Gophers denied national title, lose 2-0 to rival Badgers
HAMDEN, Conn. — Senior captains Sophia Shaver and Annie Pankowski each scored, and Wisconsin won its fifth NCAA women’s hockey championship with a 2-0 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.
Kristen Campbell, named the most outstanding player, pitched her 11th shutout of the season, including a victory over two-time defending champion Clarkson in the Frozen Four. She did not allow a goal in three NCAA Tournament games.
Shaver opened the scoring midway through the first period by redirecting a centering pass from Presley Norby.
Pankowski scored midway through the second period on a short-handed goal for her 28th of the season. Pankowski collected a loose puck at the blue line on a penalty kill, drove hard to the net and scored on a backhander to set a program record with her ninth career short-handed goal.
“I felt comfortable the whole game,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. “I thought we were prepared well. I thought the team was in a good place. It was just a matter of going out and executing, not trying to get too emotionally high and I thought we did a pretty good job most of the game.”
Wisconsin (35-4-2), which hadn’t won a title since 2011, trails only Minnesota (six) for the most NCAA women’s hockey championships.
Pankowski had two goals in the semifinals and finished her career with 96 goals in 154 games.
“She has led our team for four years in scoring,” Johnson said. “She does so many wonderful things on the ice but even more so important, she does so many things off the ice. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Alex Gulstene, the winningest goalie in the NCAA this season with 20 victories, had just her third loss of the season for Minnesota (32-6-1).