BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The No. 2-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 9 North Dakota in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-Off on Friday at the Sanford Center.
Despite outshooting UND 35-24, the Badgers were unable to light the lamp for the second time in the past three games.
“Obviously it was a disappointment,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said. “Overall I thought we played okay, but this time of the year, okay isn’t good enough. The nice part about it is that we get to play another game and hopefully this can be a learning experience and come back and make some offense and understand that we have to give a little bit more if we are going to be successful.”
After UW outshot UND 15-8 in the first period, North Dakota jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Meghan Dufault slid her own rebound past UW senior netminder Alex Rigsby with three minutes remaining in the second period.
After UND dominated the early parts of the third, Wisconsin had some chances late in the period but couldn’t convert.
Rigsby made 23 saves, while UND goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie collected 35 stops in the win.
Only two penalties were called during the game, and neither team went on the power play.
Wisconsin will learn its NCAA tournament fate Sunday as the eight-team field is announced at 5 p.m. on NCAA.com.
“The silver lining is that if you take the lessons you learn from this game -- and as I mentioned to the team, I’m okay with the way we played -- but if we want to move on at this time of the year you need to play better,” Johnson said. “If they take that away from the game then it’s a good lesson to learn and we move on to the next one. Obviously we’re fortunate to get another opportunity but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful unless you continue to learn. And for our younger players it’s the first time through and hopefully some of the lessons they’ve learned from the past couple weekends will make us a tough out.
“Now you’re three games away from a national championship, but the stakes are higher too.”