No. 1 Badgers tame Huskies 3-1

The top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team scored twice in the final seven minutes to take down St. Cloud State, 3-1, on Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

Freshman Britta Curl, junior Mekenzie Steffen and senior Annie Pankowski all scored to lead the Badgers (19-1-0, 9-1-0-0 WCHA) to their 11th-straight win, the longest streak in the country.

The Badgers offense got off to a quick start at the 5:59 mark of the first period as Curl netted her 10th of the year to give UW a 1-0 lead.

However, the Huskies (5-15-1, 2-12-0-0 WCHA) would strike back with a power-play goal in the second period to make it a 1-1 game heading into the final period.

It took 13 minutes to get the go-ahead goal in the third period as Steffen capitalized on a 3-on-1 rush to give UW a 2-1 lead.

Pankowski put the game out of reach late in the third period, scoring an empty-net power-play goal with seven seconds remaining to extend her goal streak to seven games. That streak is the third-longest streak in program history as Meghan Duggan holds the school record of nine.

Play of the Game
Steffen netted her third career game-winning goal off a 3-on-1 with Curl and Sophie Shirley. Shirley dished the puck to Steffen, who was coming down the middle, and the junior defenseman knocked home her third goal of the year to give UW a 2-1 lead.

Three Notes to Know
- Wisconsin enters its holiday break with the best winning percentage in NCAA women’s college hockey of .950. UW is also the only team in the country with 18 or more wins.
- UW scored a power-play goal for the fifth-straight game and leads the country in power-play percentage with a .295 (18-of-61) clip.
- Wisconsin outshot St. Cloud State 49-13, including a 22-6 advantage in the second period.
Straight from the Rink
Junior defenseman Mekenzie Steffen
Thoughts on win today:
“I thought their goalie played really well but we stuck to our game and found a way to win their in the third period. It was just a good way to finish off a really tight game and a good way to end our year.”

On first half of the year:
“I think it’s gone really well, we’ve been in some close games and we’ve always found a way to win for the most part so I think there is a lot of things we can take over to the second half and be really successful.”

Freshman forward Britta Curl
On team’s game plan heading into today:
“Just keeping pucks to the net, we couldn’t get frustrated even though none were going in, but we played really well and we knew that so we just had to stick to our game plan.”

On first half of the year:
“I thought it was a really good first half of the season, we can have some momentum carrying us over the second half and we’re going to continue to blow them away.”

Up Next:
Wisconsin has the next five weeks off from competition before hitting the road for Ohio State on Jan. 11-12, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.