The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team (3-1-0 overall, 3-1-0-0 WCHA) returned to the ice after more than a month and swept the Minnesota State Mavericks (2-7-1 overall, 2-7-1-0 WCHA), winning 3-2 on Saturday afternoon and 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously when you win a game the kids are excited and they feel good about themselves, which they should today. Only three practices in about a month, come out and play against a team that’s played quite a few more games than we have and execute the way we did, that’s a positive step,” head coach Mark Johnson said after the game on Saturday.
Senior forward Daryl Watts scored the game-winner on Saturday with just over three minutes remaining in the game. “We feel great right now after being off for so long. To be able to score a late goal to win the game is a great win and it creates great energy moving into tomorrow,” Watts noted after the game.
Junior defenseman Grace Bowlby, who earned Saturday night’s first star, tied a career-high with three assists in the game. UW outshot Minnesota State 30-20, including a 22-11 advantage over the final two periods of play on Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon, the Badgers, despite going 0-for-8 on the power play, clamped down on defense and shutout the Mavericks 1-0. In the third period, Brette Pettet scored the only goal of the game off of assists from Watts and Sophie Shirley. The Badgers outshot the Mavs 38-21 and it could have been an even larger disparity as Minnesota State blocked 22 shots as well.
Wisconsin goalie Kennedy Blair pitched the shutout on Sunday while stopping 18 of 20 shots on Saturday.
Freshmen Makena Webster and Casey O’Brien both opened their accounts in Madison on Saturday.
After the weekend sweep, UW improved to 91-3-3 all time against Minnesota State, including a 40-1-2 ledger in Mankato. The Badgers will be back at home next weekend to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday and Saturday.