MADISON, Wis. — It is not all that often that a teams game can mirror their season. Saturday night at the Kohl Center, the Wisconsin Badgers womens hockey team endured precisely that, falling behind 2-1 in the second period before rallying for a 5-3 win.
It was Wisconsins third straight victory in the second game of a series after losing the first game.
I was impressed with our composure on the bench as you could sense that players didnt want this one to slip away, Badgers coach Tracy DeKeyser said. We came back and responded.
After the Buckeyes took a 2-1 lead early in the second, it took Wisconsin just over a minute to tie the game with a penalty shot goal.
The penalty shot was awarded to Wisconsin sophomore center Brooke Ammerman, when she was hauled down while in alone on a breakaway. On the penalty shot Ammerman shifted to a backhand deke to tie the game at two.
I have been using that move a lot in practice so I thought I would try it, Ammerman said. (Knapp) didnt bite as hard as I thought she would so I got pretty lucky.
Wisconsin took a lead they would never relinquished 17 seconds later when the Badgers broke in on a 2-on-1 rush. Badgers junior winger Geena Prough took a feed from senior winger Kyla Sanders, and made no mistake with the shot to make the score 3-2. It was Proughs second goal of the night as also she also opened the scoring 16 minutes into the game.
Ten minutes later Wisconsin capped their second period rally when junior defenseman Anne Dronen picked off an errant Buckeyes pass in the neutral zone. Dronen proceeded to catch Ohio State flat-footed, cutting through the entirety of Buckeye defense then burying a wrist shot top shelf for a 4-2 lead.
I split the defense and took the puck full steam to the net and put it in, Dronen said. They were going forward and I was going at them, so I think I overtook them with my speed a little bit.
After the three goal Badgers barrage, the Buckeyes managed to chip away at the Badgers lead with a 2-on-1 rush of their own early in the third period. Freshman winger Hokey Langan fed sophomore center Laura McIntosh, who returned puck to Langan for the give-and-go goal making the score 4-3.
But the Buckeyes would get no closer as Wisconsin junior center Mallory Deluce put the game out of reach with a goal with six and half minutes left to make the score 5-3.
Ohio States bright spot of the night was the comeback the Buckeyes staged at the beginning of the second period. Just 33 seconds in McIntosh picked up the puck in the corner and fed junior defenseman Teal Bishop sneaking down from the point position. Bishop buried the puck past Badgers freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger to tie the game at one.
The Buckeyes took a brief lead two and half minutes later when senior defenseman Rachel Davis caught the Badgers on a line change with a pass to McIntosh, who coasted in a breakaway and beat Ruegsegger. McIntosh finished with two goals and two assists on the weekend.
It took me a while to get started this season, McIntosh said. So I came out hard looking for some points and a win for the team, so I am happy about the weekend.
Despite Ohio State (2-3-3 overall, 2-2-1-0 WCHA) capturing two of four points on the weekend against fifth ranked Wisconsin, Buckeyes coach Jackie Barto was hardly satisfied with her teams weekend.
We came here to get four points, Barto said. I thought we had a slow start tonight, but got ourselves back into the game. However, a couple of plays for Wisconsin changed the flow in the second period.
Ohio State heads back home next weekend to host Minnesota State.
For Wisconsin (3-3-0, 3-3-0-0), the win kept the Badgers with an even record as they prepare to host second ranked Minnesota.