For the fifth time in team history, the Wisconsin Badgers have won the NCAA women’s hockey national championship, defeating the Minnesota Gophers, 2-0.
SEE THE WINNERS: Championship history
Sunday’s championship game was the sixth meeting for the two teams this season, and the third time the northern rivals have met in the national title game. Wisconsin held the season series over Minnesota 3-2 and each team had a national title game win over the other. This is Wisconsin’s first national championship since a 2011 win over Mercyhurst.
In a continuation of her postseason roll, senior standout Annie Pankowski secured the insurance goal for the Badgers, bringing her playoff total to an NCAA-best 10 goals after tallying two in UW's 5-0 semifinal victory over Clarkson. Named the WCHA Player of the Year, Pankowski has consistently produced for the Badgers in the postseason, scoring at least one goal in each of Wisconsin's seven postseason contests this year while her 13 playoff points are the most by any player in the country. Her 21 career playoff goals are the most in program history, and today’s tally brings her season total to 28.
Wisconsin and Minnesota traded shots throughout the first, playing a clean period with no penalties. At almost exactly the halfway mark, Sophia Shaver notched the game's first goal on a redirected pass from teammate Presley Norby in the crease.
Incredibly proud to be a @BadgerWHockey alum!!! Congrats to the Badgers! I am crying with joy right now! Way to bring it home!!— Brianna Decker (@Bdecker14) March 24, 2019
The second period saw two penalties called on Wisconsin for tripping and then cross-checking, but the Badgers didn’t need a full lineup to make their mark. Pankowski scored her ninth short-handed goal of the season — a school record — as the Badger beat out three Minnesota skaters to backhand the puck into the top right of the net.
IM CRYING RN I AM SO HAPPY. CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME TO THE NATTY CHAMP FAM. https://t.co/vuJblZSnG7— Alex Rigsby (@aRigs33) March 24, 2019
Wisconsin had a power play opportunity in the third, but wasn’t able to produce a goal on the man advantage. Minnesota saw some good looks throughout the period, but Wisconsin goaltender Kristen Campbell made 27 saves in a standout performance for her 11th shutout of the season to backstop the defense.
Wisconsin ends its season with a 35-4-2-0 record.