GREGORY DIXON/Herald photoBeginning with a heroic two-goal performance in the national championship game against archrival Minnesota last season, junior forward Jinelle Zaugg has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with.Zaugg has found the net in each of the Badgers’ first six games, including a hat trick against St. Cloud State, and has been a major part of the team’s early success.Currently the nation’s leading scorer (she has 12 points on four assists and eight goals), Zaugg has built off of her sophomore campaign during which she scored 24 goals and has been able to find the net more often this season. Her increased scoring has forced opponents to pay more attention to her, taking both pressure and defenders away from teammate and last season’s Patty Kazmaier Award winner Sara Bauer.”I think it’s confused other teams on who to guard the most,” Zaugg said of her play taking pressure off of Bauer. “It’s worked to both of our advantages, sometimes they guard me more, which opens [Bauer] up for more opportunities, sometimes it’s vice versa.”Bauer, who has registered an assist on four of Zaugg’s goals this season, is currently second in the country in scoring with 11 points, one behind Zaugg.”I think she’s a huge asset, she’s been scoring quite frequently,” Bauer said of Zaugg’s play. “That’s what you need to do, put the puck in the net.”The Badgers’ power play has also received a huge boost from Zaugg’s scoring. Zaugg has scored five of her eight goals on the power play and has been a huge reason the Badgers have converted on 34.3 percent of their power plays this season, a big jump from last season’s 20.3 percent.”Bauer and I are connecting more, that’s been a big reason for [the power play’s success],” Zaugg said of her chemistry with Bauer on the power play. “I feel pretty comfortable with [the power play], I think we’re doing pretty well.””Sometimes you work the puck around really well and don’t get anything out of it,” Bauer added. “But this year, we’ve done a nice job and we’ve been very successful.”Zaugg, who at 6-foot-1 is the biggest of the Badger players, has been able to use her towering frame to outmuscle opponents and put the puck in the net.”She’s got great size and outstanding strength, but more importantly, she can shoot a puck very, very hard,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said of Zaugg’s size and ability.Zaugg certainly hasn’t come out of nowhere — her 37 points last season were fourth on the team — but her improvement this season has been very noticeable. So what’s been the difference between Zaugg this season and years past? The popular answer seems to be confidence.”I think she’s grown up quite a bit,” Johnson said. “Obviously having a good season last year builds confidence in a player.””She’s gained confidence,” Bauer also said of her teammate. “She’s more assertive now, and I think that’s worked in her favor.”Quick to deflect praise, Zaugg attributes a lot of her success this season to her teammates, practice, hard work and a little bit of luck.”I guess the shots are just going in this year,” Zaugg said. “I feel like I’m working harder, I still think there’s a lot to improve on, though.”This weekend, Zaugg will get another shot against Minnesota, a team Zaugg scored against four times last year, including the two in the title game.”There’s nothing like beating a Gopher,” Zaugg said.If there’s anyone who knows how to do that best, it’s her.