first_imgSenior defender Jordan Brickner scored what appeared to net the winning goal for Wisconsin before a Bemidji State score in the closing minutes.[/media-credit]The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team came away with a loss and a tie in its opening weekend at the newly-opened LaBahn Arena.Despite dominating both games over the weekend, Wisconsin (3-3-2, 1-3-2 WCHA) was unable to come away with a win over WCHA foe Bemidji State (2-3-1, 1-2-1).Sunday, the Beavers forced the Badgers into overtime with a late third period goal to tie the game. Neither team was able to score in overtime, taking the game to a shootout. It was UW that came out on top in the shootout, giving Wisconsin an extra point in the WCHA standings.But Bemidji State struck first, taking the early lead five minutes into the first period when senior forward MacKenzie Thurston buried an assisted shot.It took more than four periods, but the Badgers finally scored their first goal at LaBahn Arena when senior forward and captain Brianna Decker put in a backhanded shot on an assist from junior defenseman Kelly Jaminski with just more than six minutes left in the second period.Decker’s goal broke Wisconsin’s three-game goalless streak, the longest such streak since 2001.Decker said the team built some momentum once she put Wisconsin on the board.“Anytime you score a goal it brings energy to the team naturally,” Decker said. “It was just a matter of time that we were going to put one in and create energy.”Wisconsin took the lead when freshman defenseman Courtney Burke scored her first career goal early in the third period.The Badgers spent plenty of time in the penalty box Sunday, committing six penalties for a total of 12 minutes. Wisconsin fended off Bemidji State’s power play until Beavers’ sophomore forward Rachael Kelly scored during her team’s one-man advantage.During another Bemidji State power play, Wisconsin broke the 2-2 tie when senior defenseman Jordan Brickner scored the shorthanded goal on a breakaway with an assist from sophomore forward Karley Sylvester.Brickner explained what happened and her excitement after scoring what at the time appeared to be the game-winning goal.“The puck kind of bounced out,” Brickner said. “Karley Sylvester and I kind of got to it. We took off down the ice and I think we both got behind the defender. I was about to slide it over to her and then I saw the goalie kind of cheat and I saw top shelf open so I shot it and it went in. It was pretty exciting, especially when we were down one person.”Wisconsin seemed to have the game all but won when Bemidji State scored its third and game-tying goal with just 55 seconds left in the third period.After a scoreless overtime, Decker and junior forward Madison Packer both made their shots, while Wisconsin’s junior goalkeeper blocked both of Bemidji’s shots to give Wisconsin the shootout win.Head coach Mark Johnson was pleased with the way his team played Sunday.“Overall it was a good effort,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of opportunities and had good momentum and overall, as I told the team, it was a good effort today. We won the shootout so you get the extra point, so you can walk away feeling pretty good about it.”Friday, Bemidji State spoiled Wisconsin’s grand opening of the LaBahn Arena and 500th game in program history, defeating the Badgers 1-0 in front of a sellout crowd.Despite outshooting the Beavers 75 to 37, the Badgers were unable to put a goal on the board.Wisconsin’s best chance to score came with less than a minute to go in the second period when Decker’s shot on goal hit off the far post.Even though UW was shut out, Decker said she was happy her team earned scoring chances and is trying not to get frustrated.“It’s early on in the season,” Decker said. “You can’t get frustrated. A loss, no one wants to lose, but our team can only move forward. Just like last weekend, we just have to learn from it. We have to put the puck in the net, but we are getting opportunities. We just can’t get frustrated.”Along with 27 shots on goal, UW had three power plays on Friday but could not capitalize on the single-man advantage.Bemidji State’s goal came five minutes into the third period when Wisconsin junior goaltender Alex Rigsby was caught behind the net trying to slow the puck when she collided with a teammate and lost her stick. The puck shot in front of the goal, leaving Rigsby without her stick, to watch the puck slide away.Johnson said he was disappointed his team couldn’t come away with the win in the Badgers’ first game at LaBahn and that his team still has some time to adjust to the new facility.“[LaBahn Arena] is a house and we have to make it a home,” Johnson said. “We can’t do that in a short period of time. We’ve had a number of practices here and now we had our first game and so the newness as you go through more game starts to go away and you get more comfortable. That’s what we need to do.”Follow Spencer on Twitterlast_img