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Greatest Games Bracket: No. 5 vs No. 12

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.


Today's No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup continues the trend of great overtime games. Coming in at No. 5 is the infamous four-overtime win against Harvard on March 10, 2007 as the Badgers earned their second-consecutive trip to the Frozen Four. The 12th-seeded game features the Badgers' overtime win in the NCAA quarterfinals vs. Minnesota, earning their third-straight trip to the Frozen Four.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Thursday morning, July 19, before the next matchup is announced.


No. 5 - Four OT win against Harvard (March 10, 2007)

Zaugg's goal lifts UW over Harvard in 4 OTs

Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- It took over 120 minutes of scoreless hockey, but junior Jinelle Zaugg's goal at 7:09 into the fourth overtime vaulted Wisconsin past Harvard 1-0 and into the NCAA Frozen Four. Saturday night's game ranks as the second longest game in NCAA history.

The Eagle River, Wis., native scored her 26th goal of the season at the 127:09 mark of the contest and was assisted by senior Sara Bauer and sophomore Alycia Matthews. Bauer passed from the left circle across the front of the goal to an open Zaugg who one-timed it over goalie Brittany Martin's shoulder for the game-winner.

The Badgers played their final game in Madison for the 2007 season in front of a Kohl Center women's hockey record-setting crowd of 5,125. This tally also ranks as the second largest college women's hockey crowd since the NCAA sponsored the sport in 2000-01 behind a 5,167 crowd at the 2003 championship game in Duluth, Minn., when Minnesota Duluth skated to a 4-3 double overtime win over Harvard.


No. 12 - NCAA quarterfinal OT win vs Minnesota (March 15, 2008)

Deluce sends Badgers to Frozen Four

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- Led by goals from three freshman, including the game-winner 1:29 into overtime by Mallory Deluce, the No. 4/5 Wisconsin women's hockey team outlasted No. 5/4 Minnesota 3-2 Saturday night at Ridder Arena in an NCAA quarterfinal.

Kelly Nash and Hilary Knight each scored in regulation as the two-time defending NCAA champion Badgers advanced to the Frozen Four, held March 20 and 22 in Duluth, Minn., for the third straight season.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 6 vs No. 11

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

Today's No. 6 vs. No. 11 pits two OT thrillers against each other. The 6th seed is the OT WCHA Championship win against arch rival Minnesota on March 5, 2011 as the Badgers earned their fourth WCHA tournament title. The 11th-seeded game features the Badgers' WCHA OT Semifinal win against UMD on March 5, 2005.


Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Tuesday morning, July 17, before the next matchup is announced.


No. 6 - 2011 WCHA championship game OT win vs Minnesota (March 5, 2011)

Nash's OT tally gives Badgers WCHA Final Face-Off crown

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- Senior Kelly Nash scored the game-winning goal in overtime after the top-ranked Badgers overcame 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to defeat No. 3 Minnesota, 5-4, and earn their fourth Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title.

Wisconsin trailed 4-2 heading into the third period and used goals by freshman Madison Packer and senior Meghan Duggan to tie it at 4-4 with 3:15 to play.

It took 14:11 of overtime action before the Badgers sealed the 2011 WCHA Final Face-off crown, but Nash solved Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty off a feed from senior Geena Prough to give UW its only lead of the game.


No. 11 - 2005 WCHA semifinal overtime win vs UMD (March 5, 2005)

Overtime goal by Cole gives Badgers a shot at WCHA title

Box Score

MIINEAPOLIS -- The No. 3 Wisconsin women's hockey advanced to the 2005 WCHA Championship game after a thrilling overtime goal was scored by junior forward Sharon Cole two minutes and 34 seconds into the overtime period. The 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis was the fifth meeting for the Badgers and Minnesota Duluth.

After 2:34 of intense overtime action, Lindsay Macy pushed the puck out of the corner to Sara Bauer. Patient with the puck, Bauer allowed Cole to get into position before lacing the puck through the UMD defender's skate and stick for Cole to shoot past Schaublin on the low left side. The goal extended Cole's point streak to 10 games as well as giving the team a 10-game winning streak.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 7 vs No. 10

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.


Just like the last matchup, today's No. 7 vs. No. 10 pairing features two more milestones for the women's hockey program. The 7th seed is the first WCHA championship win against Minnesota on March 12, 2006. The 10th-seeded game features the Badgers' first-ever advance to the WCHA Championship game after defeating the eventual national champions Minnesota-Duluth on March 8, 2002.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Sunday, July 15, before the next matchup is announced.


No. 7 - First WCHA Championship (March 12, 2006)

Wisconsin wins WCHA Championship

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team earned its first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Avenging last season's championship loss, the Badgers downed Minnesota, 4-1, with three power-play goals.

In the first, semifinal star Cyndy Kenyon scored on the first power play, finishing a slick tic-tac-toe at 5:14 from Sara Bauer and Meaghan Mikkelson. Minnesota responded midway through the period at 12:15 when a crowd in the crease was enough to push UW goalie Meghan Horras, and the puck, over the goal line. Allie Sanchez was credited with the Gophers' only goal.

The fourth and final goal was scored by Mikkelson whose shot sliced through traffic just five seconds into a power play. Captain Sharon Cole and junior Bauer marked assists. Bauer closed out the weekend with eight points and was named the tournament MVP.


No. 10 - UW advances to first-ever WCHA Championship game (March 18, 2002)

Women's hockey advances to championship game

Box Score

BLAINE, Minn. -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team improved to 15-2-0 since the start of 2002 and advanced to its first WCHA Women's Final Five Championship Game with a 4-1 victory over No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth at Fogerty Arena.

Forward Karen Rickard put the Badgers ahead at 4:20 of the first period on a spectacular effort backhanded goal. Meghan Hunter extended the lead for the Badgers with a power-play empty-net goal at 11:11. The Badgers grabbed a 3-0 lead at 5:35 of the second period with a goal from Sis Paulsen coming straight out of the penalty box.

Despite a Minnesota-Duluth goal late in the second, Wisconsin regained its three-goal lead early in the third period when Jackie Friesen scored her seventh of the season. MacMillan and the Badger defense was stellar as the Badgers won their third consecutive game against the defending NCAA Champion Bulldogs.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 8 vs No. 9

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.


Today's No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup features two milestones for the women's hockey program. The 8th seed is the double-OT win against Mercyhurst on March 18, 2006 as the Badgers earned their first trip to the Frozen Four. The 9th-seeded game features the Badgers' first win against arch rival Minnesota and a third-place finish at the WCHA Championship on March 10, 2001.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Friday, July 13, before the next matchup is announced.


No. 8 - First NCAA tournament win (March 18, 2006)

Wisconsin advances to Frozen Four after double-OT thriller

MADISON, Wis. -- Tia Hanson tipped in the winning goal in double overtime to give the No. 2 Badgers a 2-1 advantage over No. 7 Mercyhurst in the women's ice hockey NCAA regional game. Playing 90:10 it was the longest game on record for UW. The Badgers advanced to the Frozen Four to face St. Lawrence in its first trip to the finals.

The Lakers jumped to a 1-0 lead 9:06 into the game, but Wisconsin responded with a goal less than five minutes later when junior Bobbi-Jo Slusar scored on a power-play slap shot from the blue line. 

Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter and Mercyhurst goalie Laura Hosier were unfazed entering the second overtime period, both stopping every puck thrown at them. Halfway through the second overtime, Wisconsin finally broke the puck through Mercyhurst's defense. From above the right circle, Badger junior Kristin Witting sliced the puck in the direction of the net. A tip by Hanson snuck the puck around Hosier's right skate to end the night's hockey action.


No. 9 - First win against Minnesota & Third Place at WCHA tournament (March 10, 2001)

Badgers defeats No. 3 Minnesota to earn third at WCHA Championship

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The seventh-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team overcame three one-goal deficits to win the third-place game at the WCHA Women's Championship over third-ranked Minnesota. Steph Millar scored the game-winning goal midway through the third to give the Badgers the win.

Millar tallied what would be the game-winner for her ninth of the season. Sis Paulsen pinched deep along the boards, skated behind the net with the puck and made a feed to Hunter in front. The puck went off Hunter's stick to Millar in the slot, who buried the wrist shot.

Minnesota had a chance to tie on a Badger power play at about 11 minutes of the third period. Clarke stole the puck at her own blue like and skated in alone against MacMillan. The sophomore stuck out the left pad to keep the lead for Wisconsin.

Achievements of the Year: Badgers are NCAA runner-up


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.

Lucas at Large: Momentum or not, Johnson likes Badgers' chances


How do you quantify momentum? Especially in a program that wins so much?

UW women's hockey coach Mark Johnson has rarely been forced to go down this path where the momentum of his team has come into question.

"Momentum comes in different areas,'' Johnson reasoned. "Obviously if you win a big game and there are some dramatics within that game -- if you happen to win in overtime -- it's going to carry some energy over to your next practice or game.

"If you beat a real high-quality opponent, I think it can do the same thing. That's what is so fun about the postseason. Unlike regular-season games, the playoff games are all big. Certainly, the momentum of the season and playoffs can carry into the NCAA games.''

But what if the opposite is true? The Badgers lost their final game of the regular season to Ohio State, and they also lost to Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA Final Face-Off. Do they have momentum going into Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal matchup against Mercyhurst?

"I think we're in a good spot, whether you define it as momentum or not,'' Johnson said. "As I was telling our staff this week, if we were sitting in the locker room in September and we were saying, 'We're going to be the No. 1 seed,' we would have taken it.

"We're in a good position. We're pretty healthy and we're where we need to be. Like any sport, it's now going to come down to execution. At the end of the day, you don't want to have any regrets. Championship teams don't make any excuses.''

Losing two of their last four games has been a breaking news story in women's college hockey, particularly since the Badgers lost only twice in their first 34 games. A Johnson-coached team hasn't lost consecutive games in five years.

Consider: after losing 3-2 to Minnesota on Oct. 16, the Badgers bounced back with a 4-3 win over Duluth; after losing 1-0 to the Gophers on Jan. 7, they crushed North Dakota 8-2; after losing 4-2 to Ohio State on Feb. 18, they overwhelmed Minnesota State 7-0.

"We've done a lot of good things,'' Johnson said modestly.

Does he still believe that you can learn more about yourself after a loss than a win even though his teams have so little experience with losing?

"Absolutely,'' he said. "You ask yourself, 'What do we need to do to make sure we don't feel this way after our next game?'''

What about the leadership in his locker room? How have some of his better players handled going 2-2 over their last four games? "Anytime you lose it's a tough pill to swallow,'' he said. "We haven't been there very often (as a program). But you deal with it.''

To this end, Johnson has been encouraged by their reaction to the recent setbacks. "They're saying the right things,'' he said. "They're coming to practice and doing the right things. You never want to lose but if you can become better, it's a good path to go down.''

It's just that so few people around here are conditioned to this conversation.

"When we lost a (NCAA) quarterfinal game in '05 to Dartmouth,'' Johnson said, "it was one of those things where we talked afterward and planted a seed for the following year. That learning experience helped us win in '06.

"That's how I look at our playoff system. It's a good two week learning opportunity, whether you've been successful or not. If you get to see another day - which we do - you need to take some things from the loss and move on. That's how I look at momentum.''

Never let them see you sweat, either.

"It comes down to habits and what we do on a daily basis,'' said Johnson, whose calm and collected demeanor sets the tone for his team. "It's the way you go about business. You learn from what the previous game showed you.

"If you're consistent in what you do and your approach, the players understand that and they get to the point where they don't like losing either. They'll come back more focused on paying attention to detail and playing with a little more hunger.''

That's what he's counting on against Mercyhurst.

"Executing and playing with energy is crucial right now,'' he stressed. "We've shown all year that we've been competitive and consistent and we've won a lot.

"Our preparation will give us our best chance to win knowing if we're not successful, it's the end of the road.''

WCHA Women's Notebook (Nov. 9, 2011)

Welcome to this week's installment of the WCHA Women's notebook. Each week Ross LaDue from the UW Athletic Communications office will break down the past weekend of action in the women's side of the WCHA and preview the coming weekend.

Three of the four series this past weekend resulted in sweeps as North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin all claimed two wins. Bemidji State was upset in overtime against Minnesota State, but the Beavers salvaged the weekend split. A couple players were missing as Team Canada called-up its team in order to prepare for the Four Nations Cup taking place in Sweden this weekend. Because of the international tournament, seven of the eight teams in the WCHA will remain idle this weekend. The only item on the docket is Bemidji State playing one game against Lindenwood on Thursday.

Weekend Recap

No. 7 North Dakota at St. Cloud State
No surprises in this series as the Sioux skated to two fairly easy victories. I expected St. Cloud State to net a couple of goals and they did just that, they even had a 1-1 game going for the majority of the first period on Friday. After UND scored to take a 1-0 lead, the Huskies answered back within 21 seconds to tie the game up. Unfortunately for St. Cloud State they wouldn't get any closer than that for the rest of the weekend. UND would win by scores of 6-2 and 5-1.

