ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Playing at a high level from the opening puck drop has been an emphasis of late for the top-ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team.
The Badgers drew high marks in that regard from coach Mark Johnson on Friday, when junior Presley Norby scored two of UW’s four first-period goals in an 8-2 victory against St. Cloud State at Herb Brooks National Ice Center.
Senior Annie Pankowski also scored twice for the Badgers (18-1-0, 8-1-0-0 WCHA), who won their 16th straight game against the Huskies (5-14-1, 2-11-0-0).
“Coming off a very successful weekend against Syracuse, we wanted to keep that momentum in the first period and establish that, and we did a good job at getting some opportunities early,” Johnson said.
Sophomore Caitlin Schneider scored three minutes into the first period to provide the initial spark. Senior Maddie Rolfes scored her first goal of the season on a power play at 15:28 of the first, and Norby scored twice in the final four minutes of the period.
“We’re just trying to get better every single game and what comes along with that is just being ready to play right when the puck drops,” Norby said. “I think we’re doing a better and better job of that every game.”
Pankowski scored twice in the second period, and freshman Sophie Shirley and junior Alexis Mauermann (power play) added third-period goals.
Wisconsin 4 2 2 — 8
St. Cloud State 0 1 1 — 2
First period: W — Schneider 2 (Drake, Gardner), 3:03; W — Rolfes 1 (Roque, Steffen), 15:28 (pp); W — Norby 6, 16:00. W — Norby 7 (Shaver, Rolfes), 19:05.
Second period: W — Pankowski 12 (Cogan, LaMantia), 4:51; SCS — Theodosopoulou 9 (Nylund, Wemple), 10:25 (pp); W — Pankowski (13 (Rolfes, Clark), 13:17.
Third period: W — Shirley 11 (Curl, Roque), 9:01; SCS — Kluge (Friesen), 13:35; W — Mauermann 6 (Shaver, Buchbinder), 13:57 (pp).
Saves: W (Campbell 4-5-6) 15; SCS (Polusny (13-16-13) 42. Power plays: W 2-2, SCS 1-3. Att. — 316.