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Wisconsin women's hockey: Badgers manhandle Minnesota State-Mankato 8-0, sweep weekend series

The Badgers outscored Mankato 16-2 over two games.

Sarah Nurse carries the puck up the ice against Minnesota State
Sarah Nurse carries the puck up the ice against Minnesota State
Nicole Haase

Seven different Badgers scored enroute to an 8-0 victory Friday afternoon at LaBahn Arena. After Thursday's 8-2 win, it was the first such lopsided series since the Badgers swept Lindenwood in that team's first season as a DI program.

The ability to spread the wealth among the different lines has been a positive for the players.

"I think it’s a huge asset for our team that we have three lines, four lines that can put the puck in the net. It’s hard to defend for other teams and I think it’s going to be something that’s going to play to our advantage for the rest of the year," said sophomore Sydney McKibbon.

After Coach Mark Johnson's vocal concerns about the game times and his student-athletes having to rush to the rink after class, the Badgers didn't seem to have any issues.

"I think everyone was just really ready to go after yesterday’s game, we just knew we couldn’t come out flat," said junior Jorie Walters.

Minnesota State, skating with just ten forwards and eight defenders, managed to hold the Badgers in check for the first period. It was a decided difference from Thursday's game. The Mavericks got an early power play in the first period and Walters, getting her second start this season in goal, held them off. Wisconsin took back some momentum after that, but scored just once in the first period.

The first goal came when senior captain Blayre Turnbull cleaned up an unexpected rebound puck right in front of the net. Senior assistant captain Karley Sylvester redirected a pass from redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman and it initially appeared that Minnesota State goalie Brianna Quade had the puck held. It then fell to the ice and Turnbull buried it in the net.

The second period is when the Badgers opened up the flood gates and the Mavericks were not able to handle the onslaught.

The second goal came :34 seconds into the period and was a beauty of a slap shot from junior Courtney Burke, who teed it up at mid-ice right at the blue line and let it rip. Sylvester had to contort herself to not get in the way and the Burke shot found the back of the net.

The Badgers had gone 0-6 on power plays over the first four periods of the series, but McKibbon ended the drought with a pretty, one-touch redirect on a pass from Josephs.

"Two power play goals early on (in the second period) really set the tone for the success we had over the twenty minutes. Starting the second period with that power play and scoring, you go from 1-0 to 2-0 and then we get another power play to make it 3-0, that was a good statement to make. You take control of the game. Sometimes you can create energy from a power play, even though you don’t score. If you’re on our side of the bench, you’re pretty excited about what just happened," said coach Mark Johnson.

Senior Katarina Zgraja got her first on the season shortly after when an Annie Pankowski shot hit her as she was standing right on the post and the puck fell into the net.

Sophomore Sarah Nurse showed the pretty skating, speed and puck handling we’re coming to know her for when she carried it up much of the ice on the left-hand side and put a little wrister on net the slotted home for the fifth goal of the night.

Sylvester scored her sixth of the season when her crossing pass from the right circle found the back of the net.

In almost a carbon copy of her goal, Nurse had the puck wide and this time fed McKibbon, who put home her second of the night.

Rounding out the scoring on the night, Pankowski unleashed her huge shot and Quade couldn't handle it. It popped right off her and dribbled into the net.

Turnbull ended the weekend with sixth points, doubling her previous total of five assists. Freshman Maddies Rolfes entered the weekend without having tallied a point and finished with three assists.

Sylvester ended the weekend with two goals and two assists and she leads the nation with 13 assists. Pankowski is right behind her with 12 assists.