March 6, 2011
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MADISON, Wis. – No. 1 Wisconsin (34-2-2, 24-2-2-2 WCHA) will host No. 6 Minnesota Duluth (22-8-3, 18-7-3 WCHA) in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 NCAA National College Women's Ice Hockey Championship, the NCAA revealed during Sunday night’s selection show. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (CT) Saturday at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers earned the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s automatic berth to the national tournament after winning the WCHA Final Face-off. UW defeated Minnesota 5-4 in overtime in the championship game.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Duluth received one of the five at large berths to the national tournament. The Bulldogs fell to Minnesota in the semifinal round of the WCHA Final Face-off, dropping a 4-2 decision.
The Badgers are making their sixth NCAA national tournament appearance and begin the quest for their fourth national championship after taking home the title in 2009, 2007 and 2006. UW is 11-2-0 in the national tournament for a .846 winning percentage.
“It’s always good to be at home. Any time you get to play a playoff game at home, everybody’s familiar with their surroundings,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “They’re sleeping in their own beds, eating in their same, normal routines, similar to what they’ve done all season. That can do nothing but help the situation.
“You’re excited that you’re one of the eight teams and you have a chance to play in the national tournament and you’re hosting at home. You look at those things and start getting yourself prepared. Get ready for practice tomorrow and get ready to play so on Saturday night you come out and try to play your best game of the year.”
In addition to Wisconsin hosting Minnesota Duluth, three other quarterfinal matchups will take place this weekend. No. 2 seed Cornell hosts Dartmouth, and No. 3 seed Boston University hosts Mercyhurst. No. 4 seed Boston College hosts Minnesota to round out the eight-team field.
“It’s interesting. I’ve been a part of the selection all four years that I’ve been here and I still don’t think I have it all figured out,” senior Meghan Duggan said. “I don’t know how they do it and what goes on, but we’re playing Duluth. Obviously we know them pretty well. We’ve faced them a few times already this year. I think we’re ready to go and we just need to stick to the game plan and we should be all right.”
Broadcast information for Saturday’s game will be announced this week on UWBadgers.com.
Tickets will go on sale at 8:30 a.m. (CT) Monday morning. Tickets may be purchased in person at the McGinnis Family Athletic Ticket Office located in Kellner Hall at Camp Randall Stadium, over the phone 1-800-GO-BADGERS or online at UWBadgers.com. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for UW students, senior citizens and youth.
On game day, tickets will go on-sale 90 minutes prior to face-off at the Kohl Center. Season tickets, promotional coupons, sports passes or red cards are not valid for admission to NCAA tournament games. All tickets are general admission. All fans will need a ticket for admission regardless of age.
The quarterfinal winners will advance to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, set for Friday, March 18 and Sunday, March 20 at Tullio Arena in Erie, Pa. The two semifinal games will be held on Friday and the national title game on Sunday.