The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (15-3-1, 12-3-1 WCHA) has advanced to its seventh straight Frozen Four with a 3-0 whitewashing of the Providence Friars (12-8-1, 10-6-1 Hockey East). The No. 2 Badgers dominated the play against the No. 7 Friars, cruising to a victory.

Wisconsin dictated the pace of play early on, keeping the puck in the Friars’ defensive zone for most of the opening period. Though this was the case, Friar goalkeeper Sandra Abstreiter stood tall, fending off the Badgers’ offensive attempts. Wisconsin finally broke through on the 12th minute of the first period with a Brette Pettet shot that leaked through Abstreiter and across the goal line.

The Badgers’ defensive play was also impressive, as they held the Friars to zero shots on net in the first period. Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Women’s Hockey: Badgers’ title defense starts in Erie as they take on ProvidenceThe defending national champion University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (14-3-1-0, 12-3-1-0-1 WCHA) have made their way back into the Read…

The Badgers continued their offensive attack in the second period, creating opportunities to extend their lead. The Friars’ defense stood strong once again, blocking a lot of the Badgers’ shot attempts and displaying Abstreiter’s stellar goalkeeping.

On the other end, Wisconsin goalkeeper Kennedy Blair was seldom tested, but stopped all eight shots that were thrown her way through the first two periods. The Badgers dominated the second period with 18 shots but were unable to score, leading to a 1-0 score after the first two periods.

The Badgers entered the third period with a 30-8 advantage in the shot department, but only a slim 1-0 lead to show for their dominance. They continued to press offensively, which led to a goal by Sophie Shirley early in the period, and gave the Badgers room to breathe.

Hockey: Men’s and women’s teams thriving during unpredictable seasonLast season, the NCAA men’s and women’s hockey seasons were both cut short in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read…

Abstreiter continued her excellent play and kept her team within two points for most of the final period. The Badgers finished off their dominating game with a late powerplay goal from Shirley, her second of the period. Abstreiter finished with 41 saves in the loss.

Wisconsin will take on WCHA rival Ohio State in the national semifinals March 18. The Badgers have faced the Buckeyes five times this season, including in the WCHA tournament championship game. Wisconsin ended with a narrow 3-2 record, setting up for a great game with a trip to the national championship on the line.