As co-captains of the University of Wisconsin’s sixth NCAA championship women’s hockey team last season, Grace Bowlby and Brette Pettet got the honor of one more skate with the trophy Saturday.
They handed off the hardware a few times as they made their way around the LaBahn Arena rink, showing it to fans who weren’t able to be there in person last season because of the pandemic.
Bowlby turned to Pettet as a highlight video played in the arena and admitted to getting a little emotional. It was a common feeling for the Badgers.
“It made me reflect back on how exciting that was,” Bowlby said.
The pregame ceremony to unveil the Badgers’ 2021 national championship banner led into a 6-0 victory against St. Cloud State in which UW didn’t really get going offensively until the second period.
Badgers coach Mark Johnson took some of the blame for that. He gave players their championship rings Friday, already knowing they’d be hyped up Saturday.
“If you continue to get excited, then you get on the ice and your legs feel like cement,” he said.
It took the Badgers more than 38 minutes to get a shot past Huskies goaltender Emma Polusny. Maddi Wheeler’s goal late in the second period cracked open things.
Wheeler’s shot, UW’s 27th of the game, provided a 1-0 lead after the sophomore wing drove up the left side on a 2-on-1.
The offense opened up in the third period for UW behind a pair of goals from both Daryl Watts and Sophie Shirley and one from Sarah Wozniewicz.
Watts’ first goal made her only the ninth NCAA women’s hockey player to reach 250 career points.
“It’s a special milestone,” Watts said. “I think about all of my linemates, all my teammates that I’ve ever played with.”
Kennedy Blair made 19 saves as UW (5-0, 1-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) blanked St. Cloud State (2-1, 0-1) for the 17th time during a 28-game winning streak in the series.
St. Cloud State 0 0 0 — 0
Wisconsin 0 1 5 — 6
First period penalty: Cvar, SC, 12:23.
Second period: W — Wheeler 3 (Pettet, Kotlowski), 18:12. Penalties: Wheeler, W, 1:58; Wesloh, SC, 2:45; Lind, SC, 5:39; Wesloh, SC, 5:39; Wheeler, W, 8:16.
Third period: W — Watts 3 (Webster), 5:39; Watts 4 (Webster, O’Brien), 11:50; S. Shirley 2 (Pettet, Nealey), 13:07; S. Shirley 3 (Posick, Toft), 15:31; Wozniewicz 3 (Picard, Nealey), 19:47. Penalty: Bourgerie, SC, 7:34.
Saves: SC (Polusny 14-13-14, Ahola x-x-2) x; W (Blair 10-2-7) 19. Power plays: W 0-for-5; SC 0-for-2. Att. — 2,273.