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Wisconsin women’s hockey vs. Clarkson: open thread and game preview

The Badgers are in Boston for their opening round NCAA Tournament game.

2017 NCAA Div I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship
The Badgers and Golden Knights have met twice before in the NCAA Tournament.
Photo by Mark Buckner/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Despite losing to Ohio State in the WCHA semifinals, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team (25-7-4 overall) was never in any real danger of missing the NCAA Tournament, they just didn’t know who, and where, they would play. On Sunday night, both of those questions were answered.

The Badgers will be heading to Boston to take on the Clarkson Golden Knights in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday night. Thursday’s contest does mark the first time that the Badgers will play at historic Matthews Arena, the oldest multi-purpose athletic building still in use in the world.

The winner will play 3-seed Northeastern on Saturday at noon CT with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. This is the ninth straight season that Wisconsin has earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

You can stream the game right here for free, although you do need to sign up a CBS Sports account. The game will also be broadcast on 100.9 FM in the Madison area.

The back-to-back defending national champion Badgers are 4-1-1 all-time against Clarkson, including a 1-1 mark in postseason games. UW and Clarkson were supposed to meet in the NCAA quarterfinals during the 2019-20 season before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The last time these two teams met was in the 2019 Frozen Four when Wisconsin pounded Clarkson 5-0. The Golden Knights were two-time defending champs at the time, and that Badgers win propelled UW to winning two straight titles themselves. It was also revenge for the 2017 season, when Clarkson beat Wisconsin in the title game.

Caitrin Lonergan paces the Golden Knights this year with 47 points off 17 goals and 30 assists while Gabrielle Davis is the team’s leading scorer with 18 goals this season. Michelle Pasiechnyk was named a semifinalist for the HCA Goalie of the Year award, along with UW netminder Kennedy Blair, after posting a 1.68 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

This is the first year that the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament has featured 11 teams. UW is one of four teams from the WCHA as Ohio State and Minnesota earned the top-two seeds in the tournament while Minnesota Duluth also advanced to the dance for the second-straight year.

The 2022 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four takes place in University Park, Pa., on March 18 and 20. The top-four seeds in the tournament are Ohio State, Minnesota, Northeastern and Colgate.