While losing in the national championship game usually ends the season on a bitter note, the Wisconsin women's hockey team had one of its strongest seasons to date.
The Badgers posted a 23-3-2-1 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, claiming their fourth conference title in program history.
After nearly duplicating last year's success in the WCHA regular season, Wisconsin advanced to the 2012 national collegiate title game, but fell to Minnesota by a score of 4-2.
The Badgers and Gophers scored a combined five goals in the first period to open the game. Wisconsin was on the short end of the opening frame and started the second period with a 3-2 deficit. Both team's defenses buckled-down in the second as neither team could find the back of the net. In the third period the Badgers out-shot the Gophers 20-9. However, Minnesota would be the one to tally a goal, as the Gophers went on to win.
The day before the national championship game, junior forward Brianna Decker was named the recipient of the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the best player in women's hockey. Decker was also named the WCHA's Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors after leading the nation with 37 goals.
Senior Hilary Knight capped off a remarkable career at UW, setting nearly every offensive record in program history. She owns eight separate career records in: points (262), goals (161), game-winning goals (30), power-play goals (37), short-handed goals (8), shots (986), plus/minus (+167) and hat tricks (9).
Sophomore netminder Alex Rigsby also had a fantastic season. Playing in all 40 games, Rigsby broke the school record for most saves in a season, stopping 1044 of 1100 shots on net. Her 1,044 saves was the most made by a single netminder in the nation during the season. Her .949 save percentage was second-best in the nation and ranked third all-time at UW for highest single-season save percentage.
As a team the Badgers had the best penalty-kill unit and fourth-best power play in the nation.
Wisconsin also lead the nation in attendance, averaging 1,856 fans per game in 40 games and boasted the best home attendance in the nation with 2,689 fans per game.