Wisconsin Women’s Hockey: Badgers play Ohio State for National Championship

The Wisconsin Women’s hockey team defeated Minnesota in the semifinal of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four on Friday evening. This victory catapults the Lady Badgers to their impressive 9th NCAA title game in the school’s history.

Individual accolades lead to team glory

When the All-American teams were announced on Thursday, Wisconsin freshman Caroline Harvey had earned a second-team slot. With this award, Harvey became just the second Badger freshman to earn All-American honors.

Just one day later, she displayed the skills that earned her such impressive accolades.

Minnesota grabbed the early lead, scoring in under the first four minutes. At the end of the first period, the score was Minnesota 1, Wisconsin 0.

The Wisconsin women came out in the second period with a renewed focus and this focus was reflected by the sizeable 17-7 shots-on-goal advantage over Minnesota. However, just as impressive as Wisconsin’s offensive attack was, Minnesota goalie Skylar Vetter was a brick wall in stopping all the shots sent her way. Going into the final period in regulation, Minnesota maintained a 1-0 lead.

The Badgers were finally able to break the seal and tie the game when freshman forward Laila Edwards tied the game six and a half minutes in. Less than a minute later, Wisconsin took its first lead of the game on a goal by senior Sophie Shirley.

Wisconsin’s goalie, Cami Knonish, weathered a furious onslaught of 11 shots as Minnesota desperately sought the equalizer. Unfortunately for the Badgers, Minnesota’s 12th shot of the period lit the lamp with just 1 minute and 11 seconds remaining in the contest, and the game went into overtime.

In an equal extra period that saw both squads have multiple shots on goal, Wisconsin’s newest freshman member of the All-American squad, Caroline Harvey scored the game-winning goal at the 16:47 in the first overtime period.

The come-from-behind victory earned by Wisconsin was the only game of the season that saw Minnesota relinquish a lead and lose the game. Minnesota had been 25-0-2 before Friday night’s overtime loss.

Lady Badgers hockey’s quest for another NCAA championship

The Ohio State women’s hockey team is all that stands between the Lady Badgers and their 7th NCAA championship in the last 17 seasons.

These two teams have met four times this season, with the Lady Buckeyes winning three of the contests.

Ohio State brings an overall record of 33-5-2 into the defense of their championship cup. The Lady Badgers were the most recent team to win back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2021.

The title game will be in the AMSOIL Arena in Duluth and start at 3 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPNU. Root our women on as they seek to return the championship trophy to its rightful destination: Madison.

On Wisconsin!