The Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team is not used to playing on the road in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, and while that surely didn’t affect them too much, the Northeastern Huskies were able to win their matchup on Saturday afternoon, 4-2, in the comfy confines of their home barn, Matthews Arena.
Final in Boston— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) March 12, 2022
Wisconsin 2 pic.twitter.com/xSn36OQFxr
We mentioned in our game preview that a deciding factor for this game would be Wisconsin’s excellent penalty kill against Northeastern’s excellent power play. Well, the Huskies scored two power play goals, the first and last goals of the game, on four attempts and the Badgers only scored one PPG on their four attempts.
Katy Knoll and Maureen Murphy each had a goal and an assist to spearhead the Huskies’ attack, while NU goalie Aerin Frankel stopped 36 of 38 shots and kept Wisconsin’s Daryl Watts (three shots, minus-three) off the score sheet to win their personal war of words.
Casey O’Brien scored halfway through the first period to tie the game up for the Badgers, but Northeastern’s second goal came with five seconds left in the period from an impossible angle. That goal really turned the game on its head and propelled the Huskies to the win. After Murphy scored in the second to make it 3-1, the Badgers got one back at the beginning of the third on the power play when Brette Pettet tallied one.
Five minutes later the Huskies added their insurance goal and then Frankel stood tall for the final 10 minutes of the game, despite the Badgers generating a number of good scoring chances.
“We put everything out there that we could. Someone’s gotta win at the end of the day and today it wasn’t us,” Pettet said.
Watts ends her collegiate career as the No. 2 scorer in women’s college hockey with 297 points and the Badgers streak of NCAA Frozen Four appearances ends at seven-consecutive appearances. It was a tough ending for Wisconsin’s senior class, but they’ll have plenty of fond memories on which to look back.
“In a week, in two weeks, as they reflect on their experiences at Wisconsin, they have a lot to be proud of. They took away a lot of things and they left us in a lot better shape than before they came,” head coach Mark Johnson said after the game.
The Huskies will play the winner of Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth in the Frozen Four.