MADISON, Wis. -- After shutting down Minnesota State in the first game of the weekend series Friday night, the No. 2-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team fell to the Mavericks, 3-0, Saturday in the second contest of the WCHA first round playoffs at LaBahn Arena.
Despite outshooting MSU 51-22, Wisconsin was unable to find the back of the net. Senior Alex Rigsby made 16 saves in the losing effort, bringing her season record to 15-5-2.
“The big thing is to recover and understand that tomorrow’s game, if you are able to win, then you move on, and if you don’t you are done,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “We had a good opportunity today and we didn’t capitalize on it. We gave them a little bit of life but tomorrow we have to establish ourselves.”
The Mavericks were strong out of the gate, punching in a rebound shot within the first two minutes of the game to take an early 1-0 advantage. Wisconsin outshot the Mavericks 17-5 and saw multiple scoring opportunities in the first period, but some heroics in the MSU crease held the Badgers scoreless heading into the middle frame.
Minnesota State extended its lead in the second, sneaking a shot past Rigsby at the 5:31 mark to score the only goal of the stanza. The Badgers outshot the Mavericks again in the second period, 14-10.
MSU found more offensive success in the third, lighting the lamp for the third time during the Badgers’ first power play of the game three minutes into the period. The Mavericks were called for three more penalties in the final 20 minutes, but the Badgers were unable to convert on the power play opportunities.
The conclusion of the best-of-three series begins at 4 p.m. Sunday. The winner of Sunday’s contest will skate in the WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF March 7-8 in Bemidji, Minn.