The Wisconsin women’s hockey team captured its second-straight WCHA Final Face-Off title on Sunday with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Gophers at Ridder Arena.
WCHA Player of the Year Ann-Renee Desbiens made a career-high 35 saves to earn her 20th shutout of the year, adding to her NCAA single-season shutout record. The Patty Kazmaier Award top-three finalist stopped Minnesota’s 27 shots in the final two periods to win her 32nd game of the year.
Junior Sydney McKibbon scored the game’s lone goal midway through the second period, as the UW center knocked the puck in past Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille for her eighth goal of the year. The alternate captain has a team-high six points this postseason.
The Badgers (34-3-1) were outshot by the golden Gophers (32-4-1) 35-24, marking only the second time this year a team has recorded more shots on goal than Wisconsin.
It marks the sixth time in program history UW has won the WCHA Final Face-Off. With their regular season title, the Badgers swept the WCHA crowns for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Wisconsin went on to win its fourth NCAA title that season.
Badgers to host Mercyhurst in NCAA quarterfinal game
The Badgers earned the number-two seed in the 2016 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship, making its 10th national tournament appearance this Saturday, welcoming Mercyhurst to LaBahn Arena for an NCAA quarterfinal game.
The Badgers, the WCHA regular season and tournament champions, and the Lakers, College Hockey America’s regular and postseason champions, are set to meet at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s meeting will be the ninth between UW and Mercyhurst as the Badgers are 8-0-0 all-time against the Lakers. Wisconsin is 3-0 against the Lakers in playoff games, including a 3-1 victory in a 2012 NCAA Quarterfinal at the Kohl Center, the most recent meeting between the two teams.
UW earned the No. 2 seed in this year’s national championship, while undefeated Boston College is the tournament’s top seed and welcomes rival Northeastern in an NCAA quarterfinal game. Minnesota, the three seed, hosts Princeton and No. 4 Quinnipiac and Clarkson meet in the opening round of the eight-team tournament.