MADISON, Wis. — Trailing 2-1 to Wisconsin with a little over a minute left and their goalie pulled, things were looking bleak for the Wayne State women’s hockey team. It didn’t help that Wisconsin had just killed off a crucial late penalty.
One roofed wrist shot from freshman Gina Buquet later however, the Warriors had tied the game. They then defeated the No. 6 Badgers in a shootout Thursday night at the Kohl Center. The game however, officially counts as a tie in the record books.
“I went high because I saw it open because Wisconsin’s goalie had her head turned with our player behind the net,” Buquet said. “But we were just going to go hard until the end of the game, power play or not.”
Buquet’s goal got the Warriors into overtime and eventually the shootout. There Wayne State freshman forward Julie Hebert scored the only goal.
Hebert, the second shooter for the Warriors, came hard down the left side of the rink. Right in front of the net, Hebert made a swooping deke back to her backhand side, roofing the puck over top of Badgers’ freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger for the winning goal.
“I just went in and saw (Ruegsegger) kind of went down so I went on my backhand,” Hebert said. “I know in practice I usually go up top, so I tried it today and it worked.”
Wisconsin failed to answer Hebert, missing on all three of their shooters. Sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman came closest to beating Park, but her backhand deke caught the left goal post.
The Badgers however, thought they had the game won when senior forward Kyla Sanders scored a go-ahead goal with 6:30 left. On the play, forward Jasmine Giles cut to the middle and dropped the puck back to defenseman Stefanie McKeough. McKeough unleashed a shot that caromed off a Warriors’ defenseman and right to Sanders, who buried the puck into the gaping net.
The goal stood as the winner until Buquet’s heroics tied the game. On the play, sophomore forward Alyssa Baldin took the puck behind the net and found Buquet with a pass just above the right faceoff dot. Buquet then nailed the top corner with a gorgeous shot.
Hebert credited Buquet’s goal as the turning point of the game.
“It was a big goal because we didn’t score on that power play,” Hebert said. “It gave us a big booster and from then on, we just kept playing really strong.”
In the first period, the Badgers got on the board first on a goal by junior forward Geena Prough. Off of a line change, Ammerman found Prough cutting through the neutral zone. The junior forward raced in past the Warriors’ defense, firing a wrist shot into the net off the right post to make it 1-0 just under three minutes into the game.
“We were breaking out of our zone, so I decided to leave the boards and join the middle,” Prough said. “(Ammerman) got me the puck and I beat the defenseman on the one-on-one and just shot it.”
However, Wayne State tied the game on a power-play goal by Chelsea Burnett with a little over six minutes left in the first. Just 14 seconds into the advantage, the Warriors set up senior defenseman Chelsea Burnett, who ripped a point shot that deflected off a Badgers’ defender and up over the shoulder of freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger.
If Wisconsin (6-4-1, 5-3-0 WCHA) were to pin the blame for the loss on one thing, it would like likely be their struggling power play. Wisconsin went zero-for-four on the advantage in the game, stumbling to a success rate of just three of 54 on the season.
“We had control to the outside tonight on our power play,” Wisconsin coach Tracey DeKeyser said. “But they were doing a good job cutting off our shooting lanes.”
Meanwhile, Wayne State (3-5-3, 0-2-0 CHA) gets easily its biggest win of the young season, thanks in large part to the play of Park, who picked up her first win of the season while piling up 29 saves.
“Park has been really playing well lately,” Wayne State coach Jim Fetter said. “She struggled a little bit Saturday against Mercyhurst, but she had her game on Friday and tonight she really stepped up.”
Both teams will face a short turn around as they rematch Friday afternoon. Faceoff is set for 2 p.m.