Four different Badgers scored as the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team defeated Minnesota Duluth 4-1 Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Frozen Four championship game at Herb Brooks Arena to claim the team’s second straight NCAA title.
Although she finally allowed a goal in the Frozen Four, sophomore Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) stopped 17 shots to earn her 20th win of the season. Vetter allowed just one goal on 39 (22 on Friday, 17 today) shots in the Frozen Four.
Named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, senior Sara Bauer (St. Catharines, Ontario) tallied six points in the Frozen Four. Bauer recorded three assists in the semifinal game and one goal and two assists in the championship contest.
In the opening period, Jinelle Zaugg (Eagle River, Wis.) scored Wisconsin’s first goal on a power play opportunity. Three skaters tallied goals in the second frame for UW including: Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.), Bauer and Jasmine Giles (Ottawa, Ontario).
The win tied UW’s record-setting 26-game unbeaten streak.
In goal for Minnesota Duluth, freshman Kim Martin made 20 saves in the competition.
Zaugg gave the Badgers a 1-0 lead at the nine minute mark of the opening period. Playing on the power play, Zaugg picked up the puck from between Bauer’s skates and fired a low shot, beating Martin.
The goal, scored with just a few seconds left on the power play, was Zaugg’s 29th goal and 50th point of the season. The assist gave Bauer her 70th point of the season, making her just the second Badger to reach that milestone.
Wisconsin doubled its lead early in the second period when Lawler slipped a shot underneath Martin from the bottom of the left circle. Freshman Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) and Bauer each earned assists on Lawler’s 10th goal of the season.
The Badgers went up 3-0 on the Bulldogs at the 11:56 mark of the second. Skating down on a 2-on-1, Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alberta) made a pass across the slot from the right circle to Bauer skating toward the net. Bauer snapped a shot into the upper right corner of the net above Martin’s glove hand for her 24th goal of the year.
Minnesota Duluth got on the board less than three minutes later when Emmanuelle Blais tipped a shot from the point by Noemie Marin past Vetter. The power-play goal snapped a 422 minute and 36 second shutout streak for the Badgers in NCAA tournament play.
However, it took UW just 10 seconds to respond to UMD’s goal as Lawler got a breakaway off of the ensuing faceoff. Martin made the initial save, but Giles was there to flip the puck over her on the rebound, giving the Badgers a 4-1 advantage.
Wisconsin went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Minnesota Duluth ended the contest 1-for-4.
The women’s hockey team is the first UW program to repeat as NCAA champions since women’s cross country won the title in 1984 and 1985. The women’s lightweight rowing team has won three straight championships, however the NCAA does not sponsor the sport.
With the win, the Badgers broke or tied six NCAA single-season team records: most wins (36), best winning percentage (.927), fewest losses (1), home wins (19), fewest goals allowed per game (0.88) and lowest goals against average (0.85).
Badger fans are invited to welcome home the newly-crowned two-time national champion UW women’s hockey team at 6 p.m. Monday in the Nicholas Johnson Pavilion. Gate B of the Kohl Center will open at 5:30 p.m. for the free event with free parking available in Lots 88 and 91.
Wisconsin Athletic Communications Erin Starck