The No. 2-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team (29-4-2, 18-4-2-0 WCHA) defeated St. Cloud State (10-24-2, 5-19-0), 5-0, Friday in the first game of the best-of-three WCHA Playoffs first round matchup at LaBahn Arena.
Wisconsin, as has often been the case this season, jumped out to a fast start in the first period. Senior Emily Clark opened the scoring 6:16 into the game with a tight-angle shot that beat St. Cloud goalie Janine Alder over her left shoulder, Clark’s 14th goal of the season.
Less than a minute later freshman Britta Curl one-timed a pass from classmate Sophie Shirley to make the score 2-0. The goal was Curl’s 17th on the year. UW has now outscored its opponents 50-13 in the first period this season.
Curl added her second tally of the game about midway through the second period, banging in a rebound after junior Abby Roque’s shot was denied. For Roque it was her team-leading 28th assist of the season.
Senior Annie Pankowski, who earlier this week was named a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, scored off her own rebound at the 9:02 mark of the third period. Less than two minutes later, junior Presley Norby closed the scoring by taking a cross ice pass from Pankowski and firing a wrist shot into the back of the net.
Junior goalie Kristen Campbell recorded her eighth shutout of the season, making 13 saves. She now has 20 career shutouts.
Three Notes of the Game
• With a goal and two assists, Pankowski recorded her 10th multi-point game of the season. She now leads the Badgers with 40 points this year.
• Curl recorded the third two-goal game of her career. She also tallied a pair of goals against Syracuse on Dec. 1 and at Ohio State on Jan. 12.
• The win was Wisconsin’s 20th straight over St. Cloud State. UW has outscored the Huskies (79-10) over that streak.
The Badgers and Huskies square off in game two of the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. at LaBahn. Game three, if necessary, will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m.