MADISON, Wis. - The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team battled to a 2-2 tie against No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena.
Freshman Sophie Shirley and senior Emily Clark scored for Wisconsin (28-4-2, 18-4-2-0 WCHA) in Saturday's matchup.
The Buckeyes (18-12-2, 12-10-2-2) got on the board just 23 seconds into the contest off a shot from Ohio State's Emma Maltais to take an early lead. Ohio State would score again in the second period on a power-play at the 12:13 mark of the frame to extended its lead to two.
However, the Badgers found life late in the third period as Shirley sparked some magic by burying a goal top-shelf with just 4:29 left in the third frame.
Still down a goal, the Badgers needed a miracle to tie things up and found one from Clark who snuck the puck past OSU netminder Andrea Braendli to send things to overtime on senior day.
After a scoreless extra time period, the Badgers fell 2-1 in the shootout and the Buckeyes stole a point in the WCHA standings to end the regular season.
Three Notes of the Game
- Wisconsin out-shot Ohio State, 42-20 in Saturday's contest.
- The Badgers finished second in the WCHA standings with 55 points and a record of 18-4-2-0 in conference games.
- Sophie Shirley is tied for the WCHA lead in points this year with 35 points.
Straight from the Rink
UW Head Coach Mark Johnson
Mood of team following the loss:
"I think everybody is disappointed, they all knew what we were up against and what our opportunity was and we fell a bit short...it stings."
On energy of the team throughout the game:
"In the second period we played pretty well, we took an unnecessary penalty and they capitalized so if you take that away from the period, we created some energy, but just didn't get the puck in the net. Our opportunities were there and by the third period it turns into a six-period weekend and kids are a little bit tired and they're looking for something to spark. It took us a little while to get a goal and it sparks you and then we got a second one, so credit the last five minutes for giving yourselves a chance."
Overall on the weekend:
"We got ourselves back into it, we gave ourselves a chance but anytime you come up a little bit short it hurts. But that's behind us and we have to move ahead and we're going to play St. Cloud State and get ourselves organized for next week and hopefully come out Friday and play well and give ourselves a chance to go after another trophy."
Senior forward Emily Clark
On not getting frustrated when things were not going their way:
"I think it comes from the top down. I don't know if you've ever seen coach show much emotion but he's pretty even keeled so that helps keep us calm. Obviously it's a little frustrating when you get however many shots to whatever, but hats off to them. They played amazing and their goalie played amazing. I think at this point you just have to have faith in the hockey Gods. I may be a little superstitious, but the bounce has got to come our way eventually. Proud of the heart that we showed throughout the last period here and we will look forward to next weekend- two more games at LaBahn."
On senior weekend:
"It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster today. As an underclassman you see it three times over so you have an idea of what it's going to be like. Overall it's a special weekend. I had seven family members here. To have that many people come from Saskatoon, it was pretty amazing to have them in the stands. For the university to honor us like that before the game, that's obviously a moment a lot of us will remember for a long time."
The Badgers will host St. Cloud State next weekend in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The best-of-three series begins on Friday at 4 p.m. at LaBahn Arena with Saturday's game to follow at 3 p.m. If a third-place game is necessary, it would take place on Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m.