We are just days away from having the women's ice hockey championship final match set, and looking towards the semifinal games, here is a quick look at each of the women's Frozen Four teams.
When: Semifinals 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET Friday; Finals 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
Who: Wisconsin vs. Boston College; Clarkson vs. Minnesota
Last Year’s champion: Minnesota
Record: 32-2-4 overall, 22-2-4 and first place in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)
Coach: Mark Johnson, 427-77-39 in 14th season
Road to Frozen Four: Beat Robert Morris 7-0 in quarterfinal
NCAA Titles: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
Key players: Junior forward Annie Pankowski, 25 goals, 29 assists; senior forward Sarah Nurse 25 goals, 28 assists; junior forward Emily Clark, 20 goals, 26 assists; and senior goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens, 23 goals in 33 games, 606 saves.
Notes: Wisconsin is the No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament, which is the first time since 2012 it has been the top seed. The Badgers won their third straight WCHA Tournament title. The Badgers are currently riding a 21-game unbeaten streak, the longest unbeaten stretch in the NCAA.
Quotes: “I think we're just excited for the opportunity,” said senior forward Sarah Nurse said on the Wisconsin website. “The last three years - what's happened has happened, it's in the past. I think we're really looking forward to playing Boston College on Friday.”
Record: 28-5-5 overall and 17-4-3 and first place in the Hockey East
Coach: Katie Crowley, in 248-79-4410th season
Road to Frozen Four: Beat St. Lawrence 6-0 in quarterfinals
NCAA Titles: none
Key players: Senior forward Andi Anastos, 16 goals, 26 assists; sophomore forward Makenna Newkirk, 15 goals, 24 assists; junior defender Megan Keller, 10 goals, 29 assists; and junior goalie Katie Burt, 56 goals in 36 games with 781 saves.
Notes: Last year Boston College lost 3-1 to Minnesota in the championship game. Boston College is seeded fourth. This will be the third time Boston College will meet Wisconsin in the semifinals, but first since 2012. Boston College is 0-4 against teams in the WCHA in the semifinals and 0-1 in the championship. This is the third straight trip to the Frozen Four. Boston College is 8-8 in the NCAA Tournament.
Quotes: “We really wanted it last year,” said senior forward Andi Anastos on the school’s website. “The National Championship is something the program has never done before, and we wanted to do it for everyone that had a role in getting us to that point. It's a loss that really stuck with all of us because we feel like we missed out. This year, especially for the seniors, we have one more chance for all the coaches, the players, and everyone who came before us.”
Record: 28-7-5 overall and 19-4-5 and second place in WCHA
Coach: Brad Frost, 321-52-27 in 10th season
Road to Frozen Four: Beat Minnesota-Duluth 1-0 in the quarterfinals
NCAA Titles: 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Key Players: Junior forward Kelly Pannek, 19 goals, 42 assists; sophomore forward Sarah Potomak, 19 goals, 33 assists; senior forward Dani Cameranesi, 18 goals, 14 assists; and junior goalie Sidney Peters 56 goals in 36 games, 643 saves.
Notes: Making its sixth straight trip to the Frozen Four. The Gophers have won four of the last five titles and has been in five straight championship games. Clarkson interrupted the run in 2014 with a 5-4 victory. Freshman Patti Marshall scored the only goal in the quarterfinal victory over Minnesota-Duluth. This is the 13th time the Gophers have reached the Frozen Four. Minnesota is 24-9-1 in the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota is 5-1 all-time against Clarkson.
Quotes: “We're ecstatic to be going to our sixth Frozen Four in a row,” coach Brad Frost said on the school’s website. “This is a huge thing for our program. We've gone through a lot this year with injuries and some different things. I’m just so proud of our team and the way that they've battled through that adversity and come out stronger on the other side. I don't think anyone wants to see us in the Frozen Four other than our program, and we relish that.”
Record: 30-4-5 overall, 19-1-2 and first place in Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference
Coach: Matt Desrosiers 84-20-13 in third season as solo head coach
Road to Frozen Four: Beat Cornell 3-1 in the quarterfinals
NCAA Titles: 2014
Key Players: Senior forward Cayley Mercer, 26 goals, 32 assists; senior forward Genevieve Bannon, 14 goals, 34 assists; sophomore forward Loren Gabel, 21 goals, 19 assists; and junior goalie Shea Tiley, 55 goals in 35 goals and 719 saves.
Notes: This is the third time in four years Clarkson has reached the Frozen Four. Like the other three teams in this year’s Frozen Four, Clarkson is returning, making it the same four teams as last year. Won its first conference tournament championship this season. Reached the 30-win mark for the second straight season. Clarkson is the No. 2 seed in the Frozen Four.
Quotes: “I can’t be more excited about it,” said senior forward Cayley Mercer on the school’s website. “I have such a great group of girls around me. I can’t wait to get on the plane and get to the Frozen Four and get that national championship back to Potsdam, N.Y. We are pretty excited about it.”