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Wisconsin Athletics | March 5, 2017

Women's hockey: Wisconsin tops Minnesota Duluth to capture third straight WCHA title

  The Badgers scored three goals in the final frame to win 4-1.

MINNEAPOLIS – Thanks to a three-goal flurry in the final period, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team won its third-straight WCHA tournament title with a 4-1 win against No. 2 Minnesota Duluth on Sunday at Ridder Arena.

Junior Annie Pankowski scored twice in the third period, including the game-winning goal 33 seconds into the period, while seniors Sydney McKibbon and Sarah Nurse also scored for the Badgers (31-2-4).

The Badgers, unbeaten in their last 20 games, outshot Minnesota Duluth (25-6-5) 54-23.

Senior netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens stopped 22 of the 23 shots she faced to improve to 27-1-4 this year.

RELATED: Desbiens' journey to becoming one of the nation's elite goalies

The victory gave UW its third-straight tournament crown, marking the first time in program history UW has won the league playoff championship three-straight years. In addition, UW now owns a league-best seven WCHA Final Face-Off Crowns.

By virtue of winning the WCHA tournament title, the Badgers have earned the league's automatic bid into the 2017 NCAA Tournament. UW will find out its opponent during the NCAA's selection show on Sunday at 8 p.m. CT.

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