The second ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team scored twice in the final minute on Sunday to force a 5-5 tie with No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth and earn the 2019-20 WCHA regular-season title outright.
Senior alternate captain Abby Roque led the charge and finished the battle for Wisconsin (27-4-3, 17-4-3-2 WCHA) posting two goals, while junior Daryl Watts brought up the rear by taking the draw point from Minnesota-Duluth (16-10-6, 11-8-5-3 WCHA).
For the third-straight game, UW found itself in a 1-0 hole after the first period when UMD scored a power-play goal with less than two minutes left in the period.
The Bulldogs looked as if they would pull the upset in the regular season finale, up 5-3 late. But Wisconsin’s Sophie Shirley tapped in the fourth Badger goal with 58 seconds left on a pass from Watts. Roque followed by clinching the 5-5 tie and the WCHA regular-season title with 15-seconds left in the game.
After a scoreless overtime, UW took the extra league point as Watts took off down-ice on a breakaway and nailed the top shelf in three-on-three OT.
The Badgers earned the WCHA regular season title for the eighth time, beating out rival Minnesota by two points.
Daryl Watts picked up a pair of milestones on Sunday as she broke the Badgers’ school record with her 49th assist of the season, breaking Sara Bauer and Meghan Duggan’s previous shared best of 38. In addition, Watts picked up her 200th collegiate point on Abby Roque’s first goal of the afternoon. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist leads the country with 73 points, 10 more than Clarkson’s Elizabeth Giguere, who sits in second.
The Badgers power play went 2-for-5 on the afternoon. UW continues to lead the country in power-play percentage with a .353 clip (36-of-102).
With the regular season league title comes a first round playoff bye and a week off. The Badgers will open the WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis with a semifinal matchup on Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m. against the lowest remaining seed in the tournament.