MADISON, Wis. — Carolyn Prevost knew just how big Friday afternoon womens hockey game was for sliding Wisconsin was. I didnt hurt that she was always in the right place.
The opportunistic sophomore forward tallied three key goals, including two rebound goals in the final period, to cap one of the Badgers biggest wins of the season, a 5-3 decision over St. Cloud State at the Kohl Center.
Prevy was in the right spot at the right time, thats for sure, Badgers junior forward Geena Prough said of the unheralded Prevost. She was there for the rebounds and was able to put them in. She really helped us out a lot tonight.
Though the afternoon would belong to Prevost, it was Prough would open the scoring for the Badgers.
Just 30 seconds after Wisconsin goaltender Becca Rueggsegger made a huge save on a short-handed chance from St. Cloud senior forward Holly Roberts, Wisconsin forward Geena Prough took a pass from junior defenseman Anne Dronen high in the slot. With a Husky defenseman on her back, Prough maneuvered around to the left and fired a backhand shot past unsuspecting St. Cloud goaltender Ashley Nixon.
I was just trying to get into a good scoring area and I got a nice pass from the point, Prough said. I just spun around and shot it in.
Two minutes later the Badgers would make it 2-0 on a rebound goal by junior forward Mallory Deluce. On the play sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman forced the puck out from behind the next on Nixon, who made the initial save. But Deluce fought her way through a scramble to bury the loose puck.
Roberts would get payback early in the second period, this time making no mistake on a short-handed rebound opportunity. Roberts wrist shot came right back to her, where the senior proceeded to rip a backhand into the top corner past Rueggsegger to make it 2-1.
Wisconsin would answer seven minutes later on a great individual effort from Prevost. Skating in on a 3-on-2 rush, Prevost fought off the stick check of St. Cloud senior forward Caitlin Hogan, knocking Hogan to the ice and moving the puck one-handed to Prough. Prough then returned a cross-ice pass in the direction of Deluce, who couldnt handle it. However, the pass made it to the streaking Prevost who put the puck in the vacant side of the net behind Nixon.
I just made the pass to (Prough), which barely got to her, Prevost said. Then she made a really nice pass to Mallory, who just missed it, but the puck went right to my stick for the open net.
However, St. Cloud would not go away quietly in the period and senior captain Felicia Nelson would score a power-play goal to make the score 3-2. Just eight seconds into the advantage, Roberts blasted a slap-shot from left circle that Rueseggar. The rebound came to Hogan who knocked the puck out of the air to Nelson. All the Huskies leading goal scorer had to do was to shovel the puck into the gaping net.
Prevost restored the two-goal Wisconsin lead 58 seconds into the third when she corralled a rebound for her second goal of the game. On the goal, Badgers forward Kelly Nash moved the puck from the corner to forward Brianna Decker. Decker one-timed the puck on Nixon, who made the save, however the St. Cloud goaltender couldnt stop Prevost.
The Huskies clawed back to within one on another power-play goal by Nelson. Much like her previous goal, Nelson grabbed a rebound from senior forward Meaghan Pezons shot. Nelson snapped a low shot on the ice past Rueggsegger. The Huskies second power-play goal of the game made the score 4-3.
Our power-plays been clicking, and that is where the majority of our goals are being scored, Nelson said. If we just keep getting on the power-play that would nice, but were getting pucks to the net and as long we keep doing that they are going in.
But the night belonged to Prevost, whose hat trick goal three and a half minutes sealed the win for the Badgers. The goal was almost carbon-copy of Prevosts second goal. This time it was Nash who took the first shot, with Prevost sliding home the rebound.
Tonight my wingers were making amazing plays and their goalie was coming out with big saves, Prevost said. But I just happened to be at the right spot at the right time.
With the Badgers (14-8-3, 11-7-1) fighting through injuries and last weekend suffering a road sweep at the hands of Minnesota-Duluth, Prevosts efforts could not have come at a better time, especially on a night when St. Clouds power-play was unstoppable. The Huskies scored on two out their three advantage chances.
Their power-play is excellent, Prevost said. But we able to get three goals right back (after St. Cloud scored). As long as we had the lead we were not panicking.
The lost clearly stung for Huskies (9-11-5, 6-10-3), who are trying to claw into the top-half of the WCHA standings. But St. Cloud can solace in the fact that they battled back all night.
That has kind of been our deal, we have come from behind in a lot of situations to get some ties and get some good points in the league, Huskies coach Jeff Giesen said. Our effort is always there, it is just a matter of getting the right bounce here and there.
The two teams will rematch Saturday afternoon.