Milestones are nothing new to the Johnson family when it comes to hockey and the University of Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean they still aren't special. On Friday night the Badgers Women's hockey team went out to Bemidji State and blanked the Beavers 2-0, giving their coach, Mark Johnson, his 300th career win at the helm of the Badgers.
It was pretty much the most fitting ending to the anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice" as you could get – if you're a Wisconsin fan of course.
Friday night wasn't just a milestone night for Johnson either, as Molly Doner netted her first goal of her career at 17:59 of the 2nd period in a case of right place, right time as she swatted home a dump in from behind the net. That would be all the Badgers (20-9-2, 16-9-2-2 WCHA) needed in winning against the Beavers (6-23-2, 5-21-1-0 WCHA), who sit at the bottom of the WCHA table.
However, don't let the final score fool you, because it was 1-0 almost all the way until the bitter end. Credit the Beavers for being game in this one as they kept what has been a pretty potent Badgers offense off the scoreboard for the most part with a great effort in blocking shots and frustrating UW shooting lanes.
Wisconsin outshot Bemidji State 27-15 on the night, but were unable to take advantage of five – yes FIVE power play opportunities.
The Badgers only made the final score 2-0 with an empty net goal by Brianna Decker with 0.1 second left on the clock. It was her 26th goal of the season with assists coming from Courtney Burke and Kelly Jaminsky.
Wisconsin goaltender Brianna Decker had a pretty easy time of things through the first two periods, but faced an onslaught of shots from an aggressive Beavers offense that pelted eight shots on goal in the final frame (just seven shots in first two periods combined). Overall she stopped all 15 shots she faced in earning her 6th shutout of the season (2nd most in NCAA) and her 22nd career shutout in net.
These two teams will square off at 4pm today in the final game of the regular season for the Badgers, who currently sit 3rd in the WCHA standings with a chance to finish 2nd with a win and some help in the form of a W and a North Dakota loss or tie and shootout loss.