sam Cogan each had two assists. Rounding out the stats sheet were defenseman Maddie Rolfes and winger Brette Pettet, who each recorded an assist.
On the weekend, there were eight different goalscorers and fourteen players with points. The Badgers repeatedly state that having a balanced attack is paramount for their success.
“That’s what we need,” said Kepler. “We need everybody to be scoring, putting pucks in the net. That shows you how strong the team can be [that] it’s not just one or two people, it’s everyone.”
Along with the impressive number of point getters, sophomore transfer Kristen Campbell continued her historic start. Campbell has started every game and is now the first goalie in program history to start their career with 10 wins. Campbell has let in only nine goals in 10 games this season and came into the weekend with a .953 save percentage.
Wisconsin moves to 69-5-3 all-time versus Bemidji State, with a 12 game win streak against the Beavers. The Badgers also extended their home winning streak to 18-0-0, not having lost at LaBahn since Dec. 3 of 2016.
The Badgers had not faced a test like Bemidji State thus far in the season, with previous series against Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Syracuse and Minnesota State. It was a nice trial for the Badgers, who face off against No. 7 Minnesota next week in the first Border Battle of the season. No matter the rankings, the series’ against Minnesota are always a tough test for the Badgers, especially when playing in the Golden Gophers’ home rink.
The series against Minnesota will be a tough test, as the Badgers look to extend this year's pedigree to proving they can win against the nation's top teams. The Golden Gophers were picked by WCHA coaches early in the season to win the WCHA over the Badgers by one point.
Until then, the Badgers can relax after two powerful wins to continue their undefeated season.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter