After two periods, No. 1 Wisconsin trailed No. 10 Ohio State 4-2 in Madison. In between periods, Badgers coach Mark Johnson rallied his troops.
“After the second period] coach came in and gave a good speech, Brianna Decker said. He just said to keep taking it to them. We kind of relaxed in the locker room. We werent nervous, and we knew we still had a chance to win the game. We came out focused, knowing that we had to get one in the first 10 minutes.
It worked. Decker and the Badgers rallied, Decker scored twice to tie the game, then Stefanie McKeough scored her second to give the Badgers the lead. After the Buckeyes got the equalizer. Decker scored her third goal of the game in OT to lift Wisconsin to a 6-5 win, keeping the team undefeated.
“Tonights game was a good character builder, Johnson said. When OSU made it 4-2, the easiest thing for us to do early in the season would be to sulk a little bit, but we kept coming and coming and got some momentum. It was nice to get the lead. It was a good victory.
Ohio State took advantage of an early power play opportunity to get on the board at 2:59 of the first. The Buckeyes converted just 22 seconds after the power play started when Laura McIntosh fired a shot from just over the blue line and Natalie Spooner deflected it in from the slot. McIntosh finished with four points on the night.
The Buckeyes struck quickly again in the second, getting a goal from Spooner just 39 seconds into the period, deflecting a shot by Spooner. McKeough halved the lead when she netted her first goal of the season at the 3:42 mark.
Ohio State regained the two-goal lead at 5:11 when McIntosh put in a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle, but Wisconsin responded just 15 seconds later when Meghan Duggan returned to the ice from the penalty box to score off a pass by Mallory Deluce.
Junior forward Kim Theut gave the Buckeyes a 4-2 lead heading into the second intermission when she scored from the left side of the net at 17:46 while on another power play. McIntosh threaded the puck over to Theut for her fourth point of the game.
Buckeyes goaltender Lisa Steffes made 44 saves to lead OSU, while Wisconsin’s Alex Rigsby finished with 17 saves. The two teams face off again Saturday in Madison at 7 p.m.