North Dakota notes: The line of Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Michelle Karvinen had another great weekend together. They accounted for five of the six goals on Friday, but only one of five on Saturday. Monique Weber and Allison Parizek were the only other two UND players to record multiple point games on the weekend. A total of seven players in addition to Lamoureux-Kolls, Lamouruex and Karivine tallied points for UND on the weekend as the Sioux are starting to show some depth in their lines. Stephanie Ney played in net on Friday making 22 stops, while Jorid Dagfinrud made her second start of the season on Saturday and made 19 saves.

St. Cloud State notes: Abby Ness, Molli Mott and Brittany Toor combined for two goals on the weekend, with Mott scoring Saturday's lone goal and Ness scoring the second SCSU goal on Friday. Tayler VanDenakker played both games in net for the Huskies and made a total of 65 saves in the 120 minutes of action.

No. 3 Minnesota at No. 4 Minnesota Duluth
I expected a close series between the two teams and after Minnesota took the first game, Minnesota Duluth nearly forced a split on Saturday. UMD jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Friday, but three-straight Minnesota goals would doom the Bulldogs as the Gophers scored an empty netter just seven seconds after UMD opted for an extra attacker to clinch a 4-1 win. Saturday saw Minnesota jump out to a 1-0 lead within the first minute and that would hurt the Bulldogs. A late rally by UMD fell short and the Gophers finished the sweep by a score of 3-2.

Minnesota notes: Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis had strong weekends for the Gophers. Kessel assisted on both game-winning goals, while Schoullis scored three of the seven goals on the weekend. Minnesota received offensive support from the blue line on Friday as both Anne Schleper and Megan Bozek had two assists, while Bozek also scored a goal. Goaltender Noora Räty posted her third sweep over a WCHA team this season, making 42 saves on 45 shots for a .933 save percentage.

Minnesota Duluth notes: The Bulldogs top three scorers, Audrey Cournoyer, Katherine Wilson and Jessica Wong were held to a combined one point on the weekend as Wong tallied one assist. Senior Haley Irwin was not in attendance for the series as Team Canada called-up its players to prepare for the Four Nations Cup. Top newcomer Jenna McParland was also kept off the score sheet in both games. Jenny Harss had a solid weekend in net, but the Gophers proved to be too tough and her 66 saves weren't enough for a Bulldog win.

No. 10 Bemidji State at Minnesota State
I knew Minnesota State would play Bemidji State well, but I wasn't expecting anything less than a sweep for Bemidji State. In their first-ever game with a national ranking, the Beavers faltered and dropped a decision in overtime to the Mavericks. Minnesota State out-shot Bemidji State, 31-21, in the upset and scored with 17 seconds remaining in overtime to pick up their fifth win of the season. Rebounding on Saturday, Bemidji State shut out the Mavericks, but the scoring woes continued as the Beavers only managed a 1-0 win.

Bemidji State notes: The Beavers were missing one of their top forwards in Emily Erickson due to an injury. Even with that in mind, Bemidji State lacked any scoring from their other top goal producers in Sadie Lundquist and Montana Vichorek. Mackenzie Thurston was the only BSU player to record multiple points on the weekend. While the scoring may have struggled, goaltending was not a problem as Zuzana Tomcikova made 52 saves on the weekend with a .963 save percentage.

Minnesota State notes: Ariel Mackley scored the OT-goal, while Kari Lundberg scored the first goal of the game on Friday. Alli Altmann played in net on Friday and recorded 20 saves for her fourth win of the season. Danielle Butters played in goal on Saturday and made a season-high 31 saves in the 1-0 loss.

No. 1 Wisconsin at Ohio State
The Buckeyes always seem to play the Badgers well at the OSU Ice Rink and this past weekend was no exception. While the Badgers did walk away with the weekend sweep, it was no cake walk. A combination of a high-pressure forecheck and the small ice surface seemed to bottle-neck Wisconsin at times. After UW opened the scoring on Friday night, OSU responded to make it 1-1. However that would be the last goal for the Buckeyes all weekend as the Badgers netted four consecutive goals to close out the weekend with 3-1 and 2-0 scores. Ohio State out-shot Wisconsin on Saturday, behind a third period rush of 16 shots on goal, but the Badgers remained unfazed and picked up their second win while being out-shot this season.

Wisconsin notes: Alex Rigsby was the Badgers' best player over the weekend as she shut down the Ohio State power play, killing off all eight OSU man advantages. Rigsby made 55 saves on 56 shots to post the best goaltending stats in the conference over the weekend. Newcomers Blayre Turnbull and Karley Sylvester both recorded goals on Friday, while Hilary Knight tallied the game-winner. On Saturday, Brooke Ammerman scored both goals in the 2-0 win.

Ohio State notes: Kayla Sullivan scored the lone goal on the weekend with Taylor Kuehl and Danielle Gagne recording the assists. Lisa Steffes made her third consecutive start and made 29 saves in the 3-1 loss on Friday. Chelsea Knapp made her first appearance in between the pipes since the North Dakota series on Dec. 21-22. Knapp played well and recorded 24 saves.

Possible WCHA Player of the Week winners (in order of likeliness):
This week's potential Offensive Player of the Week may be a bit of a tossup. Both Amanda Kessel and Jocelyne Lamoureux had great weekends as Minnesota and North Dakota swept their WCHA opponents. Kessel's performance stands out a bit more as she tallied assists on both game-winning goals against Minnesota Duluth. Lamoureux put up one more point than Kessel, though it was against a weaker St. Cloud State team. Brooke Ammerman also had a decent weekend, with a hand in both game-winning goals against Ohio State.

For Defensive Player of the Week it's hard to look past Alex Rigsby's performance at Ohio State, a total of 55 stops on 56 shots in a sweep over the Buckeyes. Minnesota's goaltender Noora Räty did well in net for the Gophers against Minnesota Duluth, making 42 saves on 45 shots. North Dakota's Candace Molle assisted on a game-winner against St. Cloud State. Bemidji State's goaltender Zuzana Tomcikvoa had another great performance in net for the Beavers, but Bemidji State being unable to pull off the sweep will hurt her chances.

