WCHA Week 7: Showdown In Madison
No. 1 Wisconsin hosts No. 4 Ohio State at LaBahn Arena; Minnesota State welcomes No. 6 Minnesota and St. Cloud State visits Minnesota Duluth
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No. 1 Wisconsin hosts No. 4 Ohio State at LaBahn Arena

Opening Faceoff

- Prominent in the Polls: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters November with three teams in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, with a fourth receiving votes.

  • 12-0-0 Wisconsin is the unanimous No. 1 in both polls, while 7-0-1 Ohio State - idle last week - remains at No. 4. Minnesota is still at No. 6 after playing the Badgers to a pair of one-goal losses, while Minnesota Duluth is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll.

- Showdown in Madison: The marquee series in all of women's college hockey takes place this weekend at LaBahn Arena, where top-ranked Wisconsin hosts No. 4 Ohio State.

  • The Badgers and Buckeyes are two of the three remaining unbeaten NCAA D-I teams, along with No. 2 Boston College (6-0-1). At 12-0-0, Wisconsin is off to the second-best start in school history (only the 2015-16 squad enjoyed a better run, with wins in its first 18 games). Ohio State is enjoying its best season-opening run ever at 7-0-1 and the third-longest at any point of a season in program history (behind only a 9-0-1 streak from Oct. 28 to Dec. 8, 2006 and an 8-0-1 binge from Nov. 15, 2003 to Jan. 3, 2004).
  • OSU has the third-best offensive attack among D-I schools at 3.88 goals per game (the Badgers are seventh at 3.58), while UW boasts D-I's stingiest defense at 1.00 goals allowed per contest (the Buckeyes are third at 1.38).

- Playing for Matt Olson: The annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic will take on added meaning this year, with all proceeds from the Nov. 6 contest in Isanti, Minn. going to benefit Matt Olson, an Isanti native who is recovering from a spinal cord injury he suffered in 2016 while playing junior hockey.

  • Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State will drop the puck at 6 p.m. CT next Monday night at the Isanti County Arena. The Bulldogs-Beavers game will be followed by a U.S. Premier Hockey League (USPHL) contest. Tickets for the doubleheader are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the arena beginning at 5 p.m. CT on Nov. 6.

By the Numbers

- 1: The #1 play of last week in the world of women's athletics, as chosen by ESPNW, was an amazing individual effort and goal by St. Cloud State's Julia Tylke on Oct. 27 at Minnesota State.

- 2: Victories this year for Minnesota State, both courtesy of game-winning goals by Mavericks' junior forward Jordan McLaughlin (tied for second nationally).

- 4: Statistical categories in which Minnesota co-captain Sydney Baldwin leads all NCAA blue-liners. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Month is tops in points (11), assists (10), assists per game (1.00) and blocked shots (34).

- 10: Years since Wisconsin had swept Minnesota in Minneapolis, before the Badgers posted a pair of one-goal wins last weekend at Ridder Arena. UW has only swept the Gophers on the road three times in program history, with the most recent (prior to last weekend) occurring Jan. 5-6, 2007.

- 20: Combined games played this year without a loss for Wisconsin (12-0-0) and Ohio State (7-0-1). As noted above, the top-ranked Badgers host the No. 4 Buckeyes this Saturday and Sunday at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis.

- 61: Career points for Bemidji State senior defenseman Alexis Joyce (16g-45a), tied with 2015-16 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Ivana Bilic for third in program annals.


The Week Ahead

- Minnesota at Minnesota State: The Mavericks wrap up a season-long, eight-game homestand by hosting the sixth-ranked Gophers at the Verizon Center. Minnesota has won 35 consecutive games against Minnesota State, including five contests last season. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 80-3-3.

- St. Cloud State at Minnesota Duluth: A rematch of a quarterfinal-round series from the 2017 WCHA Playoffs, as the Bulldogs host the Huskies at AMSOIL Arena. UMD swept that postseason matchup and was a perfect 6-0 against SCSU last season, extending the Bulldogs' all-time series lead to 62-11-5.


