MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – March 7, 2020 – Top-seeded Wisconsin advanced to its fifth-straight WCHA Final Faceoff Championship Game with a 4-1 win over fourth seed Minnesota Duluth at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on Saturday.
The Badgers will meet the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between No. 2 seed Minnesota and third-seeded Ohio State.
Abby Roque potted a first-period power play goal; Daryl Watts and Caitlin Schneider scored in the second period and Sophie Shirledy added a late empty-net goal for the Badgers and Kristen Campbell turned away 34 UMD shots, negating a 35-20 shot advantage for the Bulldogs. Senior Sydney Brodt scored the lone goal for Minnesota Duluth.
Following a checking penalty on Brodt 23 seconds into the game, Wisconsin jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Roque at 56 seconds of the first period. But Brodt redeemed herself minutes later, slipping behind the Badger defense on a breakaway and beating Campbell to tie the game at 4:36.
Late in the period Watts, the WCHA scoring champion this season, potted her 25th goal of the season with assists from Brette Pettet and Sophie Shirley at 18:23 to send Wisconsin into the locker room with a 2-1 lead at the first intermission after outshooting the Bulldogs, 15-5 in the opening frame.
Minnesota Duluth closed the shot gap in the second period, outshooting Wisconsin, 16-7, in the period but could not find the back of the net against Campbell. The only scoring the period came off the stick of Schneider who pushed the Badger lead to 3-1 at 7:57 on a feed from Delaney Drake.
The Bulldogs continued to press the issue in the third, peppering Campbell with 13 shots, but could not cut into the Badger lead before Sophie Shirley ended the day's scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:21 for the final margin.
Wisconsin will meet the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between No. 2 Minnesota and No. 3 Ohio State in the Final Faceoff Championship Game at 2:07 p.m. CT on Sunday.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is marking its 21st season in 2019-20. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 101 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit wcha.com.