Rookie of the Week looks to be going back to UND's Michelle Karvinen who led the Sioux in scoring against the Huskies. In a five-point night, she netted the game-winner on Friday. Wisconsin's Blayre Turnbull scored a shorthanded goal against the Buckeyes as the Badgers swept in Ohio. None of the newcomers at Minnesota put up any numbers this weekend. UMD's Brigette Lacquette had two points, but being swept by the Gophers may hurt her chances.

Offensive Player of the Week
Amanda Kessel (UM) - 5 points (1G, 4A), 2 game-winning assists vs UMD, 10 shots, +4 plus/minus
Jocelyne Lamoureux (UND) - 6 points (2G, 4A), two wins vs SCSU, seven shots, +4 plus/minus
Brooke Ammerman (UW) - 3 points  (2G, 1A), 1 game-winning goal and assist vs OSU, 8 shots, +2 plus/minus

Defensive Player of the Week
Alex Rigsby (UW) - 55 saves, 1 goal against, .982 save percentage, 2 wins vs OSU, 1 shutout
Noora Räty (UM) - 42 saves, 3 goals against, .933 save percentage, 2 wins vs UMD
Candace Molle (UND) - 2 points (1G, 1A), 1 game-winning assist, 2 wins vs SCSU, 4 shots, +3 plus/minus
Zuzana Tomcikova (BSU) - 52 saves, 2 goals against, .963 save percentage, 1 win vs MSU, 1 shutout

Rookie of the Week
Michelle Karvinen (UND) - 6 points (2G, 4A), 1 game-winning goal, 2 wins vs SCSU, 7 shots, +4 plus/minus
Blayre Turnbull (UW) - 1 point (1G, 0A), 1 short-handed goal, 2 wins vs OSU, 2 shots, +1 plus/minus
Brigette Lacquette (UMD) - 2 points (1G, 1A), 4 shots, even plus/minus

Looking Forward

Lindenwood vs Bemidji State (at Eveleth, Minn., Nov. 10)
This will be a single-game match up instead of a normal two-game series and it will be played in Eveleth, Minn., at the Hippodrome. Even with this game being away from the comfy confines of the Sanford Center, the Beavers should skate to an easy victory. Excluding a close 4-3 loss to Minnesota State, Lindenwood has lost to DI opponents this season by a combined score of 85-9. The struggling team from St. Charles, Mo., will surely get better, but I don't see them beating any of their DI opponents this season.

Minnesota State at No. 7 North Dakota (Nov. 18-19)
The Sioux finally return to Ralph Engelstad Arena after almost a month without a home game. North Dakota has put up some blistering numbers on the scoreboard while at home and the series against Minnesota State may be another opportunity for the Sioux to keep on lighting lamp. The Minnesota State goaltending corps is playing well now, but it may be a different story in two weeks. North Dakota should come away with both wins.

Bemidji State at No. 6 Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 19-20)
The Bulldogs are 1-4-1-1 to start off conference action, and I'm not entirely sure, but this could be one of their worst starts in the WCHA. It's not a reflection of the quality of the UMD squad by any means, as the four losses have come against Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, returning home and gaining Haley Irwin back from the Four Nations Cup, Minnesota Duluth will be a very difficult team to beat. If Bemidji State has forward Emily Erickson back from her injury and if the Beavers can play a full 60 minutes of hockey, then they may be able to pull out a win. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Minnesota Duluth improve to 3-4-1-1 with these games being in Duluth, Minn.

Ohio State at Syracuse (Nov. 18-19)
Syracuse had a great season last year, losing to CHA powerhouse Mercyhurst by one goal in the CHA tournament championship game. However, Syracuse looks a lot weaker this year. Ohio State will have forward Natalie Spooner back and the Buckeyes will be looking to reheat their cold offense they've had lately. The Buckeyes should sweep this series and potentially in high scoring fashion.

St. Cloud State at Niagara (Nov. 18-19)
If these games were in St. Cloud, Minn., I would call for a Husky sweep. However, having to travel all the way to upstate New York may hinder St. Cloud State. This is the last nonconference series for the Huskies and it may be the last chance for them to get a sweep. With this in mind, the games should be fairly close, one or two-goal games. I think the Huskies win at least one, and if they stay focused, they can win both.

New Hampshire at No. 3 Minnesota (Nov. 18-19)
This will be a weekend sweep for the Gophers at home. There's a good possibility that Noora Räty and the Minnesota defense will not allow a single goal on the weekend.

No. 1 Wisconsin at Rensselaer (Nov. 18-19)
The series will serve as the third and fourth meetings between the two teams and the first visit for Wisconsin to Rensselaer. The Badgers will have Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker and Stefanie McKeough back from Four Nations. The Engineers have been struggling this year and for the Badgers to win all they need to do is to continue to play their style of hockey. The biggest challenge for Wisconsin will be staying away from complacency as it heads into the weekend series and not look past RPI.  

WCHA Women's Notebook (Nov. 1, 2011)

Welcome to the This Week in Women's WCHA. Each week Ross LaDue from the UW Athletic Communications office breaks down the past weekend of action in the women's side of the WCHA and look ahead to the coming weekend.

Out of three conference series this past weekend, only one resulted in a sweep and it wasn't the No.2 Minnesota Golden Gophers at Bemidji State. Ohio State got the weekend sweep over Minnesota State in two very close defensive games. Minnesota Duluth routed North Dakota, 6-1, before the two teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Sunday. Minnesota took the first game in Bemidji, 4-1, but the Beavers rebounded to claim a big upset over the Gophers on Saturday. In nonconference action, St. Cloud State tied and lost to Robert Morris, while Wisconsin breezed past an injury-riddled Boston University in Madison, Wis.  

Weekend Recap

Robert Morris at St. Cloud State
The Huskies saw a promising start to the weekend, as they battled back from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game in the third period. A penalty at the end of regulation gave Robert Morris a two-minute man advantage to start overtime and while that hurt the Huskies, they withstood the pressure and forced the tie. They went on to win a shootout, 2-0, but it was just for bragging rights. In Saturday's game, St. Cloud State out-shot the Colonials, but fell by a score of 3-1.  

St. Cloud State players of note: The goaltending duo was solid over the weekend, their numbers may not have been absolutely stellar, but they were definitely good enough to give the Huskies a chance to win. Talyer VanDenakker played in the 2-2 tie on Friday making 25 stops, including four in OT. Julie Friend played on Saturday and made 21 saves in the 3-1 loss. Abby Ness tallied two helpers on the weekend as she was the only Husky to record more than one point, she also scored on her attempt in the shootout on Friday.

