MINNEAPOLIS -- Special teams was the deciding factor in the semifinal matchup between the UND women's hockey team and No. 1 Wisconsin, as the Badgers used a five-on-three power play goal in the second period to open the scoring en route to a 2-1 win over UND on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena.
The loss ends North Dakota’s season, as the Fighting Hawks put together a 16-16-6 record this season with a fourth-place finish in the WCHA and a seventh-consecutive appearance in the WCHA Final Face-Off.
“We had talked about just competing and leaving it all out there, and I really thought we did that today,” head coach Brian Idalski said. “We competed, we played to the best of our ability, and none of our kids have anything to hang their heads about.”
North Dakota was assessed a total of 38 penalty minutes in the contest, giving Wisconsin six power-play opportunities in the game. The Badgers were only assessed three minors in the game.
The first penalty of the game was given to UND’s Sarah Lecavalier after the refs reviewed the play and gave her a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind. Wisconsin looked to have scored early in the power play, but goaltender interference was called on the play and a potential go-ahead goal by the Badgers was waived off.
North Dakota was able to kill off the five-minute major to end the first period in large part of the play of Lexie Shaw in net for UND.
Shaw saved her best for last, making a career-high 47 saves in the contest, including a total of 11 while shorthanded. She stopped all 17 shots she faced in the first period to keep the game scoreless, and only conceded the five-on-three goal after facing 21 shots in the second period.
Despite Wisconsin taking the lead off a two-play advantage at the 7:34 mark of the second period, the Fighting Hawks were able to capitalize on a Badger turnover to even the score.
Charly Dahlquist got the puck at center ice and moved it quickly up to Amy Menke, who skated in with an open look on the Badgers’ net. Menke saw her chance and put the puck past UW goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens for her 11th goal of the season.
Even though Wisconsin was out-shooting North Dakota, 38-14, after 40 minutes, the two sides entered the third period with a tie game.
It felt like North Dakota was going to take the lead after Wisconsin was called for all three of its minor penalties in the third period alone.
Unfortunately, the Fighting Hawks were unable to score on any of its power-play chances and Wisconsin ended up scoring off a one-timer in the slot with less than three minutes remaining in the period.
The Fighting Hawks got one last power-play chance in the final minutes and pull Shaw to make it a six-on-four advantage, but UND was assessed another five-and-a-game penalty at the 18:06 mark.
North Dakota did its best to apply pressure in the closing minute, but it was too little, too late, as the Badgers claimed their 30th win of the season and advanced to the championship game.
The Fighting Hawks graduate a total of nine student-athletes in Annie Chipman, Kayla Gardner, Jordan Hampton, Gracen Hirschy, Halli Krzyzaniak, Lisa Marvin, Amy Menke, Marissa Salo and Lexie Shaw.