|1st||16:09||WIS||1-0||EV GW||Maddie Rolfes (4)||Abby Roque/26|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Sidney Peters (L, 13-8-1)||59:28||1||9||6||6||21|
|Kristen Campbell (W, 29-3-2)||60:00||0||7||4||5||16|
MADISON, Wis.- Senior Maddie Rolfes' late first-period goal was enough to lead the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team to a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Minnesota in the Badgers' final game of the regular season Saturday at LaBahn Arena.
Wisconsin (29-3-2, 20-2-2-2 WCHA) had several scoring chances throughout the first period, but the Badgers didn't get on the board until the final minutes of the opening frame when Rolfes floated the puck over the shoulder of Minnesota (20-10-3, 17-8-3-0 WCHA) goaltender Sidney Peters to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Abby Roque notched her WCHA-leading 26th assist of the year on Rolfes' goal.
Despite many offensive scoring chances from both Wisconsin and Minnesota in the second and third periods, the Badgers held onto an early lead to earn their second sweep of the Golden Gophers this year.
Three Notes of the Game:
- Sophomore goaltender Kristen Campbell picked up her NCAA-leading 11th shutout of the year, stopping all 16 shots she faced. - UW celebrated its three seniors - Claudia Kepler, Baylee Wellhausen and Lauren Williams - before its regular-season finale.
- For the first time in program history, the Badgers swept the regular-season series against the Golden Gophers. Each Border Battle game this year was decided by one goal.
Play of the Game:
Sophomore Mekenzie Steffen made a diving play to block one of Minnesota's final scoring chances of the night and maintain the Badgers' 1-0 lead in the waning minutes of the third period. Steffen leads the Badgers with 47 blocks this season.
Straight from the Rink
UW head coach Mark Johnson
On earning their third-straight regular season title:
"I'm happy for the seniors, it was really a gut-check today. As the game went on, we started to get a little tired, but yet they were able to find some things and do some things, especially in the third period and they defended well for the most part. They didn't give up many opportunities, and the end result is that you end up winning the hockey game. I'm happy for the seniors, certainly getting the trophy presented at the end. Those things are hard to do and they've committed themselves. It's been a good season, the young players have grown, and it's a happy locker room right now."
On the performance of the defense tonight:
"You watch Grace (Bowlby) and Natalie (Buchbinder) back there, and they played today like they've played in the league for two or three years. They've really grown, especially in the last month here, and that helps us a lot since we were shorthanded today. Some of the kids stepped up, and probably played a little more than they normally would, but somehow they found it, and found a way to get it done."
On sweeping the Golden Gophers in four games in the regular season:
"I just think that their determination today, especially after such an emotional victory yesterday, we came back. I thought the first eight or ten minutes we had really good jump, and we paced our game. As the game wore on, it was like a chess match out there, where they weren't giving us much and we weren't giving them much. On the power plays too, for both teams, and I think that had to do with the fact that both teams were tired and I think the skill level goes down when you get tired. I'm just confident in the team, they found a way to get it done today. It may not have been the prettiest way to win a game, but it certainly was enjoyable."
On getting to the bye week:
"We got to the finish line, and we didn't sustain any major injuries today, so now we get a chance to get ourselves healed and hopefully get a couple of our players back and get ourselves in position to play. Now it's a bye week for us, so it comes down to one game. If we win that, then we play for another trophy. The big thing is that we get a few days to recover and get the energy level back up again."
Junior defenseman Maddie Rolfes
On her goal:
"That was the worst goal I've ever had I think. It went off someone's shoulder pad I think but our coach kept telling us to get pucks on net and eventually it paid off and got us the one goal we needed."
On the seniors:
"I was just beaming with pride for them. They are an incredible leadership group. We were kind of the underdogs this year and weren't expected to be the best team in the country and they led us. They're my best friends and they've made me so proud, I'm just really going to miss them next year. I think I shed a tear when they were being honored."
Senior forward Baylee Wellhausen
On senior day:
"To be honest I thought I was going to have a lot more tears but with the adrenaline of Minnesota weekend games I think that I was able to go in there focusing on the games a lot. It's a special moment. Having my parents be here and being able to be the person handing them the flours this time. I've watched that for so many years and to be actually the person doing that, it was just surreal."
On sweeping the Golden Gophers this season:
"I think that makes my five-year-old self who loathed the Golden Gophers very happy. I've had all these years with that hatred so to be a part of that first group to sweep the Gophers multiple times is pretty freaking awesome."
Sophomore goaltender Kristen Campbell
On the PK:
"Especially on our penalty kill I thought we came out huge. We really took away their lanes, lifted sticks, cleared the puck whenever we could. I think the team did a great job in front of me today just limiting their quality scoring chances in comparison to last night's game."
On her mentality today:
"Today my mentality was just shutting the door and getting it done. I knew it was our last game of the regular season and last night things weren't the best for me but I think coming out today I just wanted to be able to give my team its best chance to win. I think especially in a game like that with lots of offense on both sides you really have to be sharp. You never know when there's going to be a chance so when it's a one goal game anything can happen."
UW will have a bye for the first round of the WCHA Playoffs and automatically advances to the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff in Minneapolis. UW will play in a semifinal game at Ridder Arena at 2 p.m.