March 6 championship game winner earns automatic NCAA Tournament berth
EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 27, 2016 – Following a quartet of first-round playoff sweeps in the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), the field is set for the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off, set for March 5 and 6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. The premier conference tournament in women's college hockey, the event features a trio of nationally-ranked teams and a fourth that scored a big quarterfinal-round upset on the road.
Top-seed, nationally third-ranked, WCHA regular season champion and defending Final Face-Off winner Wisconsin (32-3-1) will face fourth-seed Minnesota Duluth (15-20-1), which upset Bemidji State in the first round, in the first semifinal at 2:07 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 5. Second-seed Minnesota (31-3-1; ranked No. 2 nationally), playing on its home ice, will face long-time rival and third-seed North Dakota (18-11-5; ranked No. 10 nationally) in the second semifinal at 5:07 p.m. CT. The two semifinal winners will play Sunday, March 6 at 2:07 p.m. CT for the WCHA playoff championship and an automatic berth into the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin is playing in its sixth-straight WCHA Final Face-Off after sweeping Minnesota State. Minnesota is making its 17th-consecutive appearance in the semifinals after knocking off Ohio State in two games, while North Dakota is back for the sixth-straight year following a pair of wins over St. Cloud State. After missing out last season, Minnesota Duluth is back in the league's championship event following an upset sweep over host Bemidji State.
2016 WCHA Final Face-Off; Ridder Arena, Minneapolis
Semifinal games of Saturday, March 5
(1) Wisconsin vs. (4) Minnesota Duluth, 2:07 p.m. CT
(2) Minnesota vs. (3) North Dakota, 5:07 p.m. CT
Championship Game – Sunday, March 6
Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner – 2:07 p.m. CT
All-tournament packages or single-season tickets are available for purchase directly through the Gopher Sales & Service Department; in-person at Mariucci Arena (during regular office hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Monday-Friday), via phone at 612-624-8080 (Option 2) or online here.