GRAND FORKS, N.D. (PRESS RELEASE) -- Sophomore Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) recorded her eighth multi-point game of the year as she led Wisconsin to a 4-3 win over the No. 8 North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Saturday afternoon at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The No. 2 ranked University of Wisconsin women's hockey team (13-2-0, 9-2-0 WCHA) never trailed in the game as the team scored three goals on North Dakota (8-5-2, 7-4-2 WCHA) in the first period.
With two goals and one assist, Decker was named the first star of the game. Senior Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) was named the game's second star, as her one goal and one assist extend her point streak to 11 games.
Freshman Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) was named the third star of the game, stopping 25 of the 28 shots she faced to improve to 9-1-0 on the season. North Dakota goaltender Stephanie Ney saved 28 of the Badgers' shots but gave up four goals as she moves to 4-1-2 on the year.
The Badgers came out strong in the first period as the team netted three goals. Junior Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) opened up the scoring for UW just 1:44 into the game.
Knight got the puck from senior Mallory Deluce (London, Ontario) and shot it past Ney for the goal. Less than four minutes later, Duggan made it 2-0 as she found the puck in front of the goal and threw it in. Decker took a shot from close in on the left side and the puck trickled in front to a waiting Duggan who flipped it top-shelf. Decker then added a goal of her own to increase the Badger lead to 3-0. After passing the puck to Duggan, Decker cut towards the net and Duggan gave it right back to her for the tally.
North Dakota got on the board at the 5:01 mark of the second period as sophomore Jocelyne Lamoureux made some great moves in the offensive zone and was able to creep the puck past Alex Rigsby. Midway through the period, the Fighting Sioux were able to capitalize on a Badger penalty to make it 3-2. With lots of traffic in front of the net, sophomore Jordan Slavin was able to put one past Rigsby who was on the ground.
At the 15:52 mark of the second period, North Dakota went on its third power play of the night as junior Brittany Haverstock (Hammons Plains, Nova Scotia) was called for holding. The Badgers' special teams went to work and dominated the penalty kill, while outshooting the Fighting Sioux. Just 1:06 after the penalty ended, Decker scored her second goal of the night to increase the Badgers' lead to two goals. Decker intercepted a pass at the UND blue line and carried the puck into the zone and past two defenders before beating Ney to put Wisconsin up 4-2.
However, North Dakota answered with a goal of their own less than a minute later. Junior Alyssa Wiebe gained control of the puck in the Wisconsin zone, skated behind the back of the net, and was able to throw the puck in net on a wraparound shot before Rigsby was able to get her pads down.
With the score 4-3 in favor of the Badgers, the stage was set for an exciting third period. The Badgers were unable to take advantage of two power play opportunities early on in the period as junior Ashley Holmes and Jocelyne Lamoureux were sent to the box less than three minutes apart. But with 33 seconds remaining in the game, North Dakota was called for having too many players on the ice, which sealed up the victory for UW.
The Badgers wrap up their series with North Dakota tomorrow afternoon at the Ralph Engelstod Arena. Puck drop for tomorrow's game is at 2:00 p.m. (CT). Be sure to follow all the action live with the Gameday Blog.
Courtesy: UW Athletics