The Badgers (5-1-0) faced the St. Thomas Tommies (0-2-0) on Friday and Saturday for the first time since St. Thomas moved up to Division I last season.
Wisconsin demonstrated ruthless offense and strong defense, allowing only one goal across the two-game series — marking the first-ever win at home against the Tommies. Badger goalies Cami Kronish and Jane Gervais saved a total of 28 shots, and Kronish earned her second career shutout.
The Badgers came out looking confident and in-control Friday night. Grace Shirley kicked things off, scoring her first goal of the season early in the period. Receiving a deflected pass from freshman Claire Enright, Shirley flipped the puck over the goalie to score, making it 1-0 Wisconsin.
Sarah Wozniewicz blasted a shot over the shoulder of Tommies goalie Saskia Maurer to score the second goal of the night and end the first period with the Badgers up by two.
With the second period underway, Wisconsin successfully killed a penalty and then went on a power play after Lacy Eden was tripped up. The Tommies executed the penalty kill against the Badgers, but Kirsten Simms scored shortly after. Simms received the puck after two Tommies players collided. Skating uncontested, Simms moved around the goalie and backhanded the puck in, putting the Badgers up by three.
The Badgers kept the offensive pressure on the Tommies and played out the remaining five minutes of the second period, ending 3-0 Badgers for that period.
The Badgers began the third period with a comfortable three-goal lead. Enright counted her first career goal off a pass from behind the net from Marianne Picard. Enright battled it out with the goalie, overpowering Maurer and scoring the fourth goal of the night.
With six minutes left in the period, Grace Shirley tallied her second of the night — making it look easy as she shot off one knee, sending the puck right past the Tommies’ goalie. The game ended in a shutout for the Badgers who won 5-0. The final shots on goal favored Wisconsin 43-9.
The Badgers upped the scoring in game two with nine goals from eight players. Gervais made a total of 19 saves and only let one goal through.
Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey started off the second night strong for the Badgers, as Harvey made a backhanded pass to Edwards who rocketed the puck right over the shoulder of goalie Alexa Dobchuk just five minutes into the period.Wozniewicz had no trouble skating through the Tommies defense as she scored the second goal of the night and her second of the weekend.
The Badgers did not make it easy for Dobchuk, who blocked multiple shot attempts from all angles. However, the defense was no match for Harvey who scored her first goal as a Badger all the way from the Tommies’ blue line.
Nicole LaMantia decided to join in on the scoring run for the Badgers as she overpowered the goalie and scored the fourth of the night. The Badgers did not hold back their aggressive playing style, which landed them two penalty kills. They successfully killed the first penalty, and the period ended with the Badgers up by four, with time left on the second penalty kill.
In the second period, Gabby Billing put St. Thomas on the board with her first goal as a Tommie. Billings made a diving shot to earn the power play goal and put the score at 4-1 Badgers.
The Badgers quickly responded to the St. Thomas goal with a goal from Maddi Wheeler who scored off a pass from senior captain Britta Curl. The Badgers quickly made two more goals, one from Jessie Compher, which marked her 50th career goal, and the other from Nicole LaMantia.
The pressure got to the Tommies, who earned two penalties in a row for hooking and tripping, giving the Badgers a two-man advantage. Curl made sure not to waste the power plays, as she scored an impressive tic-tac-toe goal with help from Sophie Shirley and Natalie Buchbinder — making it 8-1 Wisconsin. The game went into its final intermission with the Badgers having two back-to-back four goal periods.
The third period went by quickly, as the Badgers added yet another goal to their lead. O’Brien scored her first of the night, spinning into position and easily shooting the ninth and final goal for the team, putting the score at 9-1 Badgers.
The series was yet another dominating sweep for the Badgers, who continue to demonstrate their relentless offensive playing style. Even with several power plays for the Tommies, the Badgers managed to remain in St. Thomas’ offensive zone for most of the night.
Next week, Wisconsin will travel to St. Cloud, Minnesota to face off against the St. Cloud Huskies. The Badgers are hoping to maintain their attacking mindset and continue their win streak.