MADISON, WI — Senior forward Kendra Antony’s natural hat trick in the first period, including the 50th goal of her career, led the way for the Wisconsin Badgers as they picked up their tenth victory in a 5-1 win over the Findlay Oilers at the Kohl Center on Saturday.
The Badgers, home for the first time since December 1, came off a sweep of the number-one UMD Bulldogs at Duluth last weekend.
“I got the goals but a lot of the work came from [teammates] Kathy Devereaux and Meghan Hunter. We’ve really been gelling lately … we’ve been playing a lot together.” Antony said of her hat trick. She also picked up an assist on the Badgers’ fifth goal.
Though Antony and Hunter played together last year, they have been teamed with a number of players at left wing. Recently, Devereaux was added to their line and it’s a combination that appears to be working well.
Antony gave the Badgers a 1-0 lead at 8:13 of the first period when her line came down the ice. Hunter put the puck on Devereaux’s stick and Devereaux found Antony on the doorstep for the 1-0 lead.
Antony’s 50th goal, her second of the game, came as she was streaking into the slot. From behind the goal, Hunter passed out front to Antony, who found the back of the net. The final goal of the hat trick came at 16:09 of the first period.
“Kathy had just passed it up to me and I think the defenseman had fumbled it and I just took a shot at the net, it went under the goalie’s arm and trickled in.” Antony said of her third goal. “I score a lot of my goals right around the net. They’re not pretty but they go in.”
Devereaux picked up the Badgers fourth goal at 2:24 of the second period on a power play when she tipped in a shot from the blue line. Sis Paulsen had the Badgers’ final goal at 18:09 of the second when she shot from the point for her third goal of the season and a 5-0 Wisconsin lead. In addition to her goal, Devereaux had three assists in the game.
Findlay’s lone goal came at 19:21 of the second period when with Paulsen in the box for a tripping penalty, Cori Forbes was able to put the puck between the pipe and Badger goaltender Jackie MacMillan’s right shoulder. MacMillan finished the game with 26 saves.
Erin Blair and Nickie Kelly combined for 21 saves for the Oilers.
Koch said, “I thought we did a good job in the first period of staying up, and we had a letdown in the second but we came out with some more heart in the third period. Yeah, you always worry about the motivation and the players taking a team lightly, but as we told them, any Division I program has some very talented players and good goaltending so we can’t look past anyone.”
The Badgers’ record is 10-8-2 overall and 8-5-1 in the WCHA. Findlay is 7-12-1 and 1-2-1 in the GLWHA.
The second game of the series is Sunday at 2:35 p.m. at the Kohl Center in Madison.