In a disappointing weekend in Columbus, Ohio, the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers (23-3-1, 17-2-1 WCHA) were swept by the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (19-7-4, 12-4-4). Wisconsin had not lost to Ohio State since 2015 and had not been swept by the Buckeyes since 2010.
In their first conference loss of 2017-’18, the Badgers played an uneven game. Although they outshot Ohio State 12-2 in the first period and 12-4 in the third period, Wisconsin was sunk by its second period play.
Ohio State outshot Wisconsin 21-2 in the second frame and OSU freshman forward Emma Maltais scored merely 15 seconds into the period. The score would stand for the rest of the game as goaltender Kristen Campbell had 26 saves on 27 shots.
Head coach Mark Johnson admitted that the Badgers didn't play as well offensively as he would have liked. “We didn’t create as much offense as we normally do,” he told UWBadgers.com “The middle period was a little bit challenging but it’s good adversity to challenge ourselves.”
The adversity would continue on Saturday, though the Badgers outshot the Buckeyes 35-20. Although sophomore forward Alexis Mauermann scored her eleventh goal of the season early in the game, the Buckeyes’ Maltais scored to tie the game in the second period.
Junior Ohio State forward Charly Dahlquist, a former teammate of Kristen Campbell’s at North Dakota, scored in the third period to pull ahead of the Badgers. Ohio State scored an empty-net goal with three seconds left to seal the win. Campbell had 17 saves in the loss.
While it was a disappointing end to the weekend, Johnson wasn’t upset with the team’s performance. “We played well today,” he said. “We competed hard and created some chances. Overall it was a good team effort.”
It was a frustrating weekend for the No. 1 Badgers, who had only one loss on the season. The team is widely regarded as having one of the best chances to win the NCAA championship, if not the favorite.
As the games were away in Columbus, Ohio, Wisconsin’s home unbeaten streak of 26 games remained safe. The Badgers will not play at home again until February 16-17 in a home series against rivals Minnesota.
UW looks to rebound next weekend in Duluth, Minnesota, as its plays the UMD Bulldogs. In previous games this season, Wisconsin beat by the Bulldogs by scores of 5-1 and 3-1.