March 22, 2009

 

BOSTON (AP) -Jessie Vetter stopped 37 shots for an NCAA record 14th shutout of the season - and her second in a national championship game - and Wisconsin won its third women's hockey title in four years on Sunday with a 5-0 victory over Mercyhurst.

Vetter earned a second Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player award - she also won it with back-to-back shutouts in the 2006 tournament - to go with this year's Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in women's college hockey.

Angie Keseley had a goal and two assists, and Erika Lawler had three assists for the Badgers (34-2-5) to join Vetter as three-time national champions. Meghan Duggan had a goal and an assist and Brooke Ammerman and Malee Windmeier also scored for Wisconsin.

Hillary Pattenden stopped 27 shots for Mercyhurst (31-6-0), which reached the Frozen Four for the first time; the other three teams in Boston all had NCAA title pedigrees.

The Lakers had won 28 of their last 29 games, including a 5-4 victory over two-time champion Minnesota in the semifinals. Wisconsin advanced to the championship with a 5-1 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in a rematch of the last two title games.

The teams played a scoreless first period, then Ammerman broke the tie with 14:32 left in the second period when she picked up a loose puck on the side of the net and backhanded it past Pattenden. With 11:12 left, Lawler faked a defender and slid the puck to Alycia Matthews, whose shot was tipped into the net by Duggan.

Just 1:50 later, the Badgers made it 3-0 when Keseley and Lawler used some back-and-forth passing to get the goalie out of position. Windmeier ran the score to 4-0 early in the third period, and Lawler worked another give-and-go with Knight to make it 5-0.

With two players - Lawler and Duggan - from Massachusetts and Knight from New Hampshire, the top-seeded Badgers managed to win the crowd's affection from the underdog Lakers.

Mercyhurst, a Catholic college in Erie, Pa., went undefeated in the four-team College Hockey America conference and beat St. Lawrence in the national quarterfinals. Forward Meghan Agosta, an unprecedented three-time finalist for the Kazmaier Award and an Olympic gold medalist for Canada in Turin, led the nation in goals and assists per game.

But the Lakers, with 15 freshmen on the roster, couldn't get past Vetter, even with a pair of power plays in the final three minutes.

It was Vetter's fourth Frozen Four shutout and the 38th of her career, also NCAA records.