GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The trio of Brianna Decker, Carolyne Prévost and Brooke Ammerman combined for five goals and seven assists to lead the Wisconsin women’s hockey team past No. 6 North Dakota, 8-2, at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., Saturday afternoon.
The victory gives Wisconsin its 10th 20-win season as the Badgers improve to 20-2-1 (14-2-1-1 WCHA). North Dakota drops to 13-8-1 (9-7-1-0 WCHA). Wisconsin increases its lead to seven points for first place in the conference standings.
“We had a good week of practice, and even though we’re missing a couple of players, we came out and capitalized on a couple opportunities early in the game,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “We got shutout as a team last weekend against Minnesota in our last game, but they’re competitive players. They came back with a little more fire in their bellies and tonight we played very well.”
Within a 10-minute span overlapping the first and second periods, Wisconsin used a flurry of offense to post a 5-0 lead.
Kelly Jaminski opened the scoring at the 16:43 mark of the first period. Skating end-to-end, Jaminski deked past a UND defender to cut across the front of the North Dakota net before slipping the puck past goaltender Stephanie Ney.
Decker ended the first period with a back-door goal at the 19:37 mark. She continued her offensive blitz and had a hand in the next three UW goals to put the Badgers up 5-0 with more than 35 minutes remaining in the game.
“I think we wanted to come out with a little bit of fire today and prove that we had some goals in the tank,” Decker commented. “We knew it was going to be a tough game, so we wanted to make sure that we came out in the first period and got up by a couple goals.”
Decker’s goal on the power play, at the 4:49 mark of the second period, gave her three for the day and marked her fourth hat trick of the season.
Jocelyne Lamoureux scored in the second period and Michelle Karvinen scored in the third period to give North Dakota two tallies, but Madison Packer, Brooke Ammerman and Katarina Zgraja all scored by game’s end to seal the victory for the Badgers.
Zgraja’s goal was just her second of the season and came off a slap shot from the blue line in the final minute of play.
The game was a physical one as a total of 20 penalties were assessed, nine for Wisconsin and 11 for North Dakota. However, the Badgers only gave up five power-play opportunities while having eight of their own.
Wisconsin returns to the ice tomorrow afternoon to finish the weekend series against North Dakota at 2 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.