Knight's Hat Trick Powers UW Past No. 7 Bemidji State, 6-1

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Wrapping up the 2011 portion of the season, the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team completed the weekend sweep against No. 7 Bemidji State by a score of 6-1 on Saturday.

The Badgers improve to 19-1-0 (13-1-0-0 WCHA) as they head into the winter break, with the only loss coming against then-No. 3 Minnesota on Oct. 16. Bemidji State falls to 10-7-2 (6-7-1-0 WCHA). Wisconsin will hold at least a two-game lead over Minnesota for first place in the conference when the two teams meet on Jan. 6-7 in Minneapolis.

After being stifled yesterday by BSU goalie Zuzana Tomcikova, the Badgers capitalized on more of their chances as they put five goals past Tomcikova on just 24 shots.

Starting the scoring off early, Hilary Knight scored her third shorthanded goal of the season just over three minutes into the game. Brianna Decker and Knight entered the BSU end on a two-on-one and Decker made a great pass to the far post as Knight tapped in the backdoor attempt.

Brooke Ammerman added the second tally for Wisconsin at the 12 minute mark of the period off a scramble in front of the net. Katarina Zgraja took a shot from the point that Decker deflected in front of the net. In the ensuing scramble for the loose puck, Ammerman found it first for her 17th goal of the season.

Just 48 seconds later, Knight scored again to put the Badgers up 3-0 after she redirected a pass from Ammerman past Tomcikova.

At the 14:03 mark, Bemidji State netted its lone goal of the game off the stick of freshman Kristi King.

In the second period, Stefanie McKeough assisted on two goals as Brianna Decker scored her first of the game at the 12:42 mark and Knight tallied her third with one second left in the period while both teams where short one player.

McKeough then scored a goal of her own just one minute into the third period while the Badgers were on a four-on-three power play. Receiving the pass at the far side, McKeough’s shot hit a defender’s stick and deflected into the back of the net past Alana McElhinney, who relieved Tomcikova at the start of the period. Knight and Ammerman received assists on the goal.

The Badgers went 1-6 on the power play, while killing off six BSU chances. Wisconsin’s penalty kill went a perfect 9-9 on the weekend against a very potent BSU power-play unit.

Alex Rigsby made 28 saves in the contest for the Badgers and picked up her 19th win of the season. Tomcikova had 19 saves while McElhinney had six for the Beavers.

Wisconsin returns to the ice on Jan. 6-7, 2012, as the Badgers travel to Minneapolis for a weekend series against WCHA-foe Minnesota.

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