ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Freshman Angie Keseley had a goal and an assist, and senior Meghan Horras made 28 saves to lead No. 1 Wisconsin to a 3-1 road victory over St. Cloud State on Friday afternoon. The victory was the 10th in a row for the Badgers, who are unbeaten in 13 straight.
“It was a good road win,” said Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson. “We anticipated a tight game today and a good challenge for our club. It may not have been the prettiest of games to watch, but from our end it was effective, and we got done what we needed to do.”
Wisconsin controlled play early on, but St. Cloud claimed the better of the scoring opportunities. After swarming on the power play, the Huskies netted the game’s first goal 12:28 into the first period. Junior Marie-Michel Lemieux took a pass from senior captain Randie Jelinski and one-timed it past Badger netminder Meghan Horras to put the Huskies up 1-0.
The Wisconsin response came just three minutes later. With a penalty to Lemieux about to expire, the Badgers quickly cycled the puck in front of the net and senior Cyndy Kenyon scored off a give-and-go with Nikki Burish to the left side of SCSU goalie Lauri St. Jacques to tie the score.
A minute and a half later, an error by St. Jacques led to the second Wisconsin goal. As the puck moved near the crease, St. Jacques moved to poke it clear to the boards, but her jab missed and the puck was quickly picked up by Wisconsin freshman Angie Keseley, who tapped it in for her tenth goal of the season.
“It’s hard to play when you’re number one,” said Keseley, “but our team is handling that really well. Everyone out there wants to be the one to beat you, so you have to come out strong every game and play hard every shift.”
The Badgers missed a golden opportunity to go into the first intermission up by two when Burish waited too long to shoot the puck off a breakaway with less than two minutes to play in the period. Her shot bounced harmlessly off St. Jacques’ right pad.
A defensive miscommunication early in the second may have caused Wisconsin’s third goal. Shortly after killing a penalty, the Badgers went on the attack. A shot by Keseley was saved by St. Jacques, but the rebound was misplayed by an SCSU defender back towards the net, forcing St. Jacques to remain in her defensive posture. The puck was picked up by Wisconsin freshman Erika Lawler, who rifled the puck into the net for her eighth goal of the year.
St. Cloud State showed very little quit, controlling play and possession during the third period, but did not draw any closer. The Huskies’ best opportunity came with 12 minutes left in the game, when a flurry in front of the net lifted the puck over Horras and onto the goal line. The scrum in front fell over and dislodged the net without edging the puck across.
“They say that when a goalie’s playing well, they’re also getting lucky,” Horras said. “I guess that’s partially how it was for me today. Their bounces weren’t going in.”
The win was the 14th straight for Wisconsin over St. Cloud State. The Huskies have not beaten the Badgers in St. Cloud since January 2001, when they swept a weekend series at home, and have not beaten Wisconsin at all since November 2002.
“The bounces went our way last weekend but they didn’t seem to today,” said St. Cloud coach Jason Lesteberg. “We had our opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize. Wisconsin’s a very smooth skating team that moves the puck very well, and you can’t give them as many opportunities to score as we did today.”
Both teams are back in action Saturday afternoon at the National Hockey Center.