Women's hockey

Badgers ride dominant second period to win over Syracuse

Wisconsin's second line — junior Abby Roque and freshmen Britta Curl and Sophie Shirley — lead the way with three goals against Syracuse.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

31 to four.

Wisconsin put 31 shots on goal from the valuable area between the faceoff dots against Syracuse. The Orange managed only four such shots.

Keyed by a dominant second period, the Badgers (7-1-0 WCHA, 16-1-0 overall) produced one of their most consistent offensive performances of the season en route to a comfortable 6-1 win over Syracuse (4-3-0 CHA, 4-11-1) Saturday afternoon.

The rout was keyed by the second line of junior Abby Roque and freshmen Sophie Shirley and Britta Curl, who combined for 16 shots on goal and three goals. Curl opened the scoring just six minutes into the game after taking a pass from Roque and ripping it past Syracuse netminder Maddi Welch for her seventh goal of the year.

“You want to get one early to put them on their heels, Curl said. “We’ve been playing well all year but today it was good to get some goals. I think today we just focused on getting the puck to the net and good things happened because of that.”

The Orange tied it up four minutes later when a miscommunication between Wisconsin defenders lead to a three-on-one for the visitors that Allie Munroe capitalized on.

But the Badgers bounced back, killing the ensuing penalty and getting a power play of their own, where junior forward Presley Norby set up classmate Alexis Mauermann for the strike to take the lead in the final minute of the period.

“That’s a big goal,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “Now you’re going into the second period trying to establish yourself and seeing if you can get a third or fourth one to create some separation.”

The Badgers poured it on in the second period, racking up 22 shots on goal and controlling puck possession for minutes on end at some moments. 16 of the 22 shots came from around the net, indicative of the quality chances Wisconsin was generating.

The torrent of shots produced only one goal in the middle 20 minutes — a backhand strike from Curl for her tenth goal of the year — but kept the Orange and bay and the momentum firmly on Wisconsin’s side.

“There would’ve been highlight goals but the goaltender got in the way,” Johnson said. “As long as you’re creating opportunities that’s a positive because eventually the puck has to find it’s way into the back of the net.”

The Badgers’ luck turned as soon as the third period started, as senior forward Annie Pankowski struck just 39 seconds into the final frame to stretch the lead to three goals. The goal was one of Pankowski’s 10 shots on goal, a season-high for the senior captain.

Curl scored again in the middle of the period, and sophomore Delaney Drake rounded out the final score with a tally of her own.

“I think this year we’ve struggled sometimes, we’ve gotten a lot of shots and played well but we couldn’t put any in,” Curl said. “Today was just a really big positive for us, getting some on the board, so I think everyone was happy about that.”

The series continues Sunday at noon.

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