HAMDEN, Conn. - The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team is heading back to the NCAA champion game for the second time in three years after defeating the No. 4 Clarkson Golden Knights, 5-0, Friday at the People's United Center in Hamden, Connecticut.
Junior Abby Roque, senior Sam Cogan, senior Annie Pankowski (2) and junior Presley Norby all scored for Wisconsin (34-4-2), in Fridays' contest.
Despite a fiery start from the Badgers when UW outshot CU 13-5, the two powers were tied 0-0 after the first period.
Wisconsin would erupt in the second when Roque rifled in a missile past Clarkson's (30-8-2) Kassidy Suave at the 9:29 mark of the frame. The score was Roque's 11th goal of the season, her second in two games and gave the Badgers a one goal lead entering the final period of play.
UW poured on four more goals to punch their ticket to the NCAA title game for the eighth time in school history.
The first came off from Cogan who scored on a shot from behind the net with 9:08 left in the contest.
The second came from Patty-Kazmaier top-three finalist, Annie Pankowski, who ripped in a breakaway score less than three minutes later for the Badgers third goal of the day.
Pankowski wasn't done yet as the senior fired in an empty-netter with 1:20 left for her 10th goal of the postseason, the best mark of any player in the country.
The Badgers added a final tally moments later on a Sophia Shaver breakaway when Norby backhanded in Shaver's rebound for UW's fifth and final score of the day to seal the victory over the Golden Knights.
UW pitched its 12th shutout of the season against a dominant Clarkson offense. Junior Kristen Campbell grabbed 14 saves in the win to earn her 34th victory, which broke the school record shared by Olympians Ann-Renee Desbiens, Alex Rigsby and Jessie Vetter.
Three Notes of the Game
- The Badgers locked down the Golden Knights CU's power play opportunities, thwarting Clarkson's eight minutes on the penalty advantage, scoreless.
- Annie Pankowski and the postseason is a dangerous combination. The senior forward has now tallied 12 points in the postseason, scoring at least a goal in each of UW's six postseason contests this year.
- Wisconsin avenged its 2017 National Championship loss to the Golden Knights Friday night. UW now leads the all-time series with Clarkson 4-1-1.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
"Certainly pleased with our effort tonight from start to finish. We talked about doing some things to give us an opportunity to win. I think for most of the game we were able to do that, and our penalty-kill, when it was called upon, did a real nice job and eliminated some of their key players from too many scoring opportunities. I'm pleased and happy and we'll enjoy tomorrow and get an opportunity to play in the last game of the season we'll look forward to that."
Junior forward Abby Roque
On keeping the pressure on Clarkson from start to finish:
"We knew we were getting chances, we kept the pressure on because we knew they could get the puck to the zone and by keeping the pressure on gave us the best chances to score. Finally one went in and that's when the floodgates opened obviously, then Sam (Cogan) scored, Annie (Pankowski) scored and that's when it all just goes together. When you don't let up and keep your foot on the gas-pedal that's when we're playing our best hockey."
On scoring first:
"It's really important either way. If they scored first we were going to have to come from behind, but for us to get the first goal is a sense of a relief almost to go forward off that."
Junior goaltender Kristen Campbell
On stopping Clarkson's dominant top-line:
"We knew they had a pretty potent top-line but by focusing more on things that we need to execute, being aware of when they were on the ice but not putting so much focus on those players. Just knowing that if we execute our own game plan that we're going to shut those players down, so I think that was huge for us tonight."
On staying focused throughout the game to keep Clarkson scoreless:
"I was expecting them (Clarkson) to come out fast, they like to get a quick start as well and you know their top players are going to be fired up right off the bat. Just being able to weather the storm and be ready for any two on one's or whatever is coming my way early is important. I just was able to stay focused early on and turn away those shots."
The Badgers advance to face border-rival Minnesota at the NCAA Championship on Sunday, March 24, in Hamden, Connecticut. Puck drop on BTN is set for 1:30 p.m. CT