GREG DIXON/Herald photoIt’s not just Minnesota State that hasn’t been able to skate with Wisconsin lately. The Mavericks became the just latest team to get swept by the No. 2 Badgers women’s hockey team as it rolls through WCHA play.Minnesota State has developed a special affinity for losing, however. With decisive 5-0 and 8-0 victories this weekend, Wisconsin extended an unbelievable history of domination over Minnesota State: the Mavericks are now 0-31-1 all time against the Badgers.Still unbeaten since returning from their break Jan. 5, the Badgers improved to 24-1-3 (18-1-3 WCHA) and have outscored opponents 38-2 over their last eight games.After being swept at home by the Badgers two months earlier, Minnesota State (13-13-1, 9-12-1 WCHA) had been playing better hockey, winning seven straight games heading into the series. The Badgers established dominance quickly, scoring early in both games, and never gave the Mavericks a chance to get back into the contest.”The starts to both games were very similar,” Badgers coach Mark Johnson said. “We came out with a lot of energy and created some turnovers and the end result was we got some early goals.”In front of 2,556 fans Saturday — the third largest for a women’s hockey game in Kohl Center history — the Badgers attacked the net relentlessly from the start, and though three scoring attempts in the first 90 seconds were denied, the Badgers got on the board when Sara Bauer found a streaking Megan Mickelson for an easy goal, 3:48 into the first period.”I think anytime you can get some offense generated in the first couple shifts, it sets the tone well for the game,” Bauer said. “Getting off on a good foot is something we can carry through the game.”Never looking back after the first goal, the Badgers added two more goals in the first period on their way to an impressive 8-0 victory highlighted by two-goal performances from Bauer and sophomore Meghan Duggan. Jinelle Zaugg also added a late goal in the rout as the front line trio of Bauer, Duggan and Zaugg accounted for five of the Badgers’ eight goals.”They’re playing well; they played well yesterday, they played well last weekend,” Johnson said. “We’re really happy with it.”Duggan, who was added to the front line after the Christmas break, registered six points in the series, breaking the school record for freshman points of 33 set by Bauer and sophomore Angie Keseley in the process.”[Duggan] is a great player; she’s really skilled,” Zaugg said. “I was really happy to see [Johnson] move her onto our line. Bauer and I work together well but teams tend to cover us and having that third person who’s really a powerhouse confuses teams on who to cover.”According to Bauer, playing with Duggan is a pleasure, and called her teammate a “real asset” on the ice.”She’s having a great year, she’s got a great work ethic, and I’m happy to see her do well,” Bauer added.Christine Dufour, starting the second game of the series between the pipes as she has done for most of the season, notched the win with 20 saves. The win was Dufour’s school record 16th shutout, and she still has not been defeated since Oct. 5, 2005. As the season continues to near an end, the decision over goalie playing time has become increasingly difficult to make with both Dufour and sophomore Jessie Vetter playing so well as of late.”[Dufour] has been very important. It’s nice to have two goaltenders you can count on,” Johnson said. “Both goalies have played well and it’s nice to have that dilemma.”Fan support also played a role Saturday, as the season’s largest crowd was very noticeable to the Badger players.”It just shows how much women’s hockey is growing and that’s really encouraging,” Zaugg said. “There’s nothing like playing in front of the fans, and the band coming and students cheering — it gets us really pumped up.”On Friday, Bauer’s goal 27 seconds into action was all the Badgers would need to put away the Mavericks as they won handily 5-0. Bobbi-Jo Slusar added two goals in her second consecutive multi-goal game after never having had one in her previous 125 games as a Badger. It only took 18 saves for Vetter to record the win, her fifth shutout of the season.
Comments This is the 14th episode of the “On The Beat” podcast, but the first of basketball season. The Daily Orange beat writers will discuss relevant topics in Syracuse men’s basketball on the podcast all season.During the season, we’ll have one podcast during the week to preview the game and discuss other trends and story lines. A second podcast will come after each game as a postgame look at the Orange’s most recent result.This episode is a preview of the 2015 season and Syracuse’s season and home opener against Lehigh at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome on Friday night. It features beat writers Sam Blum, Matt Schneidman and Jesse Dougherty, and you can follow the @DOSports Twitter handle for continued coverage leading up to the game.If you have thoughts on the Lehigh game or the upcoming season, leave us a comment beneath the podcast. Thanks for listening.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on November 12, 2015 at 8:21 am Contact Sam: email@example.com | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+