Brette Pettet and Daryl Watts each recorded a hat-trick, Sophie Shirley added a goal and assist, and the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team (7-2-0) cruised to a 10-0 stomping of St. Cloud State (3-8-1) to open the series on Friday.
The Badgers were already in control early in the game, leading the shots battle 6-1 through the first seven minutes before going on the powerplay due to St. Cloud State being caught with too many players on the ice.
Pettet made the Huskies pay on the man advantage, poking a rebound shot past St. Cloud State goaltender Sanni Ahloa to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies managed to keep Wisconsin at bay for the rest of the first period, but the 12-4 shot difference in favor of the Badgers was a sign of things to come.
Wisconsin blew the doors wide open in the second period by scoring three times in as many minutes to take complete command of the game.
Britta Curl started the second-period scoring, getting behind the defense and backhanding a shot just over Ahloa's glove to double the Badger lead eight minutes into the second 20 minutes of play.
All of a sudden, it looked as though Wisconsin was ready to put this game to rest.
Just over a minute later, Lacey Eden picked the same spot as Curl and sent a wrist shot over the glove of Ahloa and into the net to extend the lead to three. For Eden, that was her second career goal in just her third game as a Badger. The freshman, who transferred from Princeton after the Ivy League canceled their season due to COVID-19, has shown little signs of first-year nerves, shooting the puck very well for the Badgers.
In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, The Wisconsin lead grew to four 90 seconds later when senior Daryl Watts got herself into the scoring column on a rebound goal. Watts found herself in the right place at the right time when a Shirley shot bounced off Ahola and hit Watts, sliding right into the now-open goal.
After having three goals in such quick succession, the Badgers had to wait what probably felt like an eternity for their next goal — but it was actually just four more minutes.
Pettet netted her second of the contest on the Badgers' second powerplay of the game following another too many players on the ice penalty on SCSU, going down to one knee to bring the score to 5-0.
Pettet sent theoretical hats onto the ice from the cardboard fans three minutes later, scoring her third and Wisconsin's sixth goal of the game.
The Huskies made a goalie change to start the final period, but that didn't slow down the Badgers one bit. Watts took a pass from Pettet and scored on the first shot Emma Polusny faced only 19 seconds into the third to bring the Badger lead to a touchdown: 7-0.
Two more penalties against St. Cloud State forced the Huskies to kill off a 5-on-3 Badger powerplay. The good news for the Huskies was they managed to get back to even strength; the bad news was Sophie Shirley joined her fellow linemates in the scoring column just one second into even-strength hockey to make the score 8-0, Badgers.
Watts later secured her hat trick, intercepting a pass in the offensive zone and putting one passed Polusny to officially give Wisconsin more goals (9) than SCSU had shots on goal (8) at the time.
The Badgers killed off their only penalty of the game shortly after and then found themselves right back on the powerplay after that.
Caitlin Schneider scored her first goal of the season on that powerplay to bring the score to a round 10-0.
Kennedy Blair stopped all eight shots she faced before letting redshirt junior backup Breanna Blesi come in for the third period and save seven shots herself.
The Badgers finished outshooting the Huskies 49-15 (21-5 in the second period), scored on three of their five powerplays and matched their largest win over St. Cloud State with a ten-goal margin, tying the record they set the last time these two played.
UW seems to be reverting to the excellent powerplay team that they were last year, and head coach Mark Johnson believes his captain's stellar play is to thank.
"One of the big reasons is that our power play has started to work pretty well," Johnson said. "[Pettet] has been able to capitalize on some powerplay goals and open up the game with a powerplay and we scored on it."
Wisconsin will look to keep this momentum going when they try for the sweep Friday at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on FloHockey.com.