Wisconsin sweeps opening home set

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin’s women’s hockey team tied the NCAA unbeaten streak of 30, with two solid wins of 3-0 and 3-1 over Robert Morris at the Kohl Center this weekend.Before the game Friday night, UW unveiled its 2007 NCAA Championship banner in a celebration with fireworks and a commemorative video for the 2006-07 season.The games were never really in doubt from the start as the Badgers dominated puck control and outskated the Colonials. The Colonials did, however, improve from the last time the two schools played, when the Badgers won 10-0 and 5-0 in the 2006-07 season.A major reason the games were closer this time was RMU goalkeeper Brianne McLaughlin.“When you throw almost a hundred shots at her, and she only gives us six goals, she has obviously had a pretty good weekend,” Badgers coach Mark Johnson said. “I think from a goaltender’s perspective when you know you are going to get a bunch of shots, it is almost easier to play, but she made some nice saves. We had some golden opportunities, and she robbed us.”“I think she played excellent both games,” senior alternate captain Jinelle Zaugg added. “She is a big goalie, and she came up really big. We had a lot of opportunities, and she stopped us.”McLaughlin let in six goals, but she turned aside 88 shots in the two games combined. Of the six goals she let in, all were more due to impressive play by the Badgers than through her own fault.Friday night, the Badgers came out with a lot of energy, firing three shots in the first minute of the game. UW finally found the net when junior Erika Lawler scored 16 minutes, 22 seconds into the game off assists from junior Angie Keseley and sophomore Meghan Duggan.The Badgers went on to score two more times and were led by Duggan and Zaugg who had two points apiece. Junior goaltender Jessie Vetter recorded her 17th career shutout as she needed only 11 saves to shut down the Colonials.Saturday, the Badgers started the game with a lot of energy, shooting early and often. They got on the board 9 minutes, 15 seconds into the game on a power play goal scored by freshman Malee Windmeier, her first collegiate goal.“I think the freshmen do really well,” Zaugg said. “It takes a little time to get used to each other, but the freshmen make it very easy to play with them. They move the puck really well, they work really hard and they spread some energy throughout the team.”The Badgers added two more goals — one more in the first period and one in second — before slipping up in the third period.Wisconsin allowed its first goal of the season to the Colonials sophomore Mallory Giambra, who scored on a slap shot from the left point 16:14 into the third period on a power play.Lawler and freshman Hilary Knight led the Badgers in scoring with two points apiece.Early in the season, a point of emphasis for UW was special teams. Combining both games, the Badgers went 2-for-11 in power play chances, and the Colonials went 1-for-7.“With our power play, we are just trying to find chemistry,” Johnson said. “We haven’t had a lot of opportunities up to this point to practice them, with about eight or 10 practices. Our special teams will be a point of emphasis this week in practice, but it is like anything with a new season. It is a work in progress, so we will continue to work on it and get better at it.”The Badgers scored two of their six goals on power plays, but both goals were in two-man advantage situations. Nine times the Badgers were up one player, but despite 19 shots, they could not produce any goals.Besides special teams, the Badgers dominated every area of the game. They won the faceoff battle 76-44 which led to dominating puck possession, part of the reason they outshot the Colonials 94-23 in the two games combined.“Faceoffs are a little part of the game, but they make a huge difference. When you win the majority of faceoffs, that leads to puck possession,” Johnson said. “Erika [Lawler], Giles, Deluce, and Kranz — they are all pretty good at faceoffs. It is one of those little things that people don’t maybe look at, but certainly it is a statistic that indicates puck possession, and if you are winning a majority, that is a good thing.”last_img

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