On Friday night, the Wisconsin Badgers (24-9-2) women’s hockey team shut down the Minnesota State Mavericks (15-19-1) in a 3-0 win for their first game of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoffs. Cami Kronish earned her seventh career shutout, saving all 21 shot attempts from the Mavericks.
The first period went scoreless. Although the Badgers earned some more shots on goal early, the Mavericks evened things out by the end of the period.
In the second, the Badgers came out with more aggression, earning a goal just under three minutes into the period to make it 1-0. Kirsten Simms earned the goal for Wisconsin, scoring all the way from the blue line.
After a battle along the boards, the Mavericks attempted to clear the puck, but it was instead intercepted by Simms. She then fired the puck towards the goal, causing it to take a couple of skips and land in the net past the unexpecting MSU goalie Alexa Berg.
At the 14-minute mark, Harvey posted a goal of her own with an assist from Maddi Wheeler. Wheeler managed to draw four defenders away from Harvey, who was left with a wide open lane to skate the puck in and score, making it 2-0 Wisconsin.
With just over six minutes left, Sarah Wozniewicz picked up a goal with help from Casey O’Brien. O’Brien sent the puck gliding in towards the center of the goal. The puck deflected off of a Maverick’s stick, and the deflection was poked in by Wozniewicz to make it 3-0 Badgers.
Despite their lead, Wisconsin stayed aggressive in the third period, leading to highs in both shots and penalties. Wisconsin outshot the Mavericks 18-5 in the third alone. Of the five total penalties committed by the Badgers, three were in the final period of play.
Luckily for the Badgers, nothing came from the MSU power plays, and the game ended 3-0 Wisconsin. It was a tremendous win to start the playoff push for Wisconsin, who will face Minnesota State again on Saturday for Game 2 of the WCHA playoffs, starting at 3 p.m.
If the Badgers win, they will advance to the final round of playoffs; if they lose, they will play a third game against the Mavericks on Sunday to break the tie, sending the winning team to the finals.