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Wisconsin women’s hockey vs. Providence NCAA Tournament: how to watch, game preview and open thread

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The Badgers open up their NCAA Tournament with a game against Providence in the quarterfinals

Tom Lynn

March isn’t just for basketball tournaments, people! The Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team opens up their national title defense in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament against Providence on Tuesday afternoon. Wisconsin has won the WCHA regular season title and the conference tournament title, so there is only one trophy left.

How to watch/listen

TV: the game is not on TV, but is streaming for free

Streaming: 1:00 p.m. CST; NCAA.com; Scott Sudikoff, Kelly Schultz

Radio/Satellite: FOX Sports 1070; Reid Magnum

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Erie Insurance Arena, Erie, Pa.

Fun facts

  • The Badgers will make their eighth-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Tournament, marking the longest active streak in the country.
  • This is also UW’s 15th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Tuesday marks the first time UW has ever faced Providence in the NCAA tournament. The Badgers are 6-1-1 all-time against the Friars as UW swept Providence in California to open the 2015-16 season.
  • Wisconsin has won 20 of its last 21 games against teams from Hockey East and is 40-9-5 all-time against Hockey East teams.
  • This is only the third game in school history that the Badgers have played on a Tuesday. The last Tuesday game was played on Jan. 7, 2003 against St. Lawrence, while an exhibition game was played on Jan. 5, 2010 against Team USA.
  • Since there was no NCAA Tournament last year, the Badgers are still defending national champions...which is pretty cool.
  • A win against Providence would give the Badgers their seventh-straight NCAA Frozen Four appearance, the longest streak in NCAA history. Right now UW’s streak of six-straight Frozen Four appearances is tied with Minnesota (2012-17) for the longest streak.
  • The Badgers have won 12 straight quarterfinal games and during the NCAA quarterfinal winning streak, UW has outscored its opponents 49-8 and haven’ given up a goal since 2015.
  • UW has a 242:53 shutout streak in NCAA round of eight games dating back to March 14, 2015.
  • Goalie Kennedy Blair makes her first return to Erie since joining the Badgers. Erie is home to Mercyhurst University where the Badgers netminder played for three season before coming to Wisconsin as a graduate transfer.
  • Providence will make its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2005, where they fell in the first round to the University of Minnesota.
  • The Friars earned an at-large bid after being defeated by No. 1 seed Northeastern University, 6-2, in the Hockey East Tournament Championship on March 6. The championship game appearance was the team’s first since 2012.
  • Providence doesn’t score a ton of goals per game, but if they are going to score it will probably come on the power play. The Friars have the No. 5 power play unit in the country, scoring on 14-of-64 (.219) attempts.
  • Sara Hjalmarsson has 17 points (five goals, twelve assists) and is +9 on the season, the highest on the team.
  • Caroline Peterson spearheads the Friars’ in goals with eight (three on the power play), adding seven assists for 15 points.
  • Freshman Brooke Becker has 14 points on the season with three goals and 11 assists.
  • Goalie Sandra Abstreiter ranks fifth in the nation in both shutouts (4) and saves (520). Abstreiter ranks in the top 20 in both goals-against average (2.05) and save percentage (.927). She holds the sixth most wins in the nation with 12.