The Wisconsin women’s hockey team (26-10-2) faced the Long Island Sharks (17-15-3) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday. Nine goals were scored by eight different Badgers as they took the 9-1 win over the Sharks to advance.
Neither team scored for the first 10 minutes of play, however, Wisconsin dominated shots on goal.
Caroline Harvey struck first for the Badgers with just over six minutes left in the first. Harvey received a cross-ice pass from Jesse Compher, leaving Harvey wide open to make it 1-0 Wisconsin.
About three minutes later, Britta Curl cushioned the Badger lead. After receiving a centering pass, Curl shot it straight through a Sharks defender and into the net to make it 2-0 Badgers.
With 10.7 seconds left in the first, Kirsten Simms gave Wisconsin their third goal of the night. Simms skated in towards the goal heavily contested and still managed to get the shot off before she was pushed to the ground by a Long Island University defenseman, extending the lead to 3-0.
The first period ended with LIU only getting two shots on goal, compared to the Badgers’ 21.
With the second period underway, the Sharks tallied their first and ultimately last goal. They scored off a behind-the-net pass from Maggie Culp to Sarah Rourke, who shot the puck in to cut the deficit to 3-1.
With just over 13 minutes left in the second, Wisconsin went on a power play and Maddi Wheeler capitalized on the opportunity. Harvey unsuccessfully shot from the blue line before Wheeler came swooping in to pocket the puck in the net. She reached the puck before it could be covered by the Sharks' goalie.
With less than four minutes left in the period, Casey O’Brien joined in on the scoring to push the lead to 5-1. A clearing attempt from the Badgers became a routine goal as O’Brien awaited a pass to poke in the fifth score.
One power-play goal was not enough, as Compher earned another for the Badgers to put the score at 6-1. The tic-tac-toe goal was scored after two rebound attempts from Compher. LIU defenders did everything in their power to stop the puck, but the Badgers’ relentless offense prevailed and Compher converted, ending the second period.
About five minutes into the third, Laila Edwards earned a goal of her own. As three Badgers made their way down the ice, the puck was left with Edwards, who sent it laser straight past the Sharks’ goalie, adding to the comfortable six-goal lead for Wisconsin.
The power-play goals continued for the Badgers as Vivian Jungels tallied the third of the night to make it 8-1. Jungels scored the far-out attempt off a pass from Harvey. She skated in to send the puck sailing over the shoulder of the Sharks goalie for a beautiful goal.
The last goal of the night was scored by Compher — her second of the game — making it 9-1 Wisconsin. Another impressive goal, Compher perfectly positioned her stick to send the puck in from Edwards’ pass.
Shots on goal favored Wisconsin 55-7 by the end. LIU put up an effort, but nothing could deter this red-hot Badger team.
The win means advancement for the Badgers on to the regional final round of the NCAA tournament against Colgate University. The game will kick off on Saturday at 2 p.m.