Coming into last weekend, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team held a mere one point advantage over Ohio State for second place in the WCHA standings.
Considering that Minnesota has, essentially, locked up the regular season crown and the number one seed in the league playoffs, the two-game set with the Buckeyes at La Bahn Arena was especially crucial.
The Badgers earned a much needed sweep over OSU and now have extended their advantage for the No.2 spot in the conference to five points.
A pair of shorthanded goals lifted No.8 Wisconsin over No. 9 Ohio State 4-1 in the opening game of the series on Friday.
Madison Packer scored at 16:47 of the second period to put UW up 1-0 and the Badgers never looked back.
Brianna Decker notched the first shorthanded score of the game a hair over three minutes into the final period to extend Wisconsin’s advantage to two.
Ally Tarr brought the Buckeyes within one with her goal minutes later, but that is as close as Ohio State would get.
UW tacked on two more goals in the final ten minutes of the contest to secure the victory.
Decker finished the game with a team-high three points on two goals and an assist.
Goaltender Alex Rigsby made 23 saves en route to the win.
Saturday night brought a closer contest, but the same result. Wisconsin downed Ohio State 2-1 to complete the sweep.
Once again, Packer scored first for the Badgers, this time in the first period.
But, for the first time in the series, the Buckeyes drew even courtesy of Tarr’s second goal of the weekend.
Alev Kelter dealt the decisive blow midway through the third period as she lit the lamp for the 13th time this season to put the Badgers ahead 2-1.
Five different players got on the score sheet for Wisconsin.
Rigsby stopped 26 shots to bring her weekend save total to 49.
With the win, the Badgers push their home unbeaten streak to 11 games. UW is now 10-1-1 at La Bahn Arena.
Wisconsin will be back in action next weekend as they hit the road to take on North Dakota. The two-game series begins Friday.