Wisconsin gets revenge on Minnesota as it advances to Frozen Four
After losing last week to Minnesota, Wisconsin blew out UM 4-0 on Saturday to advance to the Frozen Four.Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger
You know what they say: Revenge is a dish best served cold. Saturday afternoon, however, it was best served on ice.
After losing in the WCHA tournament final last week, No. 2 Wisconsin (20-2-2 WCHA, 31-4-2 overall) was able to avenge its loss to rival No. 5 Minnesota (13-8-3 WCHA, 24-11-3) in the NCAA tournament. A 4-0 victory in favor of the Badgers helped propel UW on to the Frozen Four, and Wisconsin finished with a 5-1 record against the Golden Gophers this season.
LaBahn Arena was rocking from puck drop until the final horn sounded, and was whipped into a bigger and bigger frenzy with each Badger goal.
"I guess the first thing is to thank the fans for coming out and supporting the program throughout the whole year, but especially today,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “We had a full house. You could feel the energy as we came out on the bench, and I thought the players rose to the occasion playing in front of a crowd.
“I really think it was the best game we’ve played all year. We’re really pleased with how we played.”
The outcome was never really in doubt on Saturday as UW controlled the game from start to finish.
Presley Norby kicked the scoring off with a goal midway through the first, while Abby Roque scored a pair in the second. Claudia Kepler put the dagger in Minnesota with her goal late in the third period.
Norby’s goal was textbook, according to Johnson, and was an example of how UW’s prior matchups with Minnesota paid off.
“The previous five times we've played them, the success we've had is in tight, rebounds, second and third efforts,” Johnson said. “And that's what she did today to get that goal.”
Roque’s goals in the second period came just 16 seconds apart — the record for fastest consecutive goals in NCAA Tournament play — and sent the Wisconsin fans in LaBahn into a state of euphoria.
“Last weekend, I thought the shots were there, but we just couldn’t put them away,” Roque said. “That loss really fueled us in practice this week. We came out and played hard and found the back of the net.”
Wisconsin’s defense was stout the whole game as well, only allowing 12 shots on goal as it disrupted Minnesota’s offense every time it tried to gain momentum.
“I love playing with a lead,” UW’s goaltender Kristen Campbell said. “And we had so much confidence after that first goal. The defense and forwards were playing so well in front of me. It was just a great team effort.”
The loss to Minnesota last week stuck with the Badgers, who desperately wanted to avenge the loss in the WCHA tournament final. “We weren’t happy with that loss, and you could tell we really wanted it,” Campbell said. “I think we just wanted to win more.”
Roque added, “We wanted revenge, we were pumped up. I think right out of the get-go, you could see how on we were.”
Minnesota’s offense was left frozen. Revenge was certainly served.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter