Gophers strike twice late to steal tie

Gophers strike twice late to steal tie

first_imgWith a little more than minute to go in the second game of a two-game series against Minnesota, the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team (7-0-1) seemed poised to complete an impressive sweep over their archrival Gophers. There’s a reason they play the whole game, though, and despite leading 3-1 with 1:12 to play, the Badgers gave up two goals and had to settle for a tie, snapping a 19-game win streak.Though it was Minnesota (3-2-1) that struck first during Sunday’s game with a first-period goal, UW sophomore Kayla Hagen was able to wrap the puck around the net and tie the game up midway through the first. Despite a low number of shots on net, the Badgers were able to score again in the third on Meghan Duggan’s deflection of an Erica Lawler shot, and a Phoebe Monteleone goal with 8:20 to play put the Badgers ahead 3-1 and seemingly locked up the game.Gopher defensemen Dagney Willy was able to score with 1:12 to play, however, as Badger goalie Jessie Vetter was screened by a defenseman and rendered unable to see the shot. The goal allowed the Gophers to pull their goalie in exchange for an extra man and forced the Badgers to play defensively. After winning a faceoff with just more than 12 seconds to play, Minnesota was able to bat the puck around before finally slipping one by Vetter with just two seconds left to play. The overtime period proved fruitless for both teams as the game ended in a 3-3 tie.”We just didn’t do what we needed to do to finish it off,” Badger coach Mark Johnson said. “A couple little things happened, but that’s hockey. It’s getting a bounce here or getting a break, and [Minnesota] got a couple late in the game.”Though ending with a tie after holding a two-goal lead so late in the game may have been difficult to swallow, the Badgers hope to learn from the experience and move past it.”We learned our lesson,” forward Lawler said. “We just have to take it for what it’s worth and learn from it.”Vetter, starting both games of a series for the first time this season, understands how important moving on is, especially for a goalie.”Bad bounces happen, being a goalie you have to get over it quick because they’ll come right at you again,” Vetter said. “We’ll just take what we can from this game and look forward to next weekend.”Disappointing as Sunday’s tie was, the Badgers were pleased with their overall performance this weekend after winning 3-1 over the Gophers on Saturday. Meghan Duggan, playing against Minnesota for the first time, scored twice as Wisconsin out-shot their opponent 36-14 to notch an impressive win in the teams’ first meeting since last season’s National Championship game. “I was pretty nervous before the game,” Duggan said. “I just went out and tried to not be nervous.””[Duggan] played well,” Johnson said. “She competed, she played hard, and she got rewarded with a couple of nice goals.”Minnesota had come into the game averaging 38.5 shots per contest, but Wisconsin was able to hold them to only 14 shots in the game by keeping the puck in the opposing zone, a factor critical to the outcome.”The best defense is a good offense,” Vetter said. “Our offense played very well — forechecking, keeping it in there. If it ever got in our zone, the D got it up pretty quick.””I thought overall that was one of the best performances over the seven games we’ve had so far. Everybody played well,” Johnson said. “Overall it’s a good weekend to get three out of four points, and we’re happy with that.”The Badgers will host North Dakota in a two-game series next weekend.last_img

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