No. 4 Boston University at No. 1 Wisconsin
The Terriers entered Madison for the first time in program history, but Marie-Philip Poulin and Jenelle Kohanchuk didn't make the trip as they were out with injuries. Boston University still had last year's top scorer in Jenn Wakefield and sophomore goaltender Kerrin Sperry who helped the Terriers reach the Frozen Four final as a freshman. However, the Kohl Center is a difficult venue for visiting teams. The Badgers played nearly 120 minutes of solid hockey and swept the Terriers by scores of 3-0 and 6-1.

Wisconsin players of note: With a knack for showing up on the score sheet, Brianna Decker's name appeared on it both nights, punctuated by a hat trick on Saturday. With her five points on the weekend, she now has 50 points in the past 20 games. Both Brittany Ammerman and Blayre Turnbull recorded two-goal games over the weekend. Alex Rigsby made a total of 42 stops and picked up her first shutout of the season on Friday.

Ohio State at Minnesota State
This series was an even bigger defensive battle than the St. Cloud State-Robert Morris series. Only four goals were scored and nine penalties were called all weekend. It looked like the weekend was going to be another rough one for the Ohio State goaltending after an early MSU goal in the first period on Friday. However, Minnesota State's first goal of the weekend would also be their last, as OSU would go on to win 2-1 on Friday and 1-0 on Saturday. Both teams had great goaltending, but struggled offensively to get quality chances on net.

Minnesota State players of note: Lauren Smith opened the scoring for the Mavericks on their first power play on Friday for the lone MSU goal of the weekend. Alli Altmann had a great night in net making 28 saves, including 14 in the second period, in Friday's 2-1 loss. The following game saw the Mavericks opt for sophomore Danielle Butters in net and she rose to the occasion making 31 saves in the 1-0 loss on Saturday.  

Ohio State players of note: After letting in the early goal, sophomore goaltender Lisa Steffes kept the Mavericks scoreless for the remaining 116 minutes of the weekend, making 44 saves for the two wins. Ohio State needed the solid goaltending as its offense has been in bit of a slump lately. After scoring 19 goals in their first four games, the Buckeyes have only scored five goals in their last four. Hokey Langan, Laura McIntosh and Kelly Wild all had two points over the weekend, while Natalie Spooner was left without a single point after eight attempts on net.

No. 6 North Dakota at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth
After getting swept by the Badgers at home, the Bulldogs wanted to make sure they didn't start off the conference season with a 0-4-0 record. Coming off an 18-goal weekend, North Dakota was looking to keep their offense rolling. However, it was the Minnesota Duluth offense that would trump UND in the first game on Saturday. The first period was scoreless, but UMD would score three goals in the second, including a shorthander, and two more to start the third to take a 5-0 lead en route to a 6-1 win. The following game saw a closer defensive game as the two sides played to a 2-2 draw. UND needed an extra-attacker goal in the final minute to force the tie, though the Bulldogs would claim the shootout victory. In the history of WCHA shootouts, North Dakota has yet to win one.

Minnesota Duluth players of note: Katherine Wilson scored a hat trick on Saturday in the 6-1 victory and only tallied one assist in the 2-2 tie. Audrey Cournoyer helped on each of Wilson's goals on Saturday and recorded her own goal along with an additional assist on Sunday. Jenna McParland, Haley Irwin and Pernilla Winberg each had a goal on Saturday. Goaltender Jenny Harss made 56 of 59 saves on the weekend, including three stops in the shootout.

North Dakota players of note
: Only four players recorded points for UND all weekend. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls assisted on all three UND goals. Jocelyne Lamoureux scored the lone goal on Saturday and assisted on both in Sunday's game. Michelle Karvinen scored the tying goal with 17 seconds left in the third period on Sunday and Josefine Jakobsen scored the first goal in the same game. Stephanie Ney made a total of 58 saves on 66 shots over the weekend.

No. 2 Minnesota at Bemidji State
In the Minnesota Daily, head coach Brad Frost said that Bemidji State is "probably the hardest working team" in the conference. Bemidji State proved Frost right when they rebounded from a 4-1 loss on Friday and upset the No. 2 Golden Gophers on Saturday night by a score of 2-1. The Gophers took a total of 92 shots on goal over the weekend and only scored five times. In addition to those 92 shots on goal, the Gophers took another 46 shots that never found their way on net, being blocked by the BSU defense. Since moving into the Sanford Center in Bemidji, the Beavers have only been swept once on home ice. The lone sweep came at the hands of No. 1 Wisconsin last year and even then it took overtime in the finale for the Badgers to pull off the sweep. With the split against Minnesota, the Beavers own a 6-6-2 record against nationally-ranked teams at the Sanford Center.

Minnesota players of note: Jen Schoullis scored an empty netter on Friday to record a hat trick. Amanda Kessel assisted on all four goals and Megan Bozek assisted on three in Friday's, 4-1, win. Sarah Erickson had the remaining point from the win, scoring the Gophers third goal of the game. On Saturday, Emily West scored the lone goal in the 2-1 loss. Noora Räty made 48 saves in the two games.

Bemidji State's players of note: Goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova made 87 saves on the weekend, including 18 in the third period of Saturday's, 2-1, win. She helped kill off three BSU penalties as the Gophers were scoreless on the power play for the weekend. Sadie Lundquist scored in both games, including the game-winner on Saturday. Emily Erickson assisted on both her goals. Freshman Rachael Kelly scored her fourth goal of the season to put the Beavers on the board first on Saturday.

Possible WCHA Player of the Week winners:
Unlike last week, the offensive player and rookie of the week will be a bit hard to predict. With 87 saves and an upset win against the Gophers, there's no question that Bemidji State's goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova deserves the honor for Defensive Player of the Week. If for some reason she wouldn't win, Alex Rigsby had the next best performance with two wins and a shutout against a top-5 team.

On offense, there were three hat tricks over the weekend, but only Katherine Wilson and Brianna Decker recorded points in both nights, while Decker had one more point and two wins. Audrey Cournoyer was the only player, other than Decker, to get five points on the weekend, but four of those points came from assists. BSU's Sadie Lunquist has a chance with a goal in each game against Minnesota, including the game-winner in Saturday's upset.

For rookies, no one recorded points in more than one game. UW's Blayre Turnbull had two goals and UMD's Jenna McParland had one goal and one assist. Both of those players recorded their points in 6-1 wins. Rachael Kelly scored a goal against Minnesota in Bemidji State's upset win.

