No. 4 Badgers fall 2-1 to St. Cloud State - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 4 Badgers fall 2-1 to St. Cloud State

Posted: Updated:
MADISON, Wis. – In the opening game of its final regular seasons series, the No. 4 Wisconsin women's hockey team fell to St. Cloud State, 2-1, on Friday at LaBahn Arena.

Despite a dominant overall performance, missed opportunities were the deciding factor in the heartbreaking loss, as the Badgers outshot SCSU 53-17.

“Well from the get-go we're talking about trying to get pucks to the net and get traffic in front of the goaltender,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “A lot of times we are able to do that and create some good opportunities. That's the tough thing about our sport, when the goaltender is obviously better than all of the shots that we took today.

“There's not much you can say. I mean we played a pretty good game but we didn't get rewarded for a lot of our efforts out there.”

The Badgers began the game with an impressive effort, outshooting St. Cloud State 13-1 in the first 12 minutes of play. However, UW found itself battling back from an early 1-0 deficit after the Huskies were able to tally a goal on their third shot of the game.

Wisconsin nearly found a first period equalizer on multiple occasions, including a great hustle play from Blayre Turnbull to steal the puck behind the net and find Brittany Ammerman streaking towards the goal. However, UW was unable to capitalize, and the Badgers finished the period holding an 18-3 advantage in shots on goal.

The Cardinal and White opened second period action in similarly strong fashion and created a number of opportunities on net. Sydney McKibbon had her shot at tipping the puck home following a cross-ice pass from Erika Sowchuk, but UW once again came up short.

Third period play seemed to be much of the same, with the Badgers continuing to apply offensive pressure to the Huskies. Sarah Nurse nearly slipped the puck past the SCSU goaltender after stick handling around a defender, but a glove save ultimately stopped her shot.

Wisconsin continued to battle back with the clock winding down, although the Huskies were able to extend their lead to 2-0 following an empty-netter with one minute remaining.

However, the mounting deficit still did not deter the Badgers, and freshman Annie Pankowski netted a last-second UW goal with assists from Ammerman and Courtney Burke. Pankowski now has a team-leading 17 goals this season and a team-high 36 points.

Sophomore goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens amassed 15 saves in the contest, which was marked by physical play in front of the net.

“A lot of our games we have played pretty well and they've all been very tight and the room for error has been very low,” Johnson said. “That makes the game a little more challenging and certainly you would hope at some point the kids we put out would start scoring. The big thing is to keep working and keep pushing themselves and keep creating scoring opportunities. If we do that, things will take care of themselves.”

The Badgers will wrap up their regular season and finish out the series hosting St. Cloud State when the two teams return to action on Sunday at 3 p.m.

“I think Sunday's game will be one where we need to come out in the first eight or 10 minutes and establish some things and try to score,” Johnson said. “I think if you're able to do that then our team will probably relax as a whole and continue to play well the rest of the game.

“Right now, it's just about coming out and trying to keep things as simple as possible.”

Powered by Frankly