MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - March 6, 2021 - Freshman Makenna Webster scored twice and three other Badgers lit the lamp as top-seeded Wisconsin opened the 2021 WCHA Final Faceoff with a 5-3 win over fourth-seeded Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena.
PDF Format |
Postgame Press Conference Video |
This will be Wisconsin's 14th appearance in the WCHA championship game and seventh in a row. The Badgers will be seeking their ninth WCHA postseason title on Sunday and fourth in the last seven seasons.
"It was an exciting game and some good things happened," Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said following the game. "Give Minnesota credit, they put up a good fight and gave themselves an opportunity in the last few minutes, but we were fortunate enough to get a power play at the end of the game and get to the finish line."
Wisconsin got on the board first on a goal from Patty Kazmaier candidate Sophie Shirley, who registered her 10th goal of the season with 7:52 to go in the opening period on a feed from Britta Curl.
The Badgers pushed the lead to 2-0 on Webster's first goal of the game at the 12:48 mark of the second period. But Minnesota answered 1:26 later on a goal from WCHA All-Rookie forward Abbey Murphy, her eighth of the season, to cut the lead to 2-1. The one-goal margin stood until late in the second period when Webster netted her second tally of the afternoon, scoring on the power play with 1:22 to go to give the Badgers a 3-1 advantage after two periods.
Minnesota drew to within a goal again at 3-2 just 1:35 into the third period on junior Amy Potomak's third goal of the season. But Wisconsin upped their lead to 4-2 a few minutes later on an unassisted goal from freshman Lacey Eden, who pounced on a loose puck in front of the Gopher net and potted her seventh goal of the season.
Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle again cut the Badger lead to one with her 17th goal of the season with 4:31 left in the game but Wisconsin iced the contest with 14 seconds left on an unassisted power-play goal by Curl, the second man-advantage goal on five attempts for the Badgers on the day.
Webster led all scorers with two goals in Saturday's contest. Curl (1g-1a) and Chayla Edwards (2a) both chipped in a pair of points for the Badgers. Defenseman Emily Brown notched a pair of assists to lead the Gophers on the score sheet. Kennedy Blair stopped 23 shots in the win.
Saturday's win was the 48th for Johnson in 58 WCHA postseason contests behind the bench with the Badgers.
Sunday's championship game will begin at 2:07 p.m. CT and will stream live on FloHockey.tv.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will mark its 22nd season in 2020-21. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 105 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), The Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). The WCHA will grow to eight members with the addition of the University of St. Thomas (Tommies) beginning with the 2021-22 season. For more information, visit wcha.com.