MANKATO, Minn. — No. 4 Wisconsin (14-4-1, 8-4-1 WCHA) scored three third-period goals to win 4-0 in convincing fashion over Minnesota State (4-8-3, 4-6-3 WCHA) Friday at All Seasons Arena.
The Badgers began to show their strength in finishing out a game with sophomore forward Meaghan Mikkelson’s goal just 3:58 into the third period. Mikkelson broke free in front of the Maverick goal and slipped a shot through sophomore goaltender Laura Brennan’s legs to give Wisconsin a two-goal advantage.
“That second goal was big for us,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. “Before that it was a one goal lead going into the third and the game was still up for grabs.”
A Minnesota State defensive lapse by freshman defender Kerri Wallace led to the second goal of the third period, as Badger freshman Jinelle Zaugg took advantage and slid the puck past Brennan into the net’s bottom- right corner for a 3-0 lead.
With just a few minutes left in the game, Wisconsin forward Lindsay Macy scored on a power play slap shot that deflected past Brennan to give the Badgers the 4-0 victory.
Wisconsin’s first goal came 50 seconds into the second period from senior defender Molly Engstrom after a scoreless first.
The Badgers controlled the puck throughout the game, putting constant pressure on the Mavericks’ defense while limiting Minnesota State’s chances to breakaway opportunities, which the Mavericks were not able to capitalize on.
“They are a good quality team, they just keep coming at you and creating their chances,” MSU head coach Jeff Vizenor said. “Our rallying cry was that we’re not creating a ton of chances and we didn’t take advantage of the ones we did.”
Again for Minnesota State, goaltending was the strong point of the performance with Brennan making 29 saves.
“I think she played better than a four goal game,” Vizenor said. “She’s doing everything we ask for.”
The two teams with face off Saturday afternoon for Game Two of the series at 3:05 in All Seasons Arena.