MADISON, Wis. -- Despite a goal by senior Kelly Jaminski that knotted the score at the end of the first period, the No. 2 Wisconsin women’s hockey team fell to conference opponent and No. 4-ranked North Dakota 4-1 in a top-five showdown at LaBahn Arena Saturday, resulting in the snap of the Badgers’ 16-game unbeaten streak.
Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 2,273 people, the WCHA rivals were physical from the start, with both teams tallying one goal in the first stanza. But the Badgers couldn’t find the back of the net in the remaining two periods, being outscored 3-0 in the final 40 minutes by North Dakota in the loss. Wisconsin now holds a 16-3-2 record, with a 12-3-2-1 conference record.
“In the first period, there were times that we were on our heels,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “I thought the second period went much better. They capitalized on a couple opportunities, and after they got the third goal with about three and a half minutes into the third, I don’t know if we lost some steam, lost some energy, but it certainly wasn’t very pretty after that.”
Jaminski was the lone Badger to light the lamp, marking her third goal of the season and the 10th of her career in the effort.
UND outshot Wisconsin 36-21 overall. Freshman Ann-Renée Desbiens guarded the goal for the Cardinal and White, making 32 saves in her first collegiate loss. North Dakota goaltender Lexie Shaw recorded 20 saves.
UND was first to score, as senior Michelle Karvinen snuck the puck past Desbiens on a breakaway in the heart of the first period to claim an early 1-0 lead. But the Badgers answered just minutes later as Jaminski fired a rocket from 15 feet out over the shoulder of UND goaltender Lexie Shaw and into the upper shelf to even the score heading into the second stanza.
The Badgers had multiple scoring opportunities during a physical second period, including a few rushes to UND’s crease during a UW power play, but were unable to find success. The lone goal of the period came from North Dakota freshman Susanna Tapani, who broke free from the Wisconsin defense and flicked a quick shot past Desbiens with just under a minute remaining.
Despite outshooting UND 10-8 in the second, the Badgers trailed their WCHA foe 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes.
North Dakota continued its strong offensive push in the third period, scoring two goals in the first eight minutes of the final frame. UND found the back of the net 3:53 into the period when a chaotic rush to Wisconsin’s net resulted in a goal for North Dakota. Four minutes later, UND tallied its final goal by batting it past Desbiens to give North Dakota a 4-1 advantage.
“It’s a learning experience,” Johnson said. “This group hasn’t lost a game since early October, so how do you handle it when you get scored on? It’s an opportunity to grow. It’s an opportunity for reflection. The big thing is how you respond tomorrow.”
The teams face off again in the series conclusion Sunday at 3 p.m.