Badgers finish home slate with big victory


first_imgSenior forward Jasmine Giles scored the Badgers\’ final goal in this weekend\’s 6-0 home finale victory against Minnesota State.[/media-credit]Wisconsin finished out its regular season home slate in style, sending its seniors out with a perfect farewell in the form of a 6-0 shutout over the Minnesota State Mavericks.After a rough start Friday, the Badgers suffered their first loss to the Mavericks in program history in a 5-3 contest. Wisconsin was not, however, going to let Minnesota State leave the Kohl Center with a series sweep, especially on senior day.With emotions already running high, freshman defenseman Alev Kelter got things off to a quick start.Capitalizing on UW’s first power play of the game, junior forward Kelly Nash fed the puck from the corner to Kelter where she knocked it past MSU goalie Alli Altmann for her first career goal and what eventually was the game-winner at the 2:45 mark in the first period.Afterward, Kelter could only describe her goal as “awesome.”“I did it for [the seniors],” Kelter said. “I think everyone worked extra hard today just to make this experience unforgettable.”From there, the game just got more exciting for the Badgers.Senior forwards Jasmine Giles and Kyla Sanders both tallied goals on the game. Giles shot a rocket into the net 11 minutes into the third period, getting her second and, fittingly, what would be the final goal of the game.Giles noted the seniors’ determination to give their best effort in what could be their final game at the Kohl center.“I guess us seniors wanted to come out and play our best,” she said. “It’s kind of emotional, but at the same time, today you kind of remember everything that did happen here — a lot of great memories. We just went out, and luckily we got a couple.”While Giles and Sanders were rewarded for all their work on offense, senior goalie Alannah McCready got her fifth career shutout in the seniors’ last home stand.McCready only faced 14 shots on goal in the game, but some were close calls and she credits the strong Badger defense for helping with the shutout.“[The defense] makes it a little easier. They were really solid today,” McCready said. “We had really good breakouts, and if I had a rebound they were playing it out right away. That always helps a lot.”With only three other six-goal games this season — one of which was at MSU — interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser was pleased to see all the hard work finally paying off for UW.“Six is a lot of goals. We’ve only done that I think three times this year,” she said. “We’ve been close so many times to having these breakout, explosive games — just a lot of shots on net — but scoring chances and scoring goals are two very different things, and it was nice to see us scoring goals and being rewarded for the chances.”While Sunday was a day for great celebration, Friday was the complete opposite. In an upsetting 5-3 loss, Wisconsin felt almost nothing but frustration.After putting up only three shots on goal, the Mavericks were already ahead 3-0 in the first period after about 12 minutes of play. The Badgers were forced into an uphill battle for the rest of the game, and while they put up a fight, they fell short.“It’s hard when you’re three goals down against a team when we’ve lost one-nothing and two-nothing throughout the year. Three was definitely going to be an uphill battle for us,” DeKeyser said. “We didn’t give up. There was excitement — Stefanie McKeough got her first goal with the [team’s second] goal. When you’re down three, that’s a hard deficit to come back from.”While the first period was eventful for the Mavericks, the Badgers fought back hard in the third, which included the goal by McKeough, a freshman defenseman.McKeough was happy to finally find the back of the net on her own, but would have preferred if it could have led to a win.“Yeah it was awesome,” she said. “I was trying to think of a good celebration to do, but I just got too excited so I slammed my stick on the ice. It was awesome, but I would have liked to seal it with a win.”Although Wisconsin outshot the Mavericks 51-17, the squad struggled to get the puck in the net Friday night. With 20 shots to MSU’s two in the third period alone, the Badgers were looking for a comeback, but Altmann was not making it easy for the squad.“I think we did [fight] towards the end of the second period and all of the third period. I think we battled pretty hard and tried to come back,” McCready said. “We did a little bit and their goalie played amazing — 50 shots and only three goals — we just didn’t put it in the net.”Despite the frustration the team is certain it has the talent to succeed, it just has not consistently found it or shown it.McKeough readily admits how difficult it can be.“It does get frustrating. No one can lie about that, but we’re just waiting for our time when we will … score eight goals on 50 shots. We know we can do it, and we have the talent to do it, so we’re just waiting for our time.”Their time came on Sunday in what DeKeyser describes as a “textbook day for senior day.”Sanders put it simply.“Coming out with a win is just as good as it gets.”last_img

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