The No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team won its fourth national championship in six years on Sunday as the Badgers defeated Boston University 4-1 at Tullio Arena in front of 3,956 fans.
Junior forward Carolyne Prevost led the Badgers (37-2-2) past Boston University (27-7-4) with two goals, including an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining.
The Terriers were the first Hockey East school to play in the NCAA title game.
Freshman Alex Rigsby made 15 saves to finish her freshman season 27-1-1. The Badgers outshot Boston University 36-16, including an 18-4 advantage in the second period.
Despite UW outshooting BU 10-4 in the first period, the teams remained locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes. The Badgers fired five shots on two power-play opportunities but could not solve Terrier goaltender Kerrin Sperry.
The Badgers finally put one past Sperry at the 2:25 mark of the second period when Prevost redirected a shot from the point to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Stefanie McKeough passed the puck to fellow defenseman Alev Kelter, who ripped a shot from the blue line. Waiting at the crease, Prevost tipped the shot past Sperry.
Wisconsin then took a 2-0 lead with 4:26 remaining in the middle frame when junior Brooke Ammerman converted the eventual game-winner on the power play. Senior Meghan Duggan fed the puck to sophomore Brianna Decker down low, and Decker poked an attempt toward goal. After Sperry stopped Decker’s shot, Ammerman was slid the puck past her and into the net.
Boston University answered just 24 seconds later with a goal from Marie-Philip Poulin. On an unassisted effort, Poulin intercepted the puck at neutral ice, skated into the zone and beat Rigsby for the Terriers lone goal of the game. The teams entered the second intermission with UW holding a 2-1 lead.
With just 3:23 remaining, the Badgers extended their lead back to two. Junior Hilary Knight gained control of the puck and took it into the zone, firing a shot at Sperry. The rebound popped loose, and a streaking Mallory Deluce buried it.
The Terriers pulled Sperry immediately following Deluce’s goal and again with 2:33 to go. BU fired five shots, including two stopped by Rigsby, before Prevost secured the victory and national championship with an empty-net goal at 19:42.
Sperry made 32 saves to lead the Terriers to a national runner-up finish in just the sixth season of the program.
Four Badgers were named to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Meghan Duggan joined Prevost, Ammerman and Kelter in receiving all-tournament honors. Duggan and Knight were also named Co-MVPs of the tournament. Boston College goaltender Molly Schaus and Boston University defenseman Catherine Ward completed the all-tournament team.