No power play goals, no problem: Wisconsin earns 3-1 win over the Bulldogs despite no special teams goals

Sofia Shaver scored against Minnesota-Duluth early in the first to give UW a 2-0 lead.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Wisconsin Badgers (10-0-0 WCHA, 19-1-0 overall) defeated the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (5-7-0 WCHA, 9-10-0) by a score of 3-1 on Saturday afternoon, earning their 19th win of the season.

Three different players scored for the Badgers and netminder Kristen Campbell had another stellar game for the Badgers, stopping 16 of 17 shots to help the team toward a win. The goalie moves to 19-1 on the season and currently holds a .944 save percentage on the season.

The Badgers pulled away early, with two of their three goals coming in the first four minutes of the game. Freshman Brette Pettet scored her seventh of the season just two minutes in. Alternate captain and junior forward Sophia Shaver added her seventh just one minute and 36 seconds later on a redirection from sophomore defenseman Mekenzie Steffen.

While it appeared that the game was heading towards a blowout, the Bulldogs tightened up their defense. Although Wisconsin put up 41 shots against Jessica Convery, another wouldn’t make it past her until 8:03 into the third period. Senior defenseman Maddie Rolfes scored her second of the season off of assists from junior forward Mikaela Gardner and sophomore forward Alexis Mauermann.

Only 49 seconds after Rolfes tally, Naomi Rogge of the Bulldogs scored her 10th of the season to narrow the Badgers lead to two. Despite some close calls, Wisconsin still ultimately came away with the win.

The game was flooded with penalties, the majority called on Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs were penalized four times for boarding, checking and interference. It was a chippy game, stemming from Friday night’s 5-1 drubbing.

“Usually when a team loses the first, they come back with a little extra energy and wanting to split over the weekend,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “You can control what you can control and the big thing is to not take as many penalties as we did yesterday and stay out of the box.”

The Badgers, unlike yesterday, kept their retaliation to a minimum. Johnson said that “the big thing to focus on is my job on the ice. When things go awry, that’s why we have referees out there.” The referees in Saturday’s game called a fairly tight game, with only a few plays drawing the crowd’s ire and not a call.

Although it was given plenty of power play opportunities, Wisconsin went zero-for-four. Despite converting on a 19.1 percent clip this season, the Badgers are always working towards improvements with the man advantage, which did not come to fruition today.

“We look at it every week,” says Johnson. “We spend a bunch of time on it.”

Johnson noted that not every power play results in a goal and that as long as they’re getting chances, they’re happy.

“The two [power plays] we had in the third period were pretty good. We got some opportunities on it, had some chances. First one we had the puck quite a bit of time in the offensive zone to create those chances. It’s great when the puck goes in, but that’s not going to happen all the time.”

The Badgers look to improve upon their nearly perfect season next week against the St. Cloud State Huskies in Minnesota.

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