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Friday, February 23, 2024

Badgers secure spot in WCHA Finals, knock out Minnesota State in Game 2

Less than 24 hours after overpowering the Mavericks in Game 1 of the WCHA playoffs, Wisconsin took care of business once again, winning 4-1 to advance to the Final Faceoff against Minnesota.

The Wisconsin Women’s Hockey team (25-9-2) showed up and showed out against the Minnesota State Mavericks (15-20-1) in game two of the WCHA playoffs, winning 4-1.  

After a nerve-wracking start for Badger fans, in which Wisconsin lost the first period, they ultimately pulled through and secured a spot in the finals. 

The first period was played pretty evenly, but the Badgers got more looks on goal. The Mavericks fumbled a huge opportunity about two minutes into the period, as a shot flew just above the net. 

With two minutes left in the period, Minnesota State struck first. Sydney Langseth shot the goal from just in front of the net. The Badgers then went on a power play, but were unable to capitalize. The period ended 1-0 MSU.


In the second, Wisconsin maintained a significant advantage in shots on goal, nearly doubling the Mavericks. Finally, Wisconsin was able to get a shot to fall.

Britta Curl scored the first goal to tie up the game with 10:31 left in the period. Jesse Compher fired the puck at the Mavericks’ goalie Alexa Berg. A diving Curl swatted the deflection in to tie it at 1-1.

Just over a minute later, Laila Edwards took the lead for the Badgers. She scored an incredible wrap-around goal that sent the puck through the Berg’s legs and deflected off the far-side post to make it 2-1 Wisconsin.

Harvey then exchanged a roughing penalty with a Maverick and Sophie Shirley followed, committing a tripping penalty that resulted in a 3-on-4. Failing to capitalize on any of the penalties, the period ended 2-1 Wisconsin.

With under two minutes into the third period, Sarah Wozniewicz cushioned the Badger lead. The goal was scored after the puck appeared through heavy traffic in front of the goal. Wozniewicz demonstrated impressive patience, waiting for proper puck placement before shooting it in to push the lead to 3-1.  

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The Badgers absolutely smothered the Mavericks in the third period, culminating in another Lacey Eden on a power play. Eden skated two-on-two alongside Casey O’Brien who drew attention away from the puck, giving Eden a split second to shoot. 

She capitalized and made the impressive shot to the right side of the goal, 4-1 Wisconsin. Frustrated, the Mavericks picked up a penalty for slashing, but the game ended at 4-1

Following the win, Wisconsin is headed to the finals to play against their biggest rival, the Minnesota Gophers. Despite the stakes for the Badgers, they are calm and collected heading into the most important weekend of the year.

“They’re a great team and I think we’ve had their number this year, but that doesn’t mean anything more, it’s a clean slate and a new season,” Edwards said in a statement.

Wisconsin will face the Minnesota Gophers at Ridder Arena on Friday at 5 p.m. for the WCHA Final Faceoff. 

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