DULUTH, Minn. -- Junior Karley Sylvester scored with just under 18 minutes remaining in the third period to give the No. 2 Wisconsin women’s hockey team a 1-0 triumph over WCHA rival Minnesota Duluth Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.
Sylvester fired a laser into the top corner of the net after senior Madison Packer found Sylvester on a breakaway at the 2:12 mark in the third period. The goal was Sylvester’s sixth of the season, and gave UW a lead it would never relinquish.
“It was going to come down to who was going to make the play and both teams were getting some opportunities and we were able to capitalize in the early part of the third period,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said.
“Packer had a nice breakout pass,” Sylvester said. “We were going down on a 3-on-1 and I saw the goalie cheating the opposite way a bit so I shot top far corner.”
Senior netminder Alex Rigsby and freshman Ann-Renée Desbiens combined for the shutout, as Desbiens replaced the senior captain midway through the second period. Rigsby made 15 saves in net before leaving with an injury, while Desbiens added 13 stops in the Badgers’ fifth shutout of the season.
“We really did a good job of shutting them down,” Johnson said. “When we did break a little bit Ann did a great job of smothering the puck and keeping it out of the net, so it was a great job.”
Wisconsin (12-2-2, 8-2-2-1 WCHA) outshot Minnesota Duluth (7-6-3, 5-6-3-2) 32-28 in an entertaining game in front of 789 fans.
With the win, the Badgers move into sole possession of second place in the WCHA standings while the Bulldogs remain in fourth. Wisconsin has the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at 12 games.
The game marked the end of a six-game road swing where UW went 4-0-2 and picked up two wins against ranked opponents.
“Anytime you come away with the number of points we did and the victories and the way we played, a lot of credit goes to the players with their preparation and their commitment to practicing hard and coming out and executing,” Johnson said. “It was a good road trip, we had some great experiences and I found out a lot more about our hockey club. So again we get to go home now and try to take care of business back there Friday and Sunday and get a chance to break here.”
Wisconsin wraps up the first half of its season at LaBahn Arena on Dec. 6 and 8 against Bemidji State. Both games are slated for 2 p.m. starts.