What should have been a night of jubilation and celebration for the Wisconsin Badgers resulted in desolation. The Badgers first game at LaBahn Arena (on October 19) produced disappointing results. A 1-0 loss to the Bemidji State Beavers marks the third straight contest in which the Badgers have been unable to score.
After two scoreless periods, the Beavers scored on an error by the ninth ranked Badgers. Netminder Alex Rigsby was behind her net and did not have her stick. Bemidji State freshman Megan Lushanko got the puck to Beavers skater Kristin Huber, who scored on the open net, as she is the first women’s player to score a goal in the new arena. For Huber, it was her first marker in 12 contests (dating back to last season).
By having scored first, it marked the first time all season that Bemidji State held the lead in a match. The last 1:15 of the contest found the Badgers remove Alex Rigsby from the net for the extra attacker, but it was an effort in vain.
The goal by Huber stood as the game winner in front of a sold out crowd of 2,273. Brianna Decker and Madison Packer each had six shots on the Beavers goaltender, Abby Ryplanski. Not only did she stop eight Badger shots in the second period, but she earned her second career shutout. While the Badgers outshot Bemidji State by a 27-23 margin, the Beaver were successful in killing three penalties.
Alex Rigsby is now 3-3-1, the first time in her career that she has not had a winning record, and has lost 3 in a row for the first time as well. With the loss, the Badgers have now lost three WCHA conference games. During the 2011-12 season, the Badgers lost only three conference games.
On an off note, the Badgers were the only team that the Beavers did not beat during the 2011-12 season.