UND can’t crack Wisconsin’s goalie in hard fought losses
Taking another swing at the conference best, UND’s valiant efforts fell short over the weekend in Wisconsin as the Badgers swept the series on their home ice.
Game one in the series saw a lone goal early in the first period that became the deciding factor in a final 1-0 loss. Both teams played excellent hockey for a game that kept fans at the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
Both goaltenders saw an equal amount of shots, while Amsley-Benzie was the unfortunate victim to Badgers’ Erika Sowchuk, who threw a puck from the corner of the rink that found the back of the net. Sowchuks goal gave Wisconsin its first goal of the season against the Hawks.
UND’s penalty kill unit put on a stellar performance to keep Wisconsin at bay for the remainder of the game. However, the UND power play had difficulties capitalizing on some of the best shots of the night.
“The outcome isn’t what we wanted, we played a heck of hockey game,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “I don’t think we need to change a thing, we need to be consistent and we need consistency to compete every shift and every period, play with the same energy and level all over the ice.”
Things did not get much better for the Hawks as forward Meghan Dufault took a high sticking call in the final seconds of the game which later resulted in a suspension, making her ineligible to play in game two.
The team had to adjust the line up with the loss of Dufault, a key first line contributor, but still came out fighting to avoid the sweep in game two.
As the first period ended, it appeared this game would follow suit from the previous day as the period ended scoreless. Wisconsin made it onto the board first in the final minutes of the second period to make it 1-0.
The Hawks did not miss a beat as forward Becca Kohler responded minutes into the third on a UND power play. Kohler collected the rebound and put it in the back of the net for her 10th goal of the season.
The same penalty kill unit as the previous day was not so lucky this time around, as the Badgers were able to take the lead in the final minutes of the third and seal the deal on an empty net goal for a 3-1 final.
Even though it is hard to find silver linings in a sweep, the Fighting Hawks have the most goals against Wisconsin this season. Wisconsin has only allowed 14 goals total this season with UND accounting for four of them.
UND will return home this weekend to host a conference series against Minnesota State on Jan. 29 and 30.
Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]