Led by a WCHA Forward of the Week performance by Senior forward Casey O’Brien, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team secured a sweep of Minnesota State this past weekend in chilly Mankato.
Friday night’s affair saw the Badgers come out colder than the Minnesota winter air outside the Mayo Clinic Event Center, no doubt leaving Mark Johnson’s skaters feeling a little sick after falling behind the Mavericks, 2-0.
But, the squad got a lifeline in the form of a late second-period goal by Cassie Hall, which pulled the Badgers to within a goal, 2-1, heading into the 2nd intermission.
Wisconsin then potted two more in the third period, one each by Kelly Gorbatenko and Kirsten Simms, to pull out a closer-than-expected 3-2 win, pushing the Badgers to 19-4 (13-4 in the WCHA).
Said Johnson after the game: “Hopefully we can rebound tomorrow and come back and play three solid periods.”
Not shockingly, the Badgers did just that, hitting the ice for game two with a renewed pep and fire, going up 2-0 less than two minutes into the game on snipes by Vivian Jungels and O’Brien.
After Minnesota State halved that lead heading into the second, Wisconsin doubled its advantage to 4-2 at the second intermission on goals from Hall and Britta Curl.
The Badgers stayed on the gas in the third period, clearing away the Maverick defense like a Zamboni by adding three more goals from Laila Edwards (a pretty shorthanded tally), Simms, and Maddi Wheeler to blow out the Mavericks, 7-2.
For her efforts, Hall took home WCHA Freshman of the Week honors for the third time this season.
With the sweep, Wisconsin is now on a seven-game winning streak and sits at 20-4 (14-4 in the WCHA), good for No. 2 in the country and No. 2 in the WCHA—behind Ohio State in both. The Badgers stay on the road this upcoming weekend as they take on a talented Minnesota-Duluth squad that plays very tough at home.