MADISON, Wis. — Sometimes sibling rivalries can be motivating factor; just ask Wisconsin sophomore forward Brittany Ammerman.
While older sister Brooke Ammerman enjoyed a fast start to the season (producing 15 points in eight games), younger sister Brittany was mired in a one goal and three-point slump heading into a contest with No. 5 Boston University.
But Friday afternoon, Brittany Ammerman broke out a big way, scoring a pair of goals as top-ranked Wisconsin blanked the Terriers, 3-0, at the Kohl Center.
“To start the season last year, it was kind of the opposite with Brooke in a bit of slump, while I was not,” Brittany Ammerman said. “But what goes around comes around.”
The slump-breaking tally came at 11:55 of the first period after Badgers sophomore forward Madison Packer forced a turnover at the Terriers’ blue line. Loose in the high slot, Packer found Ammerman, who redirected a pass through Boston University sophomore goaltender Kerrin Sperry’s legs.
“When Madison made the pass and then Brittany scores, you could see parts of the piano come off of her back,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. “But we mixed up the lines a little bit from last week, and sometimes that blows in a breath of fresh air (for a player like Ammerman).”
At the 13-minute mark of the middle frame, Ammerman struck again on a spectacular play. Cutting down the left-side boards, Wisconsin junior forward Brianna Decker fed Ammerman, who was cutting into the high slot, and she rocketed a one-timer that clanked home off the crossbar.
“Brianna laid the pass in perfectly and I just tried to put my force behind it,” said Ammerman, who registered five shots in the game. “It came out to be beautiful, but (I thank) the good pass by Decker.”
Moments before the Badgers second goal, a now-settled in Boston University had its best chance of the game on a two-on-one opportunity. However, Badgers sophomore goaltender Alex Rigsby deflected out Louise Warren’s point blank chance.
“I thought they had some good opportunities to score,” Rigsby said. “But our forwards and our defenseman did a great job of backchecking and keeping their opportunities to a minimum.”
BU continued to pressure in the third period, taking the play to Wisconsin (8-1-0). With just over eight minutes remaining in the game, senior forward Jenn Wakefield had the Terriers’ best chance off a one-on-one rush, but her blast through a screen clanged out off the right post, keeping Rigsby with a 20-save clean slate.
“It seems like when we are bending, Alex is there to hold us in,” Johnson said. “Each of the last (eight) games, she’s given us a chance to win.”
Boston University (5-2-0) will try to salvage the split in the rematch Saturday afternoon.
“We had a couple of good chances tonight, but we were unable to change the complexion of the game,” Terriers coach Brian Durocher said. “But I tip my cap to the Badgers. I think they are still the team to beat, so we have to come back tomorrow and get ourselves ready to play.”