No. 7 Wisconsin scored two first-period goals and held the lead the rest of the way to extend its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 2-1 win over No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
A nifty passing play helped the Badgers (12-4-4, 5-4-4 WCHA) to a 1-0 lead at 9:13 of the first period as Kendra Antony passed to Steph Millar from the top of the right faceoff circle.
Millar, cutting through the slot when she took the pass, fed the puck to Meghan Hunter, who was uncovered to the left of the UMD goal. Bulldog goalie Patricia Sautter had come out to play Millar’s shot, giving Hunter an empty net to shoot into for her fifth of the year.
Wisconsin made it 2-0 when Molly Engstrom’s shot from the point beat Sautter for her second goal of the year as the Badgers capitalized on the power play, just one of two chances they had on the night.
UMD (17-2-2, 11-1-1) cut the lead in half at 10:18 of the second period when Navada Russell put the puck off the boards from center ice. Jenny Potter caught the Badgers off-guard and skated onto the pass, then past the UW defense. She drove to the net and slipped a shot between Jackie MacMillan’s legs for her 24th tally of the season.
MacMillan made some key saves down the stretch put also got some help from the post with nine minutes to play, when Caroline Ouellette’s slapshot hit the far pipe.
After UMD pulled Sautter for an extra attacker, Bulldog captain Maria Rooth had an open shot in the middle of the slot with 17 seconds left, but MacMillan made the save to preserve the victory.
MacMillan finished the contest with 24 saves. Sautter made 25 saves in the loss.
The Wisconsin win, which snapped UMD’s nine-game unbeaten streak, was the Badgers’ fourth consecutive victory against the Bulldogs in Duluth.
The two teams conclude their series Saturday at the DECC with the opening faceoff slated for 7:05 p.m. CST.