EDINA, Minn. – March 5, 2017 – For the first time since 2012, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) has three representatives – Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota – in the eight-team field that will compete for the NCAA championship, as announced this evening by the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Committee. The top-seeded Badgers, the No. 3 seed Bulldogs and the Gophers will be vying to win the WCHA's 17th national title in 18 seasons (17 NCAA crowns).
Wisconsin (31-2-4), which has been No. 1 in the national polls since the preseason and carries a 20-game undefeated streak (17-0-3) into the tournament, will host College Hockey America (CHA) champion Robert Morris (24-4-6) in a March 11 quarterfinal at LaBahn Arena. The Badgers, the back-to-back WCHA regular season champions, earned an automatic berth to the tournament by winning their third-straight Final Face-Off title with a 4-1 win over Minnesota Duluth earlier today.
Minnesota Duluth, back in the tournament for the first time since 2011, and two-time defending national champion Minnesota each received an at-large bid; the two will face each other March 11 at AMSOIL Arena. The Bulldogs (25-6-5) and Gophers (25-7-5) will meet one week after their epic, double-overtime Final Face-Off semifinal showdown, won by UMD after 91:29 on a goal by Lara Stalder. UMD is hosting an NCAA tournament game for the first time since beginning its 2010 championship run, while the last time Minnesota was on the road for a regional was 2011.
Minnesota has won seven national titles (including the 2000 AWCHA crown), while hoisting a record six NCAA championship trophies (2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). Minnesota Duluth is a five-time NCAA champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2010). Wisconsin owns the WCHA's other four national titles (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011).
NCAA Quarterfinal Match-Ups
No. 1 seed (WCHA champion) Wisconsin (31-2-4) hosts (CHA champion) Robert Morris (24-4-6).
No. 4 seed (HEA champion) Boston College (27-5-5) hosts (at-large) St. Lawrence (26-5-4).
No. 2 seed (ECAC champion) Clarkson (29-4-5) hosts (at-large) Cornell (20-8-5).
No. 3 seed (at-large) Minnesota Duluth (25-6-5) hosts (at-large) Minnesota (25-7-5).
The quarterfinal winners advance to the 2017 NCAA Women's Frozen Four, hosted by Lindenwood University, at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., March 17-19.