GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Three goals in a six-minute span of the first period was all the scoring Wisconsin (8-3-0, 6-3-0 WCHA) needed in a 5-1 victory over North Dakota (3-9-1, 3-8-0 WCHA).
The eventual game winner in the first-ever meeting between the schools came at 10:58 of the first period on a superb pass from sophomore Bobbi-Jo Slusar across the ice that was put away by senior forward Jackie Friesen on the power play.
“It came together real well, exactly what we did in practice, we did on the power play,” said Friesen of the goal. “It was really nice to see a nice setup and capitalize on it. It was rewarding.”
The Fighting Sioux did have their chances, mostly in the second period, but they were turned away by the solid play of sophomore goaltender Christine Dufour.
“I just had to keep working cause you never know what can happen,” said Dufour.
Badger forward Nikki Burish was called for a five-minute major in the second when she cross-checked Sioux forward Alexia Gagnon Laplante near the boards. Laplante hit the boards face first and went down hard. She left the game and did not return.
On the ensuing power play, UND had some quality chances to get back into the game but were denied by Dufour each time. Then to make matters worse for the Sioux, a neutral zone turnover led to a Wisconsin two-on-one in which top Badger scorer Sara Bauer sent a perfect cross ice pass for junior Sharon Cole. The shorthanded goal, which made the score 4-0 Wisconsin, was a backbreaker for the Sioux.
UND finally earned a goal late in the second when junior forward Anne Girtz took a shot, and the rebound came right to senior captain Marissa Hanglseben, who put the puck into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
Hanglseben’s goal is all the Sioux could get by Dufour, who finished with 20 saves. Junior goalie Margaret-Ann Hinkley made 19 saves for the Fighting Sioux in the defeat.
The Badgers’ energetic start can be credited to the two-week gap between games. They showed they were excited right from the drop of the puck and never looked back.
“The first 8 or 10 minutes we had pretty good jump and we were able to capitalize on the turnover,” said Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson. “We had a couple weeks of practice and when the kids get a weekend off. They’re a little bit fresher. They’re a little excited to play.”
That energy reflected in the end score.
The two teams rematch Sunday at UND’s Ralph Engelstad Arena at 2:05 CST.