Offensive Player of the Week (in order of likeliness)
Brianna Decker (UW) - 5 points (3G, 2A), hat trick, 11 shots, +3 plus/minus
Katherine Wilson (UMD) - 4 points (3G, 1A), hat trick, 10 shots, +3 plus/minus
Audrey Cournoyer (UMD) - 5 points (1G, 4A), 3 shots, +1 plus/minus
Sadie Lundquist (BSU) - 2 points (2G, 0A), 1 game-winning goal, 6 shots, -3 plus/minus

Defensive Player of the Week (in order of likeliness)
Zuzana Tomcikova (BSU) - 87 saves, 4 goals against, .946 save percentage, 1 win
Alex Rigsby (UW) - 42 saves, 1 goal against, .977 save percentage, 2 wins

Rookie of the Week (in order of likeliness)
Blayre Turnbull (UW) - 2 points (2G, 0A), 1 game-winning goal, 4 shots, +3 plus/minus
Jenna McParland (UMD) - 2 points (1G, 1A), 1 game-winning goal, 2 shots, +2 plus/minus
Rachael Kelly (BSU) - 1 point (1G, 0A), 5 shots, -1 plus/minus

Looking Forward

No. 7 North Dakota at St. Cloud State
The wide ice sheet at the National Hockey Center should play to the advantage of North Dakota's Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. UND should leave St. Cloud, Minn., with two wins, but not without conceding a goal or two to the Huskies.

No. 4 Minnesota Duluth at No. 3 Minnesota
The Bulldogs are only 1-2-1-1 in their first four conference games and they'll be looking to improve that this weekend. The Gophers have shown that they can be shutdown, it's just up to the UMD defense and goaltender Jenny Harss to make it happen. In similar fashion to the Minnesota-Wisconsin matchup earlier this season, I think both games will be very close and after everything is said and done, the Bulldogs and Gophers will split the weekend.

No. 10 Bemidji State at Minnesota State
With their first-ever national ranking to their name, the Bemidji State Beavers hit the road to take on the Minnesota State Mavericks. I think Bemidji State has the edge on this one and should pull out a weekend sweep against the struggling MSU offense. However, if the Minnesota State goaltending plays like it did last weekend, the games could be a bit closer than BSU would like them to be.

No. 1 Wisconsin at Ohio State
After completing an arduous eight-game stretch the Badgers can claim a 7-1-0 record against some of the toughest competition in the nation. However, Wisconsin can't take time to relax as they travel to Ohio State this weekend and face a Buckeye team looking to return to its scoring ways. The problem with carrying the No. 1 title is that it tends to bring out the best performances in opponents. Even though the Buckeyes haven't scored many goals as they would have liked to recently, the forwards of Laura McIntosh, Natalie Spooner, Hokey Langan and Ally Tarr are always dangerous and can't be overlooked. The Badgers will need to continue playing solid on defense and should look to get a lot of shots on whoever is in net for the Buckeyes.


Wednesday was a great day for hockey. It was also a great day to recognize former Wisconsin men's coach Jeff Sauer and current UW women's coach Mark Johnson for their impact on the sport.

Sauer and Johnson were among four recipients of the 2011 Lester Patrick Award that honors special individuals for their contributions to hockey in the United States.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand for the event at the River Centre in St. Paul, Minn., where Bob Pulford and Tony Rossi joined Sauer and Johnson as Patrick Award honorees.

Johnson said that after he received a phone call from Bettman notifying him that he was a winner, "You step back and say, 'Wow!' It puts a smile on your face.''

Sauer got the same phone call and said, "I looked at my phone and saw it was a call from Gary Bettman and I thought it was someone playing a trick on me.''

It was no joke. Sauer and Johnson were most deserving. Plus, it was most timely that they were honored in the same class given that their history together dates back to when Jeff babysat for Mark.

Badger Bob Johnson -- Mark's dad -- was a common denominator. Keeping it all in the family, Jeff Sauer was a former Bob Johnson assistant and Mark Johnson was a former Jeff Sauer assistant.

There have been numerous intersections on their career timelines.

*  *  *

Before the UW Athletic Board could get around to confirming his appointment as the new hockey coach, it had to clean its desk of some old business and tend to other bureaucratic matters.

Colorado College's 39-year-old coach, Jeff Sauer, was told to take a seat and wait.

Not a problem. The job was his. And since the former Badger assistant had waited a long time for this day -- July 8, 1982 -- he was prepared to wait a little longer, however long it would take.

It took nearly two hours.

Sauer wound up in the UW basketball office, where he visited with an assistant coach who was helping hold the program together in the midst of a transition from Bill Cofield to Steve Yoder.

Neither Sauer nor Bo Ryan had any inkling what the future would hold for their respective careers. (Or that their paths would cross again in 2001 when Ryan moved from Platteville to Madtown.)

Shortly after the athletic board gave its official blessing to Sauer, a press conference was held at Camp Randall Stadium to formally introduce Bob Johnson's successor to the Madison media.

Sauer not only skated for Johnson at Colorado College, but he was a volunteer assistant under Johnson while completing his degree. Later, he was Johnson's first full-time assistant at Wisconsin.

He and his wife Jamie even babysat for the Johnson boys, Peter and Mark.

But he wanted to make it perfectly clear, "I'm not Bob Johnson, I'm Jeff Sauer. And I hope everyone realizes that we're going to do some things a little bit differently.

"Once you get to know me, I think you'll get to find that emotionally -- as far as wins and losses -- I try not to peak and valley. You have to keep your sanity somehow in this game.''

Sauer managed to do so longer than anyone -- for 31 years as a head coach in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association; 11 at Colorado College and 20 at Wisconsin.

Sauer won 655 games overall, including two national championships with the Badgers.

That Sauer was able to escape the long shadow of Bob Johnson and establish his own identity, separate from that of his lionized predecessor, speaks volumes for his system and perseverance.

"When I was a young coach in the league, I'd sit in those meetings and listen to everything the older coaches had to say,'' Sauer said after his 556th win moved him past the legendary John MacInnes.

"I don't know if I ever talked to any of them about coaching. You just didn't discuss those things back then. It's not like calling Sertie (Mike Sertich) on a Monday morning and talking about the series.''

Sertich was the longtime coach at Minnesota-Duluth and one of Sauer's closest friends.

"You just didn't do that back then,'' Sauer went on. "Everyone was so much more guarded. But you could still learn something from all of them.

"Denver's Murray Armstrong was businesslike in the way he approached the game. Michigan State's Amo Bessone was a true coach. Minnesota's John Mariucci was a good old guy.

"I'd have to say Bob Johnson did have the biggest influence on me,'' Sauer said. "I played for him, I coached with him and I coached against him. I went through a lot of things with Bob.''

Bob Johnson received the Lester Patrick Award in 1988.

Mark Johnson recalled, "When my dad received the recognition for what he did -- whether it was at Wisconsin, USA Hockey, Calgary or Pittsburgh -- it was a special evening for him and our family.''

To also receive the Patrick Award now makes it even more special.

Mark Johnson, the celebrated 1980 Olympian, cut his teeth as a head coach at Verona High School and with the minor league Madison Monsters before joining Sauer's staff at Wisconsin.

More recently, he has been collecting rings; NCAA championship rings. Johnson has guided the UW women to four national titles in the last six years.

The most recent of which was last season when Wisconsin defeated Boston University, 4-1, in the finals.  Fittingly, the Badgers will face the BU Terriers on Friday and Saturday at the Kohl Center.

Faceoff both days will take place at 2 p.m.

"Having defeated them last year in Erie (Pa.) you know they're going to be excited to play us again,'' Johnson said. "They're going to be coming into the building looking for revenge.''

Over the last six games, the Badgers have tested themselves against North Dakota, Minnesota and Duluth. "It's been three weekends of playoff hockey,'' said Johnson. "And it elevates your play.''

Wisconsin has gone 5-1 over this challenging stretch.

"It's only October,'' he said, "but we've become better as a team playing each opponent.''

Not only were the Badgers able to walk out of Duluth with a sweep, but Johnson saw something that he had never seen before in all of his years in hockey as a player or a coach.

On a delayed penalty, the Bulldogs pulled their goaltender for a sixth attacker. But, in attempting to set up a teammate, a Duluth player inadvertently shot the puck into her own empty net.

The goal was credited to Wisconsin's Saige Pacholok, who took the initial penalty.

"The fans that were at the game,'' Johnson said, "and certainly the referees and both coaching staffs were a little stunned at what happened.

"Saige went into the penalty box and they announced her penalty first and then they announced her goal in the next sentence. I haven't seen that before going back to my playing days.

"But again, we found a way to win.''

Another common denominator between Johnson and Sauer, the Patrick Award winners.

WCHA Women's notebook (Oct. 26, 2011)

Welcome to the This Week in Women's WCHA. Each week Ross LaDue from the UW Athletic Communications office breaks down the past weekend of action in the women's side of the WCHA and look ahead to the coming weekend. 

There was a lot of goal scoring this past weekend in the WCHA. The winning teams from each series scored a total of 51 goals and each series resulted in a sweep. Wisconsin was the only road team to win, as Minnesota, North Dakota and Bemidji State all swept on home ice this past weekend. 

Weekend Recap

Minnesota State at No. 2 Minnesota
The result of this series was of little surprise. With the Minnesota homecoming football game against Nebraska on Saturday, the Mavericks and Golden Gophers played in a Thursday-Friday matchup. The Gophers won by a modest margin of 3-0 on Thursday before routing the Mavericks 7-0 on Friday. The double shutouts marked the second time this season the Gophers have kept their opponents scoreless, previously against St. Cloud State on Oct. 7-8.

Minnesota players of note: Sophomore Sarah Davis scored twice on Thursday and tallied two helpers on Friday. In the 7-0 win on Friday, Sarah Erickson was the only Gopher to record more than one goal. Megan Bozek and Amanda Kessel were the only two players in the Friday game to record a goal and an assist, Kessel had one goal and two assists. A total of 12 skaters recorded points for the Gophers over the weekend. Freshman Shyler Sletta made her first start in net on Thursday and went on to make 20 saves in her first collegiate start, win and shutout. Junior Noora Räty played on Friday making 19 saves for her third shutout of the season

Minnesota State players of note: Senior goaltender Alli Altmann played in both games for the Mavericks and made an impressive 49 saves off of 52 shots in Thursday's loss. Altmann definitely gave her team a chance to win, but while goaltending may win championships, it doesn't put goals on the board. On Friday, Altmann didn't fare as well, but to her credit, four of the seven goals came on a Gopher power play. 

St. Cloud State at Bemidji State
Before the season started, with the loss of the graduation of BSU's top offensive producers, I would have guessed a bit closer matchup. However, the 7-0 stomping over Maine the week prior must have given Bemidji State some offensive confidence. The Beavers lit the lamp a total of 13 times over the weekend while only conceding three goals to the Huskies, two coming off a man-advantage. 

Bemidji State players of note: Defenseman Montana Vichorek recorded a six point night netting two goals on Friday, while her D-partner, Marlee Wheelhouse, scored a goal and had three assists. The No. 1 forward line of Tess Dusik, Sadie Lundquist and Emily Erickson had a tremendous weekend netting five goals and recording 11 assists on the weekend. Star goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova turned away 21 of 22 shots on Friday, while Alana McElhinney recorded 23 saves in her second appearance this season.

St. Cloud State players of note: All three goals were scored by different skaters and the only player to record more than one point on the weekend was Haylea Schmid, who had an assist in the first game and scored the Huskies final goal on Saturday. Taylor VanDenakker made her fifth start in net on Friday and concede seven goals on 35 shots. Freshman Julie Friend made her third start of season on Saturday and made 34 stops in the 5-2 loss.

Ohio State at No. 7 North Dakota
This series was the biggest surprise of the weekend. Ohio State has a great offense, but a suspect defense, and North Dakota has a fiery offense. High scores were half expected, but not lopsided scores. After the first 40 minutes of the weekend, the score inside Ralph Engelstad Arena already read Ohio State 1, North Dakota 11. A third period full of penalties would stifle any more scoring as the game would end 11-1. Saturday's game wasn't much better for the Buckeyes as the Sioux walked away with a 7-1 victory. Ohio State's special teams were abysmal as they failed to score a single goal on 13 power-play chances and conceded five goals on 12 Sioux power plays.

North Dakota players of note: After seeing who did the goal production for the Sioux, I was wondering if the conference should scrap Offensive Player of the Week for a more appropriate "Offensive Line of the Week". The No. 1 UND forward line of Monique Lamoreux-Kolls, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Michelle Karvinen put up a combined 25 points in the two games. In Saturday's 7-1 win, the three accounted for all seven goals. Karvinen had a hat trick on Friday and Lamoureux-Kolls had one on Saturday. Stephanie Ney made both starts in net recording a total of 37 saves. In the final 10 minutes of Friday's game, a span that saw seven penalties called, the Sioux put freshman Michelle Bonapace-Potvin in net.

