No. 2 Minnesota capitalizes on power plays, top No. 1 Wisconsin, - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 2 Minnesota capitalizes on power plays, top No. 1 Wisconsin, 2-0

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MADISON, Wis. – Despite outshooting the Golden Gophers 37-34, the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team fell to No. 2 Minnesota 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena Saturday afternoon.

A crowd of 2,273 fans watched one of the most anticipated women’s hockey games of the season, and saw the Badgers (14-2-1, 10-2-1-1 WCHA) dominate the third period, outshooting Minnesota (14-1-2, 12-1-2-2 WCHA) 16-6.

But Minnesota capitalized on a second period power play and tacked on an empty-net strike with 23 seconds remaining to top Wisconsin.

"In today's game, it was a power-play goal and they were able to capitalize in the second period,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “Our defenseman lost her stick and they converted on it. We had a couple chances but weren't able to get the puck in the net. A lot of little things and then when you do get an opportunity, who is going to be able to capitalize on that opportunity. They were able to do it. In the third period we had some pretty good looks but we weren't able to get the puck into the net."

“Credit to them,” senior captain Sydney McKibbon said. “I thought they played a great game, but it seems like when we play them it kind of comes down to who kind of gets the bounces. If Annie (Pankowski) hits the post, goes in the net, it’s a completely different game just so I think they maybe got a couple extra bounces and we didn’t today.”

Senior Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped 32 of the 33 shots she encountered after missing the last four games due to an upper-body injury.

"She was good,” Johnson said. “She held us in there the first period, they had a couple flurries especially on their first power play and she made a couple real tight saves that kept them off the scoreboard, so I thought she was quite sharp having not played in a few weeks."

Both team’s held off the other in scoring throughout the first period, as Minnesota edged Wisconsin in shots, 12-8. 

It wasn’t until a few minutes into the second period when the Gophers found the scoresheet on a power-play opportunity. Senior Dani Cameranesi fed the puck to teammate Kate Schipper in the slot, where Schipper scored the game’s first goal.

In the third, the Badgers outshot the Golden Gophers, 16-6, but Minnesota goaltender Sidney Peters stood tall and kept the UW offense at bay. Peters ended the game with 34 saves.

Schipper sealed the win after recording her second tally of the night on an empty-net goal to increase Minnesota’s lead to 2-0. 

“I think we learn from it,” McKibbon said. “We got to put pucks in the net. You can’t win a game when it’s 0-0. So I think we learn from that and I think we got to come out flying tomorrow in the first eight, 10 minutes, it’s going to be huge for us and try and get a couple goals in the first period.”

UW and Minnesota wrap up their series on Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest. The game is sold out but fans can watch the game on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North.

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