MADISON, Wisc. — No. 4 Wisconsin led a strong effort in a 3-0 shutout against No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth in the first game of the weekend series on Friday.
The Badgers came out strong scoring a power play goal after only 3:32 expired in the game. Although the second period concluded with no score, the Badgers were able to put away two more insurance goals in the third period to secure the 3-0 shut out.
Wisconsin (16-4-1, 10-4-1 WCHA) turned the tables since the team’s last meeting earlier in the season. Duluth (15-2-2, 13-2-2 WCHA) swept the Badgers in the Nov. 5-6 series with 4-3 and 2-1 victories.
Badger scorers included senior left wing Jackie Friesen, junior right wing Grace Hutchins and sophomore center Sara Bauer.
“We were ready for them,” said senior assistant captain Jackie Friesen said. “We knew what they were doing in the power play. Our penalty kill was [doing] really well. I think one thing we can learn from is discipline, not taking too many penalties.”
The shot count was fairly equal at 29-26 for the Bulldogs, but Meghan Horras let nothing pass. Duluth attempted more shots than Wisconsin in the first two periods, yet Wisconsin stepped up the offensive intensity in the third period. Bulldog goalie Rittaa Schaublin led an admirable effort with 23 saves, 17 of which came on the power play.
The Bulldogs’ 26.2 percent power play, the third-best in the nation, was put to the test against Wisconsin. The Duluth defense killed three of the four Wisconsin advantages and let one goal through. The penalty count was eight for Wisconsin and five for Duluth by the end.
UMD coach Shannon Miller hopes the team will hit the ice more disciplined for game two of the series, focusing more on the game and responding to the strong Wisconsin offense.
“We didn’t gap up our defensemen, our forwards didn’t back check, we chased the puck around the ice instead of playing really disciplined,” Miller said. “I thought we played really well the first two periods and we didn’t respond in the third period at all.”