Badger women sweep North Dakota with 3-0 victory - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badger women sweep North Dakota with 3-0 victory

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MADISON, Wis. – The No. 9 Wisconsin women's hockey team scored three goals in the second period to earn the sweep over No. 8 North Dakota on Sunday afternoon at LaBahn Arena. Alex Rigsby only allowed one goal in the game, coming off a tough five-on-three penalty-kill situation for the Badgers.
 
The sweep moves Wisconsin (12-6-2, 8-6-2-2 WCHA) within one point of Ohio State for second place in the WCHA. North Dakota (11-7-0, 8-6-0-0 WCHA) drops to fourth in the conference, four points behind the Badgers.
 
"It was a good sign that we came out of yesterday's game with some confidence and some jump," said head coach Mark Johnson.
 
After a scoreless first period of hockey, UW's offense came out hot in the second period. Courtney Burke scored a power-play goal after picking up a loose puck from Madison Packer. Burke netted the goal, sneaking it past Shleby Amsley-Benzie's five-hole.
 
Two minutes later, Packer scored a goal of her own, going top shelf to put the Badgers up 2-0.
 
After another two minutes, the Badgers found themselves on a penalty kill, but Brianna Decker scored her second short-handed goal of the season on a highlight reel play. The play started when Katarina Zgraja blocked a shot in the defensive zone. Decker picked up the loose puck and skated into the offensive zone and toe-dragged around two defenders to gain an unopposed look on net. She finished the play by cutting across the front on Amsley-Benzie and put the puck in the back of the net off her backhand.
 
"I couldn't be more proud of the team today," Decker said. "We had a bunch of blocked shots and this is a big six points this weekend. It was a great team to beat right before the break started." 
 
Wisconsin's defense was solid, killing six of North Dakota's seven power-play opportunities. Rigsby recorded 26 saves, including 11 on the power play, and her defense blocked 20 shots. Wisconsin's offense was more dominant in game two, as they out-shot North Dakota 31-27.
 
The only goal the Badgers allowed came in the third period on a five-on-three power play for UND.  Meghan Dufault scored the goal, after the Badgers were assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind and a two minute minor for interference.
 
"We did a lot of good things on the penalty kill, the kids blocked a lot of shots, which is tough to do and we had a bunch of saves from Alex when we needed them," Johnson said.
 
In all, a total of 64 penalty minutes were called in the game, including checking from behind infractions, which carry a five-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct.

Wisconsin went 1-8 on the power-play, taking a total of 10 shots on the man advantage.
 
The Badgers return to the ice on January 4, hosting the Minnesota Whitecaps in an exhibition game at LaBahn arena at 7 p.m. Wisconsin then faces Ohio State on January 11-12 at home.
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