In collegiate women’s hockey, No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 3 Minnesota hold a combined 12 of the past 20 national championships.
No. 5 Ohio State (23-8-6, 13-6-5 WCHA) tackled Minnesota (27-6-3, 17-5-2) and then Wisconsin (28-5-3, 17-4-3-0-2), with back-to-back overtime wins Saturday and Sunday to win the 2020 WCHA championship –– its first ever –– at the Final Faceoff in Minneapolis.
The Buckeyes’ .711 winning percentage on the season is the best in school history.
Final Faceoff semifinal
An overtime goal from junior forward Tatum Skaggs lifted the Buckeyes to a 4-3 win against Minnesota Saturday.
Favored and playing on their home ice, the Golden Gophers held the Buckeyes without a shot for more than 10 minutes to open the game, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 3:04 mark of the second period.
Redshirt sophomore forward Amy Potomak scored both goals for Minnesota, which enjoyed an 18-2 shot advantage by the time of the second score.
Ohio State sophomore goaltender Andrea Braendli made 16 saves in the opening period alone, eight of which were on shots from Minnesota junior forward and scoring leader Grace Zumwinkle.
But Skaggs scored her first goal of the game just 1:22 after Potomak’s second, and freshman forward Jennifer Gardiner found the back of the net late in the second period to tie it up for the Buckeyes.
Before the period expired though, Minnesota regained the lead on a five-on-three power play goal from sophomore forward Taylor Heise following penalties on both Skaggs and sophomore forward Gabby Rosenthal.
Minnesota still had the lead with less than eight minutes to play in the final period before Gardiner scored again to send it into overtime.
There, Skaggs’ game-winner handed Minnesota its third defeat of the season at the hands of Ohio State, who advanced to Sunday’s championship game.
Final Faceoff Championship Game
For the fourth time in WCHA history, the title game was sent to overtime, where Skaggs was the hero once again with her second straight game-winner in the extra period.
It was the lone goal of the game as Ohio State bested Wisconsin 1-0 to take home the conference crown.
Ohio State sophomore goalie Andrea Braendli made 41 saves to secure her shutout and became the first goalie in program history with 20 wins in a season.
Neither side could convert on the power play Sunday, with Ohio State finishing 0-for-1 and Wisconsin at 0-for-2.
Although Ohio State controlled the puck in the play, a hooking penalty on redshirt senior defenseman Jincy Dunne extend a Badger power play for two minutes. With a scoreless period, Wisconsin led the shot margin 27-13.
In the regular season, Wisconsin led the season series 2-1-1. However, Ohio State’s past three matchups with Wisconsin have now resulted in two wins and a tie.
With no goals in regulation, Skaggs delivered in overtime, a goal from the left side to beat Wisconsin senior goalie Sydney Scobee to capture the title.
As WCHA champion, Ohio State receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday.