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Wisconsin women's hockey: No. 4 Badgers 1, No. 7 Clarkson 1

An unsatisfactory outcome for the Badgers as they once again heavily out-shot their opponents

Redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman shoots on net in the first period
Redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman shoots on net in the first period
Nicole Haase

MADISON - When you're not losing, it's hard to consider them woes, but Wisconsin's inability to put the puck in the net has to be leaving the Badger women's hockey team feeling like something is plaguing them of late.

Over their past five games, the Badgers have just five goals to show for 196 shots on goal. What was once maybe merely an annoyance has now become a pattern as Wisconsin continues to fire the puck anywhere but at the goalie and fails to find the firepower that was a hallmark of the early part of their season.

In last Saturday's OT win, the Wisconsin attempted 121 shots, scoring just twice. Today, they unleashed 83 - just 35 were on goal and just one went in the net.

There's no right answer for how to end this drought, but the frustration is clear among players and coach Mark Johnson. There's only so many times they can be asked the same question a different way and it's not as though they don't want to be scoring more.

"We just need to find a way to get it to two, three or four. We’ve just been having trouble the last couple of weekends. It’s been 1-1 after two periods, and it comes down to a 20 minute game. Neither team found a way to get the winner today,” said Johnson.

"“It’s a matter of continuing to get scoring chances. Eventually the tide changes and the puck will be going in. Your special teams become important at times in the game and you get a power play and need to score and that’s when we need to step up. Those things as you get in late in the season and get into the playoffs, those things become huge factors.”

Clarkson got on the board first, when junior Cayley Mercer made a nice play to get around sophomore Mellissa Channell and slotted the puck past sophomore goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens.

The Badgers answered less than three minutes later with a rare power play goal. They moved the puck well and got some shots on the net, but couldn't break through. Eventually a scrum in front of the net left a puck wide open and senior Karley Sylvester lunged for it and poked it home to tie the game.

But that was the end of the scoring. Wisconsin

The game held a frenetic pace for much of the first period. There were few whistles and Wisconsin had to use it's timeout halfway through the period when two consecutive icings prevented them from changing out a line that had been on the ice for a prolonged period.

The team is connecting on passes, peppering the net and generally doing the things they're meant to be doing, which means there's not much to do but wait it out and hope these foibles come to an end or work themselves out before they cause too much damage to Wisconsin's post-season aspirations.

Maybe a real signpost of where Wisconsin stands on this will be next weekend, when they head to Minnesota State, a team they hung 16 goals on earlier in the season. If ever there was a chance to find your scoring stroke, as it were, again, this would be it.

As previewed, it was the return to Madison for former Badger captain and standout Meghan Duggan, who is currently an assistant coach at Clarkson. Duggan was specifically noted during pre-game introductions and received cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd.

duggan bench

The teams are back in action on Sunday at 12 pm at LaBahn Arena.