The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers (25-1-1) beat the St. Cloud State Huskies (6-16-3) 4-0 Saturday afternoon in a sold-out game at LaBahn Arena. The Badgers were coming off one of their shakier weekends of the season at Bemidji State, after winning in overtime in the first game and tying in the second. However, UW came out strong Saturday and was able to notch its 25th win of the season in dominating fashion.
The Badgers wasted no time before scoring as sophomore forward Abby Roque banged in a goal after just a minute of play. Shortly after, sophomore defenseman Maddie Rowe was able to net her first of the day, and the Badgers were quickly up 2-0.
The period would end with that score. Head coach Mark Johnson said his team was trying to push the pace all day to put pressure on the St. Cloud defense
“I liked the pace of the game today,” Johnson said. “We tried to really attack the goal because we knew St. Cloud had been defending and blocking shots well the last six games, so we wanted to get as many opportunities as possible.”
If there was ever any doubt of a Badger victory today, it came in the second period when the Badgers failed to score or mount much of an offensive attack for the first 15 minutes of the period. However, Wisconsin was able to get back on its feet as the period neared its conclusion, as UW scored twice in the last five minutes of the frame, the first goal coming again from Rowe and the second from sophomore forward Presley Norby with only 30 seconds remaining in the period.
Rowe had arguably her most impressive game of the season thus far, notching her first two-goal game of her collegiate career and adding an assist to cap off a three-point day.
Johnson knew her contribution went deeper than that however, noting her ability to get her teammates the puck with a chance to score.
“We tried to kind of kickstart a couple of the girls today, and Maddie was able to get the puck to Abby to score the first goal, and she did a few other things on the ice today that really helped the team,” Johnson said.
The Wisconsin offense was flying high today, putting up 57 shots against St. Cloud’s defense and netting four of those 57 in route to the victory. However, the defense may have been an even bigger story, blocking 14 St. Cloud shots and only allowing 13 shots on goal.
Sophomore goaltender Kristen Campbell even admitted to getting bored in the third period when the Badgers only allowed one shot on goal.
“You really just have to keep yourself mentally in the game and be ready for anything because the games not over until the final buzzer regardless of the score,” Campbell said.
Despite a flurry of shots in the third period the Badgers didn’t score and walked away with the 4-0 victory.
“It’s always nice to play at home, it really helps us,” Rowe said. “Today I could tell everyone on the bench and on the ice were ready to go the whole time. The home crowd really helps us stay energetic throughout the full three periods.”
The Badgers will look to sweep the weekend series against St. Cloud State Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised live on Fox Sports Wisconsin.