Senior Meghan Duggan scored her sixth game-winning goal of the season to propel the top-seeded Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a 2-1 win over Minnesota Duluth and a trip to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four.
Junior Hilary Knight contributed to both of the Badger goals, earning two points on one goal and one assist.
Freshman goaltender Alex Rigsby stopped 29 shots, allowing one goal as she improved to 25-1-2 on the season.
After being outshot 12-11 in the first period, the Badgers outshot the Bulldogs 40-30 in the game. Minnesota Duluth goaltender Kim Martin moves to 14-6-0, making 38 saves in the loss.
In its second-straight comeback win, Wisconsin scored two unanswered goals after trailing 1-0 after the first period.
Minnesota Duluth got on the board first as Jessica Wong scored with 29 seconds left in the first period. Laura Fridfinnson passed the puck to Haley Irwin behind the net.
After Rigsby stopped Irwin’s wrap-around attempt, Wong got the rebound in the slot and beat Rigsby glove-side for the goal.
The Badgers came out strong to start the second period, earning a power-play opportunity at the 2:58 mark. Wisconsin won the offensive-zone faceoff and junior Brooke Ammerman passed the puck out to sophomore Stefanie McKeough at the blue line. McKeough then fed the puck into the high slot, where Knight ripped a shot past Martin, tying the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied until Duggan scored the deciding goal with 13:26 remaining in regulation. After the Badgers broke up a UMD scoring opportunity, Knight brought the puck into the zone and dropped it back to sophomore Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.), who fed the puck to a trailing Duggan in the slot. Duggan flipped the puck on net and over Martin’s glove, giving Wisconsin a 2-1 lead.
The Badgers’ special teams converted on one of their three chances with the man advantage, while also killing off each of Minnesota Duluth’s three power plays.
With the win, the Badgers advance to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Erie, Pa., where they will face No. 4-seeded Boston College (24-6-6) at Tullio Arena on Friday, March 18. UW will make its fifth Frozen Four appearance all-time.
No. 2 seed Cornell and No. 3 seed Boston University will face off in Friday’s other semifinal, and the winners will advance to Sunday’s national championship game at 1 p.m. CT.