Three-Peat Falls Short

Although getting back to the title game for the third straight season, No.4 Wisconsin could not recapture that magic, falling to Minnesota Duluth for the fifth time this season.

DULUTH, Minn. - The Wisconsin women's hockey team's bid for a third straight NCAA title fell short when it dropped a 4-0 decision to Minnesota Duluth in the national championship game Saturday afternoon at the DECC.

Junior goalie Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) made 20 saves as the Badgers finished their season with a 29-9-3 record.

On the other end, Kim Martin turned aside 28 shots for Minnesota Duluth (34-4-1), which won its fourth national championship and first since 2003.

UMD jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a controversial goal in the final minute of the opening period. Haley Irwin found a loose puck in front of the UW net and flipped it past Vetter during a delayed penalty, however a whistle was heard around the same time as when the puck went into the net. Following a review of the play, the goal was allowed to stand and the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Bulldogs once again capitalized on a scramble in front of Vetter's crease midway through the second period. This time it was Emmanuelle Blais who pounced on the loose puck and extended the UMD lead to 2-0.

Sarah O'Toole increased the lead to 3-0 with a shorthanded goal late in the middle stanza. O'Toole intercepted a UW pass, skated in alone and beat Vetter for her ninth goal of the season.

Minnesota Duluth went on to add an empty-netter in the final three minutes as head coach Mark Johnson pulled Vetter for an extra attacker in the final minutes.

Wisconsin finished the game 0-for-10 on the power play while UMD went 1-for-6.

Junior Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.) was Wisconsin's lone representative on the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. Lawler had a goal and an assist in Duluth, both during Thursday's 4-1 semifinal win over Harvard.


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