Sophomore goalie Jessie Vetter made 22 saves as the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team shut out No. 10 Ohio State 4-0 Saturday afternoon in the first WCHA semifinal at Ridder Arena.
With the win, the Badgers advance into the WCHA championship game to be played at 1:07 p.m. Sunday. Wisconsin will face Minnesota.
UW has now posted five consecutive shutouts, breaking the previous school record of four. Wisconsin has not allowed a goal in 307 minutes and 13 seconds of action and has shut out 11 of its last 16 opponents.
While Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) provided the defense, four different Badgers scored goals on Saturday. Jasmine Giles (Ottawa, Ontario), Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.), Angie Keseley (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and Jinelle Zaugg (Eagle River, Wis.) all scored as the Badgers (32-1-4) extended their unbeaten streak to 22 games (19-0-3 in that stretch).
At the other end of the ice, Erika Vanderveer stopped 22 shots as the Buckeyes finished the season with an overall record of 20-13-4.
Ohio State’s Erin Keys had the first good scoring chance of the afternoon 4:30 into the contest. The junior found a rebound on her stick with a wide-open net to shoot at, but she was denied by a diving Vetter.
Giles finally opened the scoring at the 17:38 mark of the first period. WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alberta) fired a shot from the right point while the Badgers were on the power play. Vanderveer made the initial save, but she was unable to stop Giles’ rebound.
Mikkelson and captain Bobbi-Jo Slusar (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) recorded assists on Giles’ seventh goal of the season.
The Badgers added to their lead midway through the second. While skating shorthanded, Patty Kazmaier Award finalist Sara Bauer (St. Catharines, Ontario) out-raced the Buckeyes to a loose puck in the defensive zone and then made a move around an OSU defender in the neutral zone. Once in space, Bauer found Duggan, who had just stepped out of the penalty box, in the slot for a one-timer than beat Vanderveer.
The shorthanded goal was Duggan’s 23rd of the season while Bauer picked up the lone assist on the play, her 41st of the year.
Wisconsin opened up a 3-0 lead 6:05 into the third period. Mikkelson sent Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Keseley up ahead on a two-on-one. Lawler flipped a saucer pass over the stick of an OSU player and Keseley redirected it on net. Vanderveer made the initial stop but was unable to control the puck and it found its way into the net for Keseley’s 12th goal of the season.
Zaugg closed out the scoring at the 16:54 mark of the third when she ripped a shot past Vanderveer for her 25th goal of the season. Bauer picked up her 42nd assist of the season on the goal.
The Badgers finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play while the Buckeyes were 0-for-4.
UW will face either Minnesota Duluth or Minnesota in the WCHA championship game Sunday at 1:07 p.m. Badger fans can follow the game live on their computers by going to uscho.com.
Wisconsin will learn its NCAA tournament fate Sunday at 5 p.m. after the WCHA championship game.
Athletic Communications Assistant
University of Wisconsin