The Week in Review

- In a series worthy of "Border Battle" lore, top-ranked Wisconsin outlasted No. 6 Minnesota for a pair of one-goal wins, posting the Badgers' first sweep at Ridder Arena since the 2006-07 season.

- A tightly-contested series between Northern Minnesota rivals ended in a split, with Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State each earning a win apiece.

- Comebacks were in order last weekend in Mankato, as St. Cloud State and Minnesota State traded late-game rallies in a series split.

- Watch all the top goals, plays and saves from last weekend on the "WCHA Highlight Reel," found here.

- Full recaps and box scores are available at wcha.com.


No. 1 Wisconsin 3, at No. 6 Minnesota 2
No. 1 Wisconsin 2, at No. 6 Minnesota 1 - OT
(Oct. 28 and 29 at Ridder Arena; Minneapolis, Minn.)

In a series worthy of "Border Battle" lore, top-ranked Wisconsin outlasted No. 6 Minnesota for a pair of one-goal wins, posting the Badgers' first sweep at Ridder Arena since the 2006-07 season.

Presley Norby scored with 5:06 left in regulation to snap a 2-2 tie and give the visiting Badgers a 3-2 win in Saturday's series opener. UW entered the third period with a 2-1 lead on the strength of first-period goals by Sophia Shaver and Baylee Wellhausen, before the Gophers' Sophie Skarzynski tied the score with a power-play strike at the 6:54 mark. Kristen Campbell made 25 saves in the UW net, including 10 over the final 20 minutes.

Wellhausen, UW's co-captain, scored 1:32 into overtime to lift the Badgers to a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon. UW's Alexis Mauermann and Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle traded second-period goals, while Campbell (16 saves) and the Gophers' Sidney Peters (25 stops) made the tie stand until Wellhausen's heroics.


Minnesota Duluth 3, at Bemidji State 2
at Bemidji State 2, Minnesota Duluth 1
(Oct. 27 and 28 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)

A tightly-contested series between Northern Minnesota rivals ended in a split, with Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State each earning a win apiece.

UMD captured a 3-2 win Saturday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead behind its underclassmen. Sophomore Jalyn Elmes opened the scoring, while freshmen Ashton Bell and Naomi Rogge (game-winner) also lit the lamp. The Beavers rallied behind goals from Emily Bergland and Haley Mack, but behind 43 saves from Jessica Convery (her UMD career high), the Bulldogs held on for the victory.

All the scoring in Saturday's game took place in the first period, with BSU finding the back of the net twice for a 2-1 triumph. Abby Halluska got the Beavers on the board 5:25 into the contest, while freshman defenseman Tina Kampa's first career goal, at the 15:37 mark, stood as the game-winner. Rogge scored her second of the weekend for UMD, but BSU's Erin Deters made 11 of her 17 saves over the final 40 minutes to seal the win.


St. Cloud State 4, at Minnesota State 2
at Minnesota State 3, St. Cloud State 1
(Oct. 27 and 28 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)

Comebacks were in order last weekend in Mankato, as St. Cloud State and Minnesota State traded late-game rallies in a series split.

The visiting Huskies set the rallying tone Friday, scoring the game's final three goals for a 4-2, series-opening victory. Freshman Laura Kluge posted the first three-point game for a SCSU rookie since 2007, scoring the tying goal and adding a pair of assists. Even at 2-2 entering the third period, Julia Tylke (at the 9:15 mark) and Janna Haeg (at 17:41) both scored to lift SCSU. Janine Alder turned aside 25 shots to earn the win.

Saturday was the Mavericks' turn, as Minnesota State scored three times in the final period for a 3-1 victory. Trailing 1-0 midway through the final period, the Mavs received goals from Demi Gardner at the 9:48 mark, Jordan McLaughlin (her second game-winner of the season, at 12:57) and Hannah Davidson (at 17:11). Chloe Crosby was impressive in the Minnesota State net, saving 21-of-22 shots.