HAMDEN, Conn. No. 1 Wisconsin is on top of the collegiate hockey world once again after defeating Minnesota, 2-0, to claim the 2019 NCAA National Championship on Sunday at the People's United Center in Hamden, Connecticut.
Senior Sophia Shaver and senior Annie Pankowski scored for Wisconsin (35-4-2) in the title game to claim the program’s fifth NCAA title and its first since the 2010-11 season.
In a showdown between two familiar foes, the Badgers struck first at the 11:20 mark of the first period on a blast from Shaver past the Golden Gophers' (32-6-1) Alex Gulstene.
Shaver received a beautiful assist from former Ms. Minnesota Hockey, Presley Norby, to set up UW's first score of the day.
During the second period, Wisconsin found itself on its second penalty-kill of the game. In the waning minute of the kill, Pankowski broke away with the puck to deliver an unbelievable backhand goal with 10:45 left in the frame to extend the Badgers lead to two entering the third.
Junior Abby Roque set up the breakaway with a feed that gave the junior forward her 32nd assist on the season.
Wisconsin fought off a relentless Minnesota attack in the final period to secure the Badgers fifth national title in program history.
The Badgers played with relentless energy from start-to-finish on Sunday. UW out-shot the Golden Gophers 32-27 in the victory.
Championship Notes of the Game
Pankowski was born for postseason hockey. The senior forward tallied 11 goals in seven postseason games, including three goals over the Frozen Four weekend games in Connecticut.
Pankowski's second period short-handed goal was the ninth short-handed score of her career, setting a new UW school record.
Junior netminder Kristen Campbell denied 27 shots on goal to secure her 11th shutout of the season and the national championship. She was named the NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Performer after not allowing a goal during the NCAA tournament.
Campbell and Wisconsin's defense closed its net down for the NCAA playoffs as the netminder has not allowed a goal since March 10 in the WCHA Final Faceoff Championship. The Badgers shutout NCAA playoff opponents St. Cloud State (twice), Clarkson and Minnesota.
The UW blue line went six-for-six on penalty kills over the Frozen Four weekend, allowing no goals in 12 minutes of short-handed hockey.
Wisconsin took the season's series against the Golden Gophers, 4-2, highlighted by UW's victories over Minnesota in the WCHA Final Faceoff and Sunday's national championship. The Badgers are now 2-1 against the Golden Gophers in the national title game, grabbing the previous victory in UW's first-ever championship season in 2006.
The Badgers will host a fan event on Monday, March 25 at LaBahn Arena. Gates to LaBahn Arena will open Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. The event will begin at approximately 6:00 p.m. A short program will follow their arrival featuring the team and head coach Mark Johnson.
Admission to this event is free. All fans should enter LaBahn Arena at the East and West Gates. Please note that fans will be directed to the west side seating sections.
Parking is available in surrounding University lots at their standard city rates, including the city parking ramps.