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Women’s hockey dominates on offense, forces key turnovers

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin women’s hockey had dominating offensive performances this weekend against Boston University.Wisconsin controlled the puck for the majority of both games against the Terriers and had many more scoring opportunities as well. The Badgers had 80 shots on goal in the series, while Boston had nearly half the number of shots with 43.In the Badgers’ series finale a week ago against the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin was outshot by 18, but they were still able to win 6-3. There was no question UW flipped the switch this weekend after not being content with that performance a week ago.Saturday afternoon the Badgers played well early in the game, but weren’t able to capitalize on many of their scoring opportunities. By staying persistent and keeping the Terriers on their heels, they were able to break the game open in the third period.“If you’re getting good quality opportunities, you can’t get frustrated,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “When we had the five on three [power play] and I called a timeout, it gave us a chance to really take charge of the game. Unfortunately we didn’t score on that sequence with the five on three and then five on four that followed, but it gave us a little bit of energy because we had a bunch of quality opportunities.”Brianna Decker was a huge part of the Badgers success, as she recorded a hat trick in Saturday’s game. She had a crucial goal early in the third period that gave Wisconsin a 3-1 lead and was the first of four goals for UW in the third period.“When you score it creates energy, and when you get scored on it takes it away. So we were able to capitalize a couple times in the third period,” Johnson said.The Badgers’ tough defense and conditioning were also factors in Wisconsin’s offensive dominance. They forced Boston into many quick turnovers in its own defensive zone that lead to great scoring opportunities for UW and forced the Terriers into committing penalties as well.“I think our speed has a lot to do with it and also our conditioning,” Brianna Decker said. “I think they kind of got tired, so they got lazy, which caused them to take the penalties.”Boston committed six penalties on Saturday, mostly from attempts to stop Wisconsin on breakaways from turnovers.Offense and defense are typically closely related in how the play of one can have a great effect on how well a team performs on the other. Johnson touched on how the two are related, since tough defense was key in the Badgers’ offensive success.“The philosophy is if you play well on your end, you’ll probably spend most of your time at the other team’s end,” Johnson said. “The fun part about a game is in the offensive zone, and if you work hard in the defensive zone, you’ll probably play more time in the offensive zone.”Forwards Hilary Knight and Decker consistently perform well for Wisconsin, but younger and lesser known players like freshmen Blayre Turnbull also had great performances in the series. Turnbull had two goals Saturday, and sophomore Brittany Ammerman tallied two goals of her own in Friday’s contest.“A little bit of icing on the cake for Blayre tonight in regards that she was able to score a couple goals, and certainly that’s going to help her confidence and certainly going to make her feel good,” Johnson said.Johnson has to be pleased with how his team dominated offensively against a top five-ranked school in BU, but he understands there are many challenges that lie ahead for Wisconsin.“You’ve built yourself into a group that is playing at a high level because of the competition,” Johnson said. “Now you can’t just relax or you take a step back and think that, well, we’re just playing this team that’s not ranked and we’re going to win – it doesn’t work that way.”last_img read more

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