Women's Hockey

Braendli stymies Badgers as Wisconsin ties Ohio State 1-1

Junior forward Abby Roque scored eight minutes into Friday night's game, but the Badgers couldn't get another tally in 44 attempts on goal.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

With just over two minutes left in regulation Annie Pankowski streaked down the ice, sized up Ohio State goaltender Andrea Braendli with a quick hesitation and went left, opening up a lane to the goal.

But before Pankowski could get the puck through it, Braendli shot her right pad out and stoned the All-American forward to keep the score tied at one apiece.

It was Braendli’s 50th save of the night, on the way to a career-high 52, and the freshman from Switzerland needed every single one to keep her team afloat.  No. 1 Wisconsin (18-4-1 WCHA, 28-4-1 overall) poured 53 shots on goal and hit several more posts, but couldn’t find a second goal in a 1-1 tie with No. 10 Ohio State (12-10-1, 18-2-1) Friday night. 

The Buckeyes won the ensuing shootout for the game’s extra conference point, dropping the Badgers into a tie with Minnesota for first in the WCHA.

Wisconsin started out strong, capturing the game’s first seven shots on goal and dominating play around Ohio State’s crease. The Badgers were helped by a pair of early power plays, and though they couldn’t find the back of the net on the first despite multiple high-quality chances, they were able to connect on the second.

After a long stretch of play controlling the puck from the point, junior forward Abby Roque exchanged with freshman linemate Sophie Shirley. Shirley skated down to the high slot and dumped it off to Roque near the goal line. Roque took a moment to collect the puck, seemingly not noticing the partially empty net beside her, but just as the crowd’s collective groan started to rise she roofed it over a sliding Braendli for the opening goal.

“The first thing I thought was pass, per usual,” Roque said. “After a second I realized I should better shoot it while I still can.”

Roque’s shot was in time to beat the freshman netminder, but it was the last one. Wisconsin threw another 44 shots Braendli’s way, including 29 from below the faceoff dots, but couldn’t a single one to go.

“In this business, sometimes the goalie plays really well and stops your good chances and she was able to do that tonight,” Head coach Mark Johnson said. “That’s part of playing hockey and some nights it happens.”

Wisconsin’s offensive impetus accelerated with just over 12 minutes to go in regulation, when Ohio State forward Tatum Skaggs crashed the net and tipped a shot from teammate Emma Maltais that fluttered just over the shoulder of Badgers goaltender Kristin Campbell to tie the game.

The Badgers picked up several more grade-A scoring chances after the Buckeyes goal, including a rebound of her own shot that Shirley put off the post, and another piece of iron from freshman forward Britta Curl.

“It’s for sure tough, we for sure outplayed them,” Roque said. “Down the line we’re going to have to be able to put pucks away and be able to score in these situations.”

Wisconsin couldn’t get anything to go in a back-and-forth overtime period, and in the ensuing shootout Pankowski, Shirley and Roque were all stuffed by Braendli. The Badgers tried to get the Buckeye netminder moving side-to-side, but couldn’t beat her laterally at either post.

Maltais scored for the Buckeyes in the shootout, and that was all they needed to capture the extra point. When Braendli made the final save on Roque her teammates streamed out to meet her, elated to have come out on top of a game that Johnson described as having a playoff atmosphere.

With the tie, the Badgers are now tied with No. 2 Minnesota for the WCHA lead, although Wisconsin still holds the tiebreaker that determines which team will get a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Puck drop for tomorrow's rematch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.