MADISON, Wisc. — Sara Bauer was named WCHA Preseason Player of the Year for a reason. The Wisconsin junior deflected in a shot from Preseason All-USCHO defenseman Bobbi-Jo Slusar to clinch a 4-3 overtime win on Sunday over No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth. The victory avenged a 5-2 loss to the Bulldogs the day before and left both teams 1-1 for the season.
The Bulldogs seemed headed for a sweep when they held a 3-2 lead from freshman Mari Pehkonen’s goal deep into the third period. But with just under four minutes left in regulation, Wisconsin freshman Erika Lawler made a game-breaking play by evading a pair of UMD defenders and throwing the puck in front, where linemate Tia Hanson took two swipes before depositing the puck past UMD goalie Riitta Schaublin to tie the game 3-3.
Hanson’s game-tying goal set up Bauer’s clincher 53 seconds in overtime on an abbreviated Wisconsin power play. The Badgers finished 2-for-6 on the power play after a disappointing 0-for-8 yesterday, while UMD went 1-for-4.
Lawler, a New England Prep star at Cushing Academy, also had Wisconsin’s first goal at 6:09 of the first period. Fellow freshman Angie Keseley from the Wisconsin crease sprung Lawler free on the breakaway, and speedy 5’0 Lawler gave herself distance from the UMD defenders, deked and beat Schaublin.
Another impact freshman, UMD’s Michaela Lanzl, finished a power play feed from Krista McArthur to the game 1-1 at 14:19 of the first period. Just under three minutes later, Rachel Drazan’s blue line shot trickled past Wisconsin goalie Meghan Horras for a 2-1 UMD lead.
Wisconsin tied the game at 7:02 on the power play when sophomore Jinelle Zaugg, from behind the net, found Slusar open in front. But UMD took the lead back just over three minutes later. A shot by Pehkonen deflected off two Badger defenders and caught Horras by surprise.
It was a frustrating day for the UMD top line as Jessica Koizumi and Noemie Marin each hit posts through the course of the game. Horras made 22 saves for the victory in her first start of the season, while Schaublin made 20 saves in the loss.