WCHA Week 24: 2018 NCAA Frozen Four
Wisconsin (fifth-straight Frozen Four and 11th overall) and Ohio State (first-ever appearance) are vying to win the WCHA's 17th national title (16th NCAA crown)
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Wisconsin (fifth-straight Frozen Four and 11th overall) and Ohio State (first-ever appearance) are vying to win the WCHA's 17th national title (16th NCAA crown)

Opening Faceoff

- Badgers, Buckeyes and the Quest for 17: For the fifth-straight year and 13th time in the event's 18-year history, at least half of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four field is comprised of teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), as Wisconsin and Ohio State will join a pair of teams from ECAC Hockey at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. The Badgers (fifth-straight Frozen Four and 11th overall) and Buckeyes (first-ever appearance) are vying to win the WCHA's 17th national title in the league's 19 seasons of existence (16th NCAA crown). All three games of the 2018 NCAA Women's Frozen Four will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

  • Ohio State (24-10-4) will face defending national champion and top-seeded Clarkson (34-4-1) in Friday's first semifinal contest at 4 p.m. CT. The Buckeyes and Golden Knights will meet for the first time.
  • Wisconsin (31-4-2), the WCHA regular season champion and tournament No. 2 seed, will face third-seeded Colgate (33-5-1) in the second semifinal, beginning at 7 p.m. CT. This, too, will be the first-ever game between the Badgers and Red Raiders (who, like Ohio State, are in the Frozen Four during their inaugural NCAA tournament).
  • The two winners will meet Sunday in the national championship, set for 2 p.m. CT.

- About Wisconsin: The Badgers, who have been No. 1 or 2 in the national opinion polls each week of the season, are the No. 2 seed for the 2018 NCAA tournament. Wisconsin advanced to its fifth-straight Frozen Four, the longest active streak in the NCAA, with a 4-0, "Border Battle" victory over visiting Minnesota in the NCAA quarterfinals.

  • Wisconsin is second nationally with a .865 winning percentage, while they are third for wins and tied for the fewest losses. The Badgers enter the Frozen Four with the stingiest defense in NCAA Division I women's hockey, allowing just 1.19 goals per game. UW is ranked fourth nationally in scoring offense (3.32 goals per contest).
  • Sophomore Kristen Campbell, the WCHA Goaltender of the Year after transferring from North Dakota, leads D-I netminders with a 1.13 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and 12 shutouts. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist has started each of the Badgers' 37 games and is second in D-I for wins (31) and winning percentage (.865).
  • UW's balanced offensive attack includes nine players with 20-or-more points. Sophomore Abby Roque, the WCHA Offensive Player of the Year, leads with 40 points (11g-29a), while senior co-captain Claudia Kepler is tops with 21 goals.
  • The Badgers are 22-7-0 all-time in the NCAA tournament, the second-most victories in the event's history (while Mark Johnson is the tournament's winningest head coach). Wisconsin is a four-time NCAA champion (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011), while the Badgers' 11 Frozen Four wins (in 17 games) is tied with Minnesota Duluth for the second-most ever.

- About Ohio State: The Buckeyes' historic season continues, as their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance has resulted in a trip to the Frozen Four. Ohio State went on the road last Saturday and, in its first tourney game, blanked No. 4 seed Boston College, 2-0. Kassidy Sauvé made 38 saves as the Buckeyes handed the nation's top-scoring team their first -- and only -- shutout of the season.

  • Led by WCHA Coach of the Year Nadine Muzerall, Ohio State has set a school record with 24 overall wins (tied for fifth in NCAA D-I, while the Buckeyes' 14 league wins and second-place finish in the WCHA standings were both program bests.
  • Defenseman Lauren Boyle (5g-21a--26pts) and fellow juniors Maddy Field (19g-11a--30pts), two of OSU's seven skaters with 20-plus points, scored the Buckeyes goals at BC.
  • Freshman Emma Maltais, the WCHA Rookie of the Year, is tied for the WCHA's overall lead with 40 points (16g-24a), the most by a Buckeye since two-time Olympic medalist Natalie Spooner collected 50 in 2011-12. Fellow rookie Tatum Skaggs paces the WCHA with 23 goals among her 37 points.
  • Sauvé, a redshirt-junior is third nationally with a program-record 10 shutouts and is second with a WCHA-best 887 saves (part of her OSU-record 2,516 career stops). She is fourth among NCAA D-I goaltenders with a .937 save percentage, 12th with a 1.92 goals-against average, seventh with 19 wins and seventh with a .677 winning percentage (19-8-4).

- Olympic Year: The WCHA was proud and honored to have 37 current and former players competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, representing seven universities and playing for five countries.

  • Thirty (30) players with WCHA ties brought home medals, including 14 that helped Team USA win its first gold since 1998. Canada's silver medalists featured nine WCHA players, while seven alumnae earned bronze with Finland.