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Thursday, May 23, 2024
Wisconsin Women's Hockey vs St Lawrence6713.JPG

Badgers fall to Buckeyes in fast-paced National Championship showdown

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team lost to Ohio State in the National Championship game in a low-scoring attempt at the NCAA title.

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team failed to become back-to-back national champions after falling to rivals Ohio State in the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four championship game on Sunday, March 24.  

The NCAA Frozen Four weekend commenced on Friday, March 22, when Wisconsin took down No. 3 Colgate 3-1 in the national semifinal game. Both teams started the game slow on offense, with just two shots apiece before sophomore forward Kirsten Simms gave the Badgers a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Simms took advantage of an opening in the Raiders’ defense to slot the puck into the net. 

Colgate held strong on defense for the entirety of the second period and didn’t allow the Badgers to double their lead. Sophomore Vivian Jungels’ long strike in the middle of the third soared past Colgate goalie Kayle Osborne into the net to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead. 

With two minutes left in the game, the Raiders emptied their net and scored on freshman goalie Ava McNaughton to close the Badgers’ late lead. But the empty net proved consequential when Badgers sophomore Laila Edwards stole the puck and walked it into the Raiders’ goal. Edwards’ score sealed the game and secured the Badgers’ place in a second consecutive National Championship game. 

Wisconsin found itself in familiar territory against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the same opponents they defeated 1-0 for their seventh national championship in 2023. 

This time, the top-ranked Buckeyes were out for revenge. Similar to the past four times the two teams have faced each other in this season, the game started out fast and aggressive, with both teams attacking the net. 

Despite great chances on both ends of the rink, neither team scored in the first two periods of regulation. McNaughton saved multiple long shots from the Buckeyes’ offense halfway through the second period to keep the game 0-0 going into the third period. 

Senior Casey O’Brien had a chance to give the Badgers the lead at the beginning of the third period when she went one-on-one with Ohio State goalie Raygen Kirk, but Kirk shut O’Brien down. Ohio State later capitalized off a transition with seven minutes left in the game to put the Badgers down 1-0. 

Wisconsin pulled McNaughton out of the net to push for the tie with two minutes left, but it wasn’t enough. Ohio State claimed revenge to win the 2024 National Championship. 

Wisconsin finished the 2023-24 season with a 35-6-0 record as well as its second consecutive and 11th overall national championship appearance 

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