Right from the opening face-off it was back-and-forth action with a playoff-type intensity that ended with UND dropping to 11-6-0 (8-5-0-0 WCHA) and snapping its program record seven-game winning streak. The Badgers improve to 11-6-2 (7-6-2-2) and extend its home unbeaten streak to eight games.
"I thought we competed well," Head coach Brian Idalski said. "We got a lot of pucks to the net, executed a lot of things very well. I thought our kids did a good job of executing their role today. It was a very good game all around."
The road team quickly quieted the crowd as Josefine Jakobsen (Aalborg, Denmark) scored the game's first goal only 40 seconds in. Senior Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) rushed the puck into the slot where she used a spin move to free some space from a Badger defender and find Jakobsen for the wide-open net with a cross-crease pass.
It was the 12th time in 17 games this season that UND has scored the game's first goal, but now fall to 8-4 overall in those games.
A series of penalties were called on each team during the middle stanza that saw plenty of special teams play. UND took advantage of one of its three power-play attempts in the period, but felt it could have had more opportunities as freshman Meghan Dufault (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was sent into the boards twice for body-checking calls that debatably could have been five-minute checking-from-behind penalties.
UND also took its share of costly penalties in the period leading to large momentum swing in favor of the Badgers. North Dakota was able to successfully kill off its first two penalties of the period, but the Badgers lit the lamp on its third attempt when Brianna Decker whistled a shot off the post and behind Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) which was banged in by Madison Packer at 17:11.
With the crowd back into the game it would erupt when Decker tallied her 18th goal of the season only 30-seconds later. Decker wrapped around behind the net and then sniped the short-side top corner to even the game at 2-2.
North Dakota would close out the period on the penalty-kill after being whistle for its fourth penalty of the period with too many on the ice and have to open the final stanza for nearly the first minute with a player in the box.
Alev Kelter would complete the comeback scoring the eventual game-winner at 2:12 of a penalty-free third period.
"They got those two goals there in the second period, one of the them on the power play and the other on a great individual effort by one of their players shortly after," Idalski said. "I thought coming into the third tied 2-2, if we were just patient and executed good things would happen for us. Unfortunately they got the next one there in the third and were able to hang on defensively after that."
North Dakota would outshot the Badgers in each of the three periods and 35-26 overall, but Rigsby finished with 33 saves to lead her squad to the victory.
"I thought she played extremely well," Idalski said. "We talked about it earlier in the week that she is a top goaltender and a difference maker back there. I thought she was very solid and probably won the game for them overall."
North Dakota and Wisconsin will each close out its first half of the season in tomorrow's 1:07 p.m. series-finale.