ERIE, Pa.- The No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team blanked Providence, 3-0, in an NCAA quarterfinal on Tuesday to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four for the seventh-straight season.
Thanks to the win over the Friars (12-8-1), the Badgers (15-3-1) now hold the longest Frozen Four appearance streak in women's college hockey history.
Sophie Shirley posted two goals while captain Brette Pettet scored the game-winning goal in the first period as UW outshot Providence 44-12. Goaltender Kennedy Blair recorded the shutout in the net for the Badgers, stopping 12 shots and tallying her sixth shutout of the season.
The Badgers scored first as Pettet lit the lamp just over halfway through the first period. The Badgers outshot the Friars 13-0 in the first, heading into the second period up 1-0.
The second period was quiet as neither team scored but the Badgers did outshoot the Friars, 18-8, in the period, maintaining a 1-0 lead.
Sophie Shirley was able to make some noise in the third period as she netted the puck just under four minutes into the final frame and doubled Wisconsin's lead. Shirley scored an empty-net, power-play goal with just under two minutes left in the game to seal the shutout win.
Three Notes of the Game
- UW will appear in its seven-straight NCAA Frozen Four, which is the longest streak in women's college hockey history. UW has made every Frozen Four that has been held since 2014.
- The Badgers improved to 13-1 in NCAA quarterfinal games and have a 13-game winning streak in quarterfinal play.
- Wisconsin has a shutout streak of 302 minutes, 53 seconds in NCAA quarterfinal games, dating back to March 14, 2015. BU's Victoria Bach was the last player to score against UW in an NCAA quarterfinal game in 2015.
Straight from the Rink
Head coach Mark Johnson:
On today's play:
"We played well and we came out with a lot of energy. We tried to capitalize early on and their goaltender played extremely well this afternoon. It was a good team effort and we're excited to play another game."
On the Frozen Four:
"We're excited to go to the Frozen Four and get an opportunity to win. I've always thought the quarterfinal games in these tournaments were really the most challenging and difficult ones that you really have to get over because you think you're in the NCAA tournament but you're still really one step from the Frozen Four."
Senior forward Brette Pette:
On advancing to the Frozen Four:
"It's exciting. It's been a crazy year and after last year, not having a chance to do this, it definitely makes you a little more hungry. I'm excited for the freshmen coming in and the sophomores who didn't get to experience it yet. I'm very excited and I think our team has worked really hard for this."
Junior Forward Britta Curl:
On her mindset:
"I think I've just been playing with confidence the last couple weeks. Goals may not come, the points may not come, but I'm playing well and I know that I'm contributing to the team. Whether that be in the d-zone or on the score sheet. My linemates have been playing really so that's helped a lot too. I think I've got a little chip on my shoulder and I want to play hard."
Wisconsin faces the winner of Boston College/Ohio State game in the semifinals of the 2021 NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday, March 18 at a time to be announced. Viewing information will be announced later while fans can listen to it on 1310 WIBA.