Defending champ Ohio State, Wisconsin advance in Frozen Four
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Sloane Matthews, Makenna Webster and Hadley Hartmetz each scored and defending champion Ohio State eased by Northeastern 3-0 on Friday in the NCAA women’s Frozen Four.
Top-seeded Ohio State (33-5-2) seeks its second championship in program history on Sunday against Wisconsin in an all-WCHA final. The Badgers (28-10-2) will play for their seventh championship.
Ohio State came out aggressively in the first period, getting the first 11 shots on goal as Northeastern didn’t have a shot through the opening nine minutes.
Matthews scored her sixth goal of the year to open the scoring just 1:16 into the game when she buried a rebound from national goalie of the year Gwyneth Philips. It was the first shot of the game. The Huskies appeared to tie it at 1-all with 5:39 left in the first, but Ohio State challenged and it was overturned for a hand pass.
Ohio State improved to 24-0-1 this season when leading after the first period.
Webster scored her 15th goal of the season at 11:16 of the second on a one-touch shot off a pass from Jennifer Gardiner. Hartmetz’s shot from the blue line capped the scoring with 1:16 to go in the second.
Amanda Thiele made 16 saves for her fourth shutout of the season.
Northeastern (34-3-1), the No. 1 defense in the country, hadn’t allowed more than two goals in a game since a 3-0 loss to Providence on Nov. 15.
WISCONSIN 3, MINNESOTA 2, OT
WCHA freshman of the year Caroline Harvey scored a game-winner with 3:13 left in overtime to send Wisconsin to the national title game.
The Badgers trailed early after Minnesota’s Taylor Heise scored in the opening 3:23 of the game to become the first player in the country to reach 30 goals this season. Later Minnesota thought it went ahead by two, but a goal was waived off for a high stick.
Neither team would score again until Wisconsin freshman Laila Edwards and fifth-year senior Sophie Shirley found the back of the net 53 seconds apart in the third for a 2-1 lead. Edwards took a faceoff win to the net and got it around Skylar Vetter to tie the game with 13:28 to play. Shirley scored her 12th goal of the season off a 2-on-1 pass from Maddi Wheeler.
Minnesota emptied its net for an extra attacker in the closing seconds of regulation and Grace Zumwinkle scored a game-tying goal with 1:11 left.
It was the sixth and final meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota (30-6-3) this season — with the Badgers going 3-1-2.
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