The top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team (26–1–1) continued its march toward a conference championship by sweeping St. Cloud State (6–17–3) this weekend in front of a pair of sold-out crowds.
On Saturday, Maddie Rowe scored two goals and Kristen Campbell pitched a simple 13-save shutout in a rather routine 4–0 victory. Badger fans have seen well over 100 types of victories over the years at LaBahn Arena and the Kohl Center. Excellent goaltending, great defense, and controlling shots on goal are very much the norm in Madison.
Sunday was quite a different story for the Badgers, as they held on for a 3–2 victory. Wisconsin’s passing was sloppy throughout most of the game, and it held only a marginal lead in shots until the third period. It’s been a long time since the Badgers have struggled this much against St. Cloud at home.
The Badgers needed someone to step up, and Maddie Rolfes answered the call by sealing the win with a goal and an assist.
In the first period of Sunday’s game, Campbell made a critical and spectacular save on a breakaway St Cloud opportunity. Looking back, this save was the difference between a win and a tie in the game.
Perhaps the best offensive play of the weekend belongs to Alexis Maurmann, as she used her incredible speed to create an open look and bury the first goal of Sunday’s match.
Because Wisconsin swept St. Cloud and Duluth swept Ohio State, the Badgers’ magic number to win the WCHA is down to one game (three points) with six games to go. Wisconsin will head to Columbus next weekend with an opportunity to meet one of its season goals.
Any of the following scenarios will give the Badgers the WCHA regular-season title outright:
- Badgers win one game
- Badgers tie three games
- Badgers tie two games and win one shootout
- Badgers tie both games vs. Ohio State
- Badgers tie one game vs. Ohio State and win the shootout
- Ohio State loses one game
- Ohio State ties three times
- Ohio State ties twice and loses one of the shootouts
Wisconsin will return to LaBahn Feb. 16–17 to face rival Minnesota, but the conference will likely be decided well before then. The games are sold-out, but some people leave extra tickets at the doors, so there is a chance you will be able to get in if you desire.