The Wisconsin women's hockey team set a program record for shots in a period (32) and a shots in a game against a conference opponent (68) Thursday night as they peppered the Minnesota State-Mankato goal early and often.
Six different Badgers scored goals while freshman Annie Pankowski notched a hat trick and senior captain Blayre Turnbull had three assists
Minnesota State goalie junior Erin Krichiver received little help from her defense, gave up a lot of rebounds and generally held herself pretty well from the offensive onslaught of a Badger team that featured all of it's weapons for the first time in about three weeks.
The Badgers came out and put three in the net in a 3:41 time fame to start the first period. Freshman Lauren Williams scored her first goal as a Badgers when her snipe from the left side found the top corner.
"(It was) surreal - you just want to get the puck off your stick as soon as you can and it's great when it finds its way to the net. It's a great feeling," said Williams. "It's nice to get it off your back and definitely gives you a little bit of a confidence boost and lifts you up a little bit."
Williams has described herself as much more defensive-minded, so scoring a goal isn't on her radar.
"I definitely don't go into every game expecting to get one. I go into every game thinking I have to take care of my own end first, so whenever I get a goal or assist, it's just an added bonus," she said.
Senior Katy Josephs and freshman Emily Clark each added a goal before Minnesota State found a break in the D and put one past sophomore Ann-Renée Desbiens to make it 3-1 Wisconsin at the end of the first.
Pankowski opened the scoring in the second, the first of her three goals on the night. She leads the nation in assists, but has struggled to find her scoring stroke.
"It was definitely brewing and there was definitely a little frustration, so it was nice to put one in," Pankowski said.
She is recently returned to the team from competing with the US Women's National Team at the Four Nations Cup.
"(I want to) take what I learned and translate it to the game here at the college level," said Pankowski.
Despite taking a commanding lead, the Badgers kept the pressure on Minnesota State, allowing just two shots on goal in the third period.
This series was one of the only all season where coach Mark Johnson has had his full roster available to him. Between injuries and player commitments to national teams, the Badgers have been rolling different line combinations and trying to find chemistry on the ice. Having everyone together for the bye week and now to face Mankato allows the Badgers to head into the second part of the season in full gear.
"We're getting better. We had everybody back and everybody available tonight, so that always makes things more interesting. It's a long season, it's a work in process. We try to create good habits and for the most part it was an overall pretty good game," said Johnson.
The two teams meet at 3 pm on Friday, meaning a short turnaround time and students rushing to LaBahn from classes, something Johnson was concerned about before the weekend.
"Today we did a good job of (focusing on hockey when the puck dropped). Tonight we came out the first 12 minutes and really dictated the pace and made it difficult to play against us. Tomorrow we have to match that....Today's going to be over tonight and you have to come out tomorrow and do the same thing."
Freshman Maddie Rolfes tallied her first points as a Badger, assisting on Emily Clark's first period and Sydney McKibbon's third period goals.
Redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman had the second assist on Emily Clark's goal, putting her 15th on the Badger all- time points list with 116 career points, passing Meaghan Mikkelson.