MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE) - Despite outshooting St. Cloud State 37-24, Wisconsin (14-9-3, 11-8-1 WCHA) split the two-game series after falling 4-3 to the Huskies Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center.
After an aggressive first period, in which SCSU and Wisconsin combined for eight penalties, the game was deadlocked in a 1-1 draw.
Wisconsin was the first to make its mark on the scoreboard with 11:43 left in the first frame when freshman Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) sent the puck along the blue line to freshman Stefanie McKeough (Carlsbad Springs, Ontario). With the man advantage, Mckeough took a shot form the blue line which was stopped by the Huskies' goaltender, Ashley Nixon, but from the bottom of the crease, Ammerman scored on the rebound under Nixon's left pad.
In the final seconds of the frame, at the 19:47 mark, St. Cloud State converted with a goal from the NCAA's leading scorer, Felicia Nelson. Caitlin Hogan was credited with the lone assist.
The second frame resulted in two power-play goals for St. Cloud, while the Badgers tallied one with the man advantage.
"It's frustrating, because we just worked on our penalty kill today," Interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser said. "It's definitely something we've got to correct. They understand what they need to do, they just aren't executing."
In the second period, SCSU took the lead when Lisa Martinson capitalized on a scramble in front of the goal at the 3:02 mark. Hogan and Nelson recorded both assists on the power play goal.
Wisconsin answered less than two minutes later, at the 4:24 mark when Ammerman passed the puck from the left faceoff circle to the right crease where junior Mallory Deluce (London, Ontario) recorded the power play goal to tie the game at 2-2. McKeough was credited with the secondary assist and her second assist of the game.
The Huskies took the lead heading into the second intermission when, with the man advantage, Felicia Nelson took a shot that was saved. Holly Roberts capitalized on the deflection though to make the score 3-2. Hogan was credited with the secondary assist.
In the third period, Wisconsin tied the game at the 3:15 mark when sophomore Carolyne Prevost (Sarnia, Ontario) passed a loose puck to freshman Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) near the blue line. Decker broke away from the SCSU defense to tie the game at 3-3 with a shorthanded goal. It was her eighth goal of the season. Prevost's assist advances her point streak to eight games.
St. Cloud solidified the 4-3 victory when Pezon sent the puck over Wisconsin's Becca Ruegsegger's left shoulder off a rebound with 4:45 left in the third frame. Nelson tallied the assist.
Wisconsin finished 2-for-5 on the power play while the Huskies finished 2-for-6 with the man advantage. All of the Badgers' goals were due to special teams, one shorthanded and two power-play goals. This was the first time all of Wisconsin's goals were on special teams.
"We had a rough go of it, and we have to bounce back," Ammerman said. "We have to get better, and we had a lot of penalties. Especially in this one, it took us in and out of the game. It's something we'll work on and improve."
Ruegsegger stopped 20 of SCSU's shot attempts and Nixon completed the game with 34 saves in net for St. Cloud. Saturday's loss marks the seventh time this season Wisconsin has split a series.
The Badgers hit the road to face WCHA opponent Ohio State Jan. 29-30. The next time Wisconsin returns home, the Badgers will take on Bemidji State in the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic.