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Heartbreak in Hamden: No. 3 Wisconsin falls 5-3 to No. 1 Minnesota

Game Photo
Wisconsin 1 Minnesota 5, Wisconsin 3
2014 NCAA Frozen Four - Semifinal
TD Bank Sports Center • Hamden, Conn.

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1st 2nd 3rd Final
1 2 0 3
0 2 3 5
 Scoring Summary
1st 18:38 WIS Ammerman
2nd 0:33 MINN Terry (Cameranesi, Brausen)
2nd 2:12 MINN Menefee (Terry)
2nd 16:20 WIS Josephs (Zgraja)
2nd 19:29 WIS Sylvester (Packer)
3rd 5:37 MINN Brandt (McMillen, Cameranesi)
3rd 8:06 MINN Bona (Davis)
3rd 17:32 MINN Gillanders (Brandt)
 Goaltender Summary Min GA Sv
WIS Rigsby (17-7-2) 58:05 5 23
WIS Empty net  1:55 - -
MINN Leveille (38-1-1) 60:00 3 34
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 37 28
 Power Plays 0-1 2-3
 Penalties-Minutes 4-8 2-4
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March 21, 2014

HAMDEN, Conn. -- To call the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal between No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 1 Minnesota a roller coaster would be an understatement.

After holding leads heading into the first and second intermissions, the Badgers could not overcome a three-goal third period by the Golden Gophers as Wisconsin fell 5-3.

"It was a game with momentum swings" UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "We saw them both ways. I thought both teams battled hard. I thought we played a solid game. But it was going to come down to who was going to make a play."

 Fast Facts
• Badgers end season with 28-8-2 record
• UW's junior class scored all three goals
• Seniors Rigsby, Jaminski, Berg, Packer and Friedman play final game for UW

Juniors Brittany Ammerman, Katy Josephs and Karley Sylvester all scored for the Cardinal and White, who appeared in its seventh NCAA Frozen Four.

"We were happy with our offensive production," Ammerman said. "Obviously it wasn't enough. We put our hearts out there, and we just couldn't get bounces our way."

The Badgers jump on the board early, as Ammerman scored her 23rd goal of the year on a 4-on-4 play to give UW a 1-0 lead with less than three minutes left in the first. The Badgers outshot the Gophers 17-7 in the first.

"I was leaving the ice thinking we should have been up 3-0," Johnson said. "We had good opportunities and came out with good energy. We had them on their heels a bit, but we needed to capitalize. They are a high scoring and deep team. It was nice that Brit scored a goal and that we won the first period."

Minnesota scored twice in a 1:41 span early in the second period to give the Gophers a 2-1 lead as Kelly Terry and Maryann Menefee scored for the Gophers.

The Badgers countered with a pair of their own goals to close out the period with a 3-2 lead. Josephs tallied her 12th of the year, while Sylvester earned her ninth goal of the season to give Wisconsin a 3-2 advantage heading into the second intermission.

 "In the first couple of minutes of the second period, it shifted back to their favor with a goal and a penalty on the play," Johnson said. "They scored with 10 seconds left on the power play to make it 2-1. But we responded in the last seven or eight minutes. We started to create some opportunities. Josephs gets a nice goal to make it 2-2 and Karley scores off the faceoff and now we go into the locker room 3-2."

In the third period after a Rachel Jones penalty, Minnesota evened the game at 3-3 with just six seconds remaining in its power play to tie it up with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Minnesota's Rachel Bona beat senior netminder Alex Rigsby on a breakaway to give Minnesota a 4-3 advantage with 11:54 left in the contest. A goal by Balyee Gillanders at the 17:32 mark put the game out of reach for the Badgers.

Rigsby ended her final game with 23 saves, and leaves Wisconsin as the school leader in wins (100) and saves (3,103).

The Badgers end their season with a 28-8-2 record, while Minnesota moves on to the national title game on Sunday.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State
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