Decker’s Hat Trick Helps Propel Badgers Women’s Hockey Past Lindenwood, 7-2

It sure wasn't the script Mark Johnson would want to write, but the 3rd ranked Badgers (2-0-1) woke up after finding themselves down 2-0 early in the 1st period. Wisconsin came roaring back with 7 unanswered goals to top Lindenwood (0-3-0) in the first of a two game series against the Lady Lions. 

The Badgers were led by star Brianna Decker who had a hat trick to go along with 2 assists in the victory. She now has 5 goals and 3 assists for a team leading 8 points on the young season.

While Decker had a headline grabbing night, it's also worth noting the performances of Saige Pacholok (2 assists), Courtney Burke (2 assists), and Madison Packer (2 goals, 1 assist).

The Badgers also took advantage of a sharp power play, scoring on 4 of 7 opportunities in the game. 

It's safe to say having Decker score a lot and being effective on special teams play is a recipe for success if you are Wisconsin or anyone else in the game of hockey.

It didn't take Lindenwood long to get on the board first in the game, scoring just 2:57 into the 1st on a goal by Kendra Broad  and before the Badgers could catch their breath the Lady Lions doubled their lead just 32 seconds later. Making it 2-0 on a goal by Allysson Arcibal, assisting on the goal was Allison Wickenheiser, her 1st assist of the season.

However, that would be all the offense the Lady Lions could muster as they woke the sleeping giant in Wisconsin and Decker specifically. At 11:54 into the 1st Decker got the 1st goal for Wisconsin and it would just be the beginning of things to come for the Badgers who dominated the rest of the game from there. 

Wisconsin would get back to even less than 4 minutes later on a goal by Kelly Jaminsky, her 1st of the season. The period would end 2-2 with the Badgers outshooting Lindenwood 10-7 in the period.

After giving up those 1st two goals in the first 4 minutes of the period goaltender Alex Rigsby went to work, stopping 20 of 22 Lindenwood shots on the night for a .909 save percentage. Rigsby improved her record to 2-0-1 as well with the win.

It was only the start of things to come for the Badgers as the 2nd period served to really open this game wide for the Badgers. Wisconsin would score 3 special teams goals in the period, blowing the lead up to 5-2. The first two goals by the Badgers were both power play efforts by Madison Packer (2), who also would add an assist to her 3 point night. 

Wisconsin would really put this game away with a penalty shot goal by Brianna Decker, just her 2nd of the 3 for the night.

Up by a comfortable margin heading into the 3rd period the Badgers continued the onslaught as Decker would get her hat trick 11:28 into the final frame on a power play goal with assists from Packer and Saige Pacholok. 

Rounding out the scoring party for the Badgers was Karley Sylvester, also on the power play, with just 30 seconds left in the contest. It was the sophomore forward's 1st goal of the season and it was assisted by Jordan Brickner (1) and Courtney Burke (2).

On the night the Badgers completely outplayed the Lady Lions, hold a 41-22 advantage in shots and had those 4 power play goals as well as 2 unassisted goals for the night.

Up next for the Badgers will be a 2pm game against Lindenwood to end their season series. 

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site