The No. 1 ranked Wisconsin Badgers (12-3-1 overall, 12-3-1-1-1-1 WCHA) women’s hockey team entered Saturday afternoon’s game against the No. 7 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (11-5-0 overall, 11-5-0-1-0-0 WCHA) needing a win to claim the WCHA regular season title. The Bulldogs did too, as luck would have it, and the two teams played a beauty of a game that required overtime to settle things.
Captain Brette Pettet scored with the extra attacker and 1:27 left in the third period to tie the game, 3-3 and then 41 seconds into overtime Patty Kaz finalist Daryl Watts sniped one top corner to win the game and the WCHA regular season title. It was the second goal of the game for Watts who is putting together an excellent, potentially award-winning, season.
Watts scored three points on Saturday with two goals and an assist. She leads the WCHA in points with 31. “We finally got a bounce there to tie it up with Brette’s goal. And then Daryl being Daryl, scores a highlight reel goal and gives us the victory. It’s nice to have the trophy on the bus going back to Mad Town,” head coach Mark Johnson said.
“Just excitement and joy, that was such a fun game. Coming back and scoring a goal with one minute left to tie it, that was so much fun. To kind of complete the comeback in OT to win a trophy, there’s really nothing better,” Watts said after the game
With two points from one goal and one assist, freshman forward Lacey Eden now has 11 career points with the Badgers over just 10 games.
The Badgers won their fifth WCHA title in six seasons with the overtime win against the Bulldogs. This is the second consecutive season that Wisconsin has won the Julianne Bye Cup at Duluth.
By virtue of winning the WCHA regular-season title, the Badgers will hold the top seed in next weekend’s WCHA Final Faceoff. UW will face Minnesota in a semifinal game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. More information about this year’s WCHA Final Faceoff will be released in the following days.