Wisconsin, Clarkson, Minnesota & Boston College Set To Compete In NCAA Division 1 Women’s Hockey Finals
The 2017 Women’s Frozen Four will take place this weekend at The Family Arena In St. Charles, Missouri. Wisconsin, Boston College, Clarkson and Minnesota will battle for the National Championship.
The 2017 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey National Champion wll be crowned this weekend at The Family Area in St. Charles, Missouri. Wisconsin will take on Boston College and Clarkson will play Minnesota in the Semifinals on Friday night with the winners meeting on Sunday in the final.
#1 seed Wisconsin (32-2) advanced to St. Charles with a 7-0 win over Robert Morris. #4 Boston College (28-5) advanced with a 6-0 win over St. Lawrence.
#2 Clarkson (30-4) beat Cornell 3-1 in the first round while Minnesota (26-7) upset #3 Minnesota-Duluth to punch their ticket.
In Friday’s seminfinal action, Wisconsin beat Boston College 1-0 on a goal with just 16 seconds left in the game. Clarkson upset Minnesota in the other semifinal by a score of 4-3. Clarkson and Wisconsin will play at 2 pm on Sunday at The Family Arena in St. Charles with the victor crowned the 2017 National Champion.
8 teams make the National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. The top four teams are seeded and play one of the four unseeded teams in the first round. The winners advance to the Frozen Four.
The first NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship was decided in 2001 with the aforementioned Minnesota-Duluth taking the first title. The program also picked up titles in 2002 and 2003. Minnesota will attempt to win their third National Championship in a row this weekend after winning titles in 2015 and 2016.
Of the four teams playing in St. Charles this weekend, only Boston College does not have a National Championship to its credit. The Eagles fell to Minnesota in last year’s title game by a 3-1 score. The Golden Gophers also won titles in 2012 and 2013, giving them five of the last six National Championships.
One St. Louis connection to these four teams lies with Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson. One of the winningest coaches in collegiate women’s hockey, Johnson also starred for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. That’d be on one that beat the Soviet Union in the “Miralce On Ice.” Johnson had two goals in the “Miracle” game and assisted on the Gold Medal-winning goal in the next game against Finland.
Johnson played 17 games for the St. Louis Blues during the 1984-85 season after being traded to St. Louis from Hartford.
Wisconsin will be attempting to win its fifth National Championship under Johnson this weekend. A key for the Badgers will be the play of goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens. Back in November, Desbiens became the All-Time career shutout leader in NCAA hockey, men’s or women’s. She now has 54 in her career. She’s 28-1-4 this season with a .69 GAA and 12 shutouts and is one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The nation’s top female ice hockey player is honored each year with the Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Ann-Renée Desbiens of Wisconsin was named the winner of the 2017 Patty Kazmier Memorial Award Saturday morning.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 18, 2017
Offensively, Wisconsin is loaded with forwards Sarah Nurse and Annie Pankowski. With 25 goals apeice the teammates are tied with each other for the second most goals scored in the country. Clarkson’s Cayley Mercer leads the country with 26.
Mercer is also a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. The other finalist, Lara Stadler, plays for Minnestoa-Duluth. This year’s Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented Saturday morning at the Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles.
The puck is set to drop at 5 pm tonight at The Family Arena between Wisconsin and Boston College. Clarkson and Minnesota are set to take the ice at 8 pm Friday night. The National Championship Final is set for 2 pm on Sunday.
Tickets for the Frozen Four this weekend can be purchased through MetroTix. Tickets start at $18 per session with Youth/Students/Senior discounts available.
Check out the 2017 Women’s Frozen Four Digital Program.
The St. Louis Sports Commission and Lindenwood University are co-hosting the 2017 Women’s Frozen Four.
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