The Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team is headed back to the Frozen Four. For the seventh consecutive season the Badgers will be among the last four teams vying for the national title. You may remember that since there was no tournament last season the Badgers are still the defending champions after winning it all in 2019.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Badgers took care of an over-matched, yet game, Providence Friars team, 3-0 in the quarterfinals. This was the fifth consecutive quarterfinal game that the Badgers had pitched a shutout too, which is crazy impressive. The shutout streak goes back 302 minutes, 53 seconds in NCAA quarterfinal games, dating to March 14, 2015. BU’s Victoria Bach was the last player to score against UW in an NCAA quarterfinal game.
Captain Brette Pettet said after the game, “It’s exciting. It’s been a crazy year and after last year, not having a chance to do this, it definitely makes you a little more hungry. I’m excited for the freshmen coming in and the sophomores who didn’t get to experience it yet. I’m very excited and I think our team has worked really hard for this.”
Pettet was so excited, in fact, that she scored the opening, and game winning, goal against the Friars in the first period off of assists from Grace Bowlby and Britta Curl. The Badgers dominated the first period and held Providence to zero shots on goal. The Friars finally got a shot on goal in the second period and actually put some pressure on the Badgers and goalie Kennedy Blair but couldn’t quite breakthrough and UW was able to hold them off until intermission.
You could of felt that whoever scored first in the third period was going to win the game and Sophie Shirley decided to take an suspense out of it by scoring the first of her two goals just 3:35 into the final period. Her second was a power play/empty net goal to put icing on the cake.
Head coach Mark Johnson noted after the game, “We played well and we came out with a lot of energy. We tried to capitalize early on and their goaltender played extremely well this afternoon. It was a good team effort and we’re excited to play another game.”
That was a fun one. Let's do it again, say, Thursday?— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) March 16, 2021
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Johnson brings up a good point as Providence’s goalie Sandra Abstreiter had a monster performance in net stopping 41 of 44 shots and keeping the Friars’ hopes alive when they probably should have been dead. UW’s Blair earned her sixth shutout of the season but only had to face 12 shots all game.
Wisconsin faces the winner of Boston College/Ohio State game in the semifinals of the 2021 NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday, March 18 at a time and channel/streaming option to be announced.