Ohio State players of note: Laura McIntosh was the only goal scorer of the weekend for the Buckeyes. She actually opened the scoring on Saturday, only to be followed by seven UND goals. Natalie Spooner was kept to a -4 plus/minus on the weekend and wasn't able to record a single point. The Ohio State goaltending was a nightmare in net. Lisa Steffes started Friday's game and after letting in four goals on 13 shots within the first 12 minutes, was replaced by Chelsea Knapp, who let in one goal on two shots before the first period was over. Knapp started in the second and after letting in six goals on 11 shots, Steffes went back in for the remainder of the game. Knapp then played all 60 minutes on Saturday making 27 saves. 

No. 1 Wisconsin at No. 5/6 Minnesota Duluth
It was another big matchup for the Badgers as they continued along their four-week stretch of playing the nation's top teams. Entering the weekend, the Bulldogs had not been swept on their home ice by the Badgers in eight years. There were points during the weekend when that streak looked as if it was going to continue. In Friday night's game, the Bulldogs held a 2-1 lead after the first period, but a strong second period and a great shorthanded breakaway goal gave the Badgers a 4-3 win. Even on Saturday after Wisconsin jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Minnesota Duluth was drastically out-shooting the Badgers and it was looking like it was just a matter of time until UMD tied things up. Luckily for UW, goaltender Alex Rigsby had one of her best nights in net and turned away 46 of UMD's 49 shots to give Wisconsin the 6-3 win and the weekend sweep. 

Wisconsin players of note: Forwards Hilary Knight and Carolyne Prévost both had two goal games, with Knight getting three on the weekend. Knight had the biggest goal of the weekend, scoring the game-winner off a breakaway with fewer than two minutes remaining while shorthanded. Jordan Brickner set her up with the pass and Knight skated down and popped the puck over the blocker of UMD's Jenny Harss. Carolyne Prévost scored twice on Saturday, including the game-winner and an empty netter to secure the win. Brianna Decker also had two goals and one assist on the weekend. In net for the Badgers, Alex Rigsby had one of the best weekends in her career making a total of 80 saves and a career single-game high 46 saves on Saturday. However spectacular Rigsby's play was in net, the highlight of the weekend goes to the goal "scored" by Saige Pacholok. One of the rarest goals in hockey, it came as a result of a UMD gaffe in the second period. With a delayed penalty upcoming, the Bulldogs pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. With the Bulldogs cycling the puck in the UW zone, they misplayed a pass to the point and the puck slid all the way down the ice into the empty net for a Badger goal. It was credited to the last player who touched it, which happened to be the same player the penalty was called on, Saige Pacholok.

Minnesota Duluth players of note: Freshman Jenna McParland scored two goals in the first game of the series. Haley Irwin, member of the Olympic gold-medal winning Canadian team in 2010, tallied two assists in both games. Wong had a relatively quiet weekend as she was kept pointless on Friday and had two assists on Saturday. Irwin, Wong and McParland were the only Bulldogs to record more than one point in either game. Jenny Harss had a fairly solid night in net on Friday making 39 saves, but looked a bit rattled on Saturday only making 13 saves before UMD opted to go with senior Lana Steck for the third period. Steck made 12 saves without conceding a goal.

Possible WCHA Player of the Week winners:

The WCHA players of the week were announced early this week, but it wasn't too hard to predict who was going to win. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was a shoe-in for Offensive Player of the Week after collecting 10 points, which included a hat trick, over the weekend. Alex Rigsby was also a standout for Defensive Player of the Week with 80 saves and a sweep over a nationally-ranked team. The Rookie of the Week award was also bound to go back to Michelle Karvinen after she posted a seven-point weekend, which, like her linemate Lamoureux-Kolls, included a hat trick.

Looking Forward

No. 2 Minnesota at Bemidji State
While Bemidji State's offense has been rolling strong, they haven't faced a defense as stingy as Minnesota's yet. The Beavers play well at home and if they bring their A-game I wouldn't be surprise to see an upset Friday night. BSU will need great goaltending and solid defense to pull it off, because they're not going to win a high scoring game against the Gophers. On Saturday I don't see Minnesota losing, they're one of the fastest teams in the nation, if not the fastest, and they always seem to play better as the weekend progresses. With this being one of the best Gopher squads in a while, if the Beavers don't play near perfect hockey, the Gophers will be headed back to Minneapolis with two wins.

Ohio State at Minnesota State
After Ohio State's train wreck of a weekend against North Dakota anything can happen this weekend against Minnesota State. Both teams are going to be hungry for goals as the Buckeyes only scored twice and the Mavericks didn't score at all last weekend. On paper the series looks like it should be a sweep for the Buckeyes, but both teams are plagued by inconsistency in net. Ohio State has the better offense, but that didn't matter much against North Dakota. If MSU goalie Ali Altmann has a great weekend and the Maverick offense shows up, I wouldn't be surprised to see a split, or the Buckeyes getting a win and a tie. 

No. 6 North Dakota at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth
This will be a great series to see firsthand. Both teams are very aggressive on the forecheck so special teams will be a major factor in this game, as a lot of penalties can be expected. I wouldn't want to be a goaltender in this series as UND's offense is on fire and Minnesota Duluth's head coach Shannon Miller will have her team ready to bounce back after getting swept by Wisconsin. A weekend split sounds reasonable if the Lamoureux's limit their penalties. Though, if the Lamouruex's are stuck in the box, UMD's power-play will run over the North Dakota defense and goaltending. 

Robert Morris at St. Cloud State
Robert Morris split earlier with Minnesota State, but this may be a decent chance for St. Cloud State to get a win. I wouldn't be surprised to see freshman goaltender Julie Friend to get the start in the first game. She played well enough against Bemidji State last weekend and has the only win for SCSU this year. If the Huskies get good goaltending, I could see St. Cloud State getting their second win on the season, but I feel like Robert Morris will most likely get two wins.

No. 4/5 Boston University at No. 1 Wisconsin
While this is a rematch of last year's title game, the Boston University squad entering Madison is far from the same that played against the Badgers in Erie, Pa., last March. The Terriers will be without star forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who got hurt in the opening-weekend series against North Dakota. BU also lost some key seniors to graduation, so the roster won't be quite as deep as it was in March. The Badgers will need to rely on their strong defensive play this weekend and possibly look to convert more chances on their struggling power-play unit.