MADISON, Wis. -- It was a tale of two halves on Saturday afternoon for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team, as the Badgers scored five consecutive goals in the final 30 minutes of play to claim a 6-3 victory, and weekend sweep, over St. Cloud State at LaBahn Arena.
The Badgers (10-4-2, 6-4-2-2 WCHA) found themselves down 3-1 in before the halfway mark of the second period after the Huskies (4-11-0, 2-10-0-0) took advantage of a five-minute major penalty assessed to Wisconsin. However, UW would go on to dominate the remainder of the contest, pulling off its second come-from-behind win of the season.
After scoring on the power play in the second period to cut UW’s deficit to one, Madison Packer scored in the first three minutes of the third period to even the score. Packer scored the equalizer after receiving a pass from Brianna Decker on the left side of the goal.
Later in the period, Natalie Berg scored her first career goal as a Badger in a great individual effort. The senior defenseman picked up the puck deep in the UW zone, skated the length of the ice, found open ice in the slot and fired a shot past SCSU tender Katie Fitzgerald to give Wisconsin a 4-3 lead.
Two minutes later, Lauren Unser scored her first goal of the season off a centering pass from Ericka Sowchuk. Unser lasered the puck into the upper-left corner of the goal, just past the blocker of Fitzgerald.
The icing on the cake came from Decker on an empty net while also short-handed. From the opposite end of the ice, Decker won a faceoff and cleared the puck the length of the ice, landing it in the back of the empty-net for unassisted short-handed goal.
Alex Rigsby had a harder job in today's game, making 26 saves, including 10 on the penalty kill. The defense in front of Rigsby blocked a total of 19 shots, the same amount Rigsby faced in Friday’s contest against St. Cloud State.
Decker scored the first goal of the game, just five minutes in while on a power play. St. Cloud State tied the game up later in the opening period with a goal from Vanessa Spataro.
The Huskies took the lead in the second period with a goal from Haylea Schmid, while on a five-minute major power play, to go up 2-1. A minute later St. Cloud State scored again with a four-on-four, unassisted goal from Audrey Hanmer.
The Badgers went two-for-eight on power-play opportunities, while killing eight-of-its-nine penalties.
The Badgers travel to No. 1 Minnesota to take on the undefeated Golden Gophers next weekend. Game times are set for 2 p.m. on both Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2.
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