The No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle in women’s hockey lived up to the hype and then some this past weekend in Madison. The top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (10-0-0, 6-0-0 WCHA) swept the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-2-0, 6-2-0 WCHA) at LaBahn Arena in two tightly contested matchups.
The game on Sunday afternoon was everything you wanted in a top tier showdown. Evenly matched, great goals, fantastic saves...you name it, the game had it.
Senior defender Nicole LaMantia lit the lamp twice, including the OT winner shown above, to lead Wisconsin to a 2-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd. Her goals were her first two of the season and couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
After the game, head coach Mark Johnson was asked about having LaMantia out there for the 3-on-3 OT period, “You’re just looking for an opportunity. They backed up a little bit and Nicole walked in and had a great view of it and it was a great shot. It was a great shot.”
Goalie Kennedy Blair stopped 52 of the 54 shots she saw on the weekend while picking up her eighth and ninth wins of the season.
On Saturday, the Badgers beat the Buckeyes 3-1, after going down 1-0 in the first period, thanks to goals from Daryl Watts, Casey O’Brien and Grace Bowlby. Makenna Webster had an assist on Saturday to push her nation-leading point total to 22.
Watts moved into a tie for tenth place in NCAA women’s ice hockey history for career goals as the senior now has 115 goals between her time at BC and Wisconsin. She also has 260 points and is two away from tying UW legend Hillary Knight for eighth all-time in NCAA history.
The Badgers hit the road next weekend to Mankato, Minn., to take on the Mavericks. Friday puck drop is set for 3 p.m. CT while Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m. CT.