COLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team entered play Saturday with an unheard of 42.9 percent conversion rate on the power play.
By the time the top-ranked Badgers were done administering a 7-3 thumping of eighth-ranked Ohio State, the conversion rate was at a ridiculous 52 percent.
Senior Mekenzie Steffen and junior Daryl Watts had four-point games and the Badgers (6-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) converted on all four of their power-play opportunities en route to sweeping the Buckeyes (4-2-0, 2-2-0) and giving Mark Johnson his 500th career coaching victory.
“You’re thankful of your assistant coaches, our entire support staff,” Johnson said. “You thank the players that we’ve had over the course of my time here that have made that commitment. It’s not about me, it’s about the program and trying to do things the right way and if we do it long enough and you’re successful, eventually these numbers come around, so it’s a good day.”
Steffen had two goals and two assists. Watts had a goal and three assists, extending her goal-scoring streak to six games.
Sophomore Britta Curl, senior Maddie Rowe, Steffen and Watts scored power-play goals as UW improved to 13-for-25 on the season.
“I think the power play obviously was a big factor,” Johnson said.
Steffen’s power-play goal at 6:50 of the third period broke a 3-3 tie and sparked a four-goal period. Sophomore Sophie Shirley and senior Abby Roque scored at even strength, and Watts scored her power-play goal at 17:23 of the period.
“It was a great effort, great weekend,” Johnson said. “We got tested at different times and the things that we can learn from it, try to move forward and try to get better.”
UW junior goaltender Kristen Campbell made 18 saves.
Wisconsin 2 1 4 — 7
Ohio State 1 2 0 — 3
First period: OS — Schepers 3 (Maltais), 10:52. W — Curl 2 (Watts, Steffen), 13:16 (pp). W — Rowe 1 (Buchbinder, Petter), 17:55 (pp).
Second period: W — Steffen 2 (Shirley), 2:36. OS — Bink 1 (Jacques), 7:28. OS — Schepers 4 (Maltais), 10:49.
Third period: W — Steffen 3 (Roque, Shirley), 6:50. W — Shirley 4 (Watts, Bowlby), 7:33. W — Roque 5 (Watts, Shirley), 16:17. W — Watts 7 (Steffen), 17:23 (pp).
Saves: W (Campbell 5-7-6) 18, OS (Braendli 12-12-12) 36. Penalties: W 1-2, OS 2-4. Power plays: W 4-for-4, OS 0-for-1. Att. — 414.