The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team (3-0-0,1-0-0) shut out the Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0-3, 0-1-0) with a 7-0 shutout Friday night in their home opener in the first ever matchup between the two Big Ten sides.
Former Badger hockey players Annie Pankowski, Mikaela Gardner, Sam Cogan and Emily Clark skated around the rink to show off their 2018-2019 NCAA Frozen Four national championship trophy they earned last year and unveiled their banner that now hangs proudly in LaBahn Arena.
“When we walked in, I held the trophy up and we had a Lion King kind of moment and I honestly did not want to step onto the ice,” Pankowski said. “I just wanted to hold it there and soak it all in because it was so exciting.”
Six minutes into the first period after Wisconsin won the puck drop, junior right forward Brette Pettet slammed one in the top right of the net against Nittany Lions junior goaltender Chantal Burke. Senior forward Alexis Mauermann and junior defender Grace Bowlby assisted Pettet in her first goal of the season.
With just over five minutes left, junior forward Maddie Posick capitalized on a 1-v-4 and captured her first goal of her Badger career.
“I tried to take snapshots in my head because I knew I would never want to forget this moment,” Posick said. “I don’t remember hearing the crowd; all I remember is my cage coming up and hitting my two front teeth and Mekenzie Steffen yelling so hard in my ear, then later telling me she saw stars after she was screaming my name.”
While Posick has played for the Badgers for three years, this marks her first point and goal for the team.
“One of my goals was to be a Badger and another goal was to score for the Badgers,” Posick said after asked about her first goal as a Badger. “Now I have to move onto my next goal: Score two goals for the Badgers.”
Junior defender Natalie Buchbinder and sophomore defender Nicole LaMantia assisted Pettet again, this time with the puck sliding up Burke’s pads and into the back of the net.
The Badgers only scored once in the second period, courtesy of senior forward Abby Roque’s assist to sophomore right wing Sophie Shirley nine minutes into the period. After Shirley’s goal, the period fell flat, with neither team scoring. Wisconsin accumulated 12 shots on goal to total 28 in the game, while Penn State only produced five shots on goal.
“Sophie’s speed and skills are incredible,” Roque said. “She has that scoring touch, Daryl has a great brain and scoring touch too. Myself, I’m more of the battler… not the speed so much for myself.”
Less than a minute into the third period, senior defender and team captain Mekenzie Steffen passed off the puck to Roque, who found the back of the net, bringing the score to 5-0.
Four minutes into the third period, Roque passed the puck off to Boston College transfer junior forward Daryl Watts who then passed it over Burke’s pads and into the goal. After official review, referees confirmed the goal. A minute later, Roque scored her second of the night, a shorthanded goal that she slipped past the Nittany Lions defense.
“Sophie and Abby have such great vision and they can also both finish so well,” Watts said. “We’re having a lot of fun together. That’s why you play hockey- just to have fun. When you’re happy and you’re having fun playing the game, I think you play better.”
The Badgers and Nittany Lions will faceoff tomorrow night at LaBahn for a rematch at 7 p.m..