When the Wisconsin women’s hockey team takes to the ice this weekend against Harvard in the NCAA Quarterfinal, they’ll be building on a long-running history between the two squads.
Seven years ago to the very day, March 10, the Badgers (27-7-2) and Crimson (23-6-4) met in the exact same game, one that ended up verging on four-and-a-half periods of overtime before Jinelle Zaugg finally answered the bell and terminated a 127 minute, 9 second scoreless drought.
The longest game in UW history and the second longest game in the history of women’s college hockey would be the starting point of the 2007 title run for Wisconsin, its second consecutive title after winning the 2006 crown as well.
Head coach Mark Johnson recounted his memories of the game in a press conference Monday, including an interesting intermission between the third and fourth overtime periods.
“I remember we ran out of [food] in between the third and fourth overtime, and somebody had Skittles,” Johnson said. “The players were eating Skittles, and we were able to go out, and Jinelle scored a goal.
“It was a long night. I’ll never forget sitting in the coaching room, I think it was probably going into the second overtime, and it was going to be on tape delay that night. So it was going to come back on at 10:30. And we’re sitting in the coaching room watching the start of our game while we’re still playing it at 10:30. And then come back in the next overtime, and it’s still going on.”
Unlike the 2007 Wisconsin team, which had three either former or would-be Patty Kazmaier award winners, this year’s Badgers’ squad seems devoid of a true standout star, something that could make a title run a bit more difficult.
After losing in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-off this past Friday, Wisconsin will have to put together three all-around team performances in order to take home the title.
And for a team that has struggled to score goals lately, coupled with having one of the best defense’s in the nation, Saturday could make for another long, memorable night for both teams.