Badgers Women’s Hockey sweeps Bemidji State

No. 1 Wisconsin stays undefeated
Badgers Women’s Hockey sweeps Bemidji State
Badgers women's hockey game vs. Lindenwood canceled 

Senior Claudia Kepler scored two goals and sophomore Abby Roque recorded two assists to lead the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a 5-1 win over Bemidji State Saturday night in front of another sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena.

Wisconsin (10-0-0, 4-0-0-0 WCHA) took an early 1-0 lead over Bemidji State (1-6-1, 0-4-0-0 WCHA) when Kepler went top-shelf on a pass from sophomore Presley Norby less than a minute into the game.

Freshman Natalie Buchbinder made it 2-0 late in the first, notching her first career goal as a Badger after rocketing the puck past BSU goaltender Lauren Bench.

Sophomore Maddie Rowe and junior Mikaela Gardner each recorded goals in the second frame to push the lead to 4-0.

The Beavers scored early in the third period to make it 4-1, but the Badgers quickly responded as Kepler converted on the power play, tallying her eighth goal of the season to seal the 5-1 win.

Sophomore Kristen Campbell stopped 11 of the 12 shots she faced to improve to 10-0-0 during her UW career.

Three Notes to Know:
– Thanks to the win, Wisconsin improved to 10-0-0 on the season, marking only the second time in school history that UW has won its first 10 games. The 2015-16 squad began their season with an 18-0-0 record, the best in program history.

– Kepler ranks second in the country in goals with eight while her four power-play strikes are tied for the NCAA lead.

– Wisconsin extended its winning streak against Bemidji State to 12 games against the Beavers. During the run, UW has outscored BSU 52-7.

Straight from the Rink

UW head coach Mark Johnson

On labeling the top-two lines:
“We don’t have a first or second line, or one-A and one-B, we just have combinations of players that we move around. Both nights we changed up people, so to put numbers on them, you can do that, I don’t do it.”

On the freshmen:
“Most of them have made a step up as far as the improvement latter. It’s nice to see them confident and comfortable. We’re now 10 games into the season and prior to starting the season that’s what you hope for, that they’re growing and developing over the course of the season. Some are going to do it quicker than others, but for most of them they’re much more comfortable now than they were five or six weeks ago. That’s the job of us as coaches to continue to work with them, continue to develop them and continue to put them in situations where they’re going to be successful. It’s been a good start for a lot of them.”

Senior forward Claudia Kepler

On the energy the team had at the start of the game:
“I think it’s all about coming out with a lot of energy. We talk to our linemates before we go out there, we just want to start strong. Getting the puck deep and doing the little things right, and then it just goes in.”

On her chemistry with her linemates:
“Honestly, it’s just doing the little things- it’s getting the puck deep. We’re not worried about making the pretty plays, we’re just reading the situation, which is what we’ve been working on in practice, and in video too.”

Sophomore forward Presley Norby

On the team’s chemistry as a whole:
“I think we’re just starting to connect. We’re 10 games in, over a month into the season. Chemistry, lines, and the flow of the game are just really starting to connect. Passes are more crisp, so we’re not summer stick handling anymore. We’re putting up the loose ends and starting to play as a team.”

On the upcoming Border Battle:
“I get really excited to play Minnesota being from Minnesota. The Border Battle is definitely a different atmosphere. We know they’re going to give us their best game, and hopefully we’ll give them ours too.”

Up Next:
The Badgers hit the road for the Twin Cities to take on Minnesota in a Saturday-Sunday series at Ridder Arena. Puck drop on Saturday is set for 4 p.m. CT while Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.