ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Casey O’Brien and Caitlin Schneider both had a goal and two assists as Wisconsin’s third line staked the Badgers to a 3-0 lead and they held on to defeat rival Ohio State 4-2 in the Frozen Four on Thursday night.
Senior captain Daryl Watts had a steal and scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds to play for the second-seeded Badgers, who go for their sixth championship against top-seeded Northeastern on Saturday.
Wisconsin is the defending champion since the NCAA Tournament was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic last year.
The Badgers (16-3-1) struck early as O’Brien and Schneider assisted on Makenna Webster’s seventh goal of the season just 1:19 into the game.
They also struck early in the second period with O’Brien getting her second goal and then Schneider got her third, with Webster also picking up an assist.
With six minutes to play in the second period, Gabby Rosenthal put Ohio State (13-7) on the board with her fifth goal. Sara Saekkinen’s second goal with 12:05 left in the third period made it 3-2.
That that would be it as Wisconsin goalie Kennedy Blair matched her season high with 37 assists.
Wisconsin defeated Providence 3-0 in the quarterfinals, its fifth straight quarterfinal shutout, to make its record seventh straight Frozen Four, breaking its tie with Minnesota. A championship would tie the Golden Gophers’ record of six.
The teams were meeting for the sixth time this season and 100th time in their history. They split during the regular season before Wisconsin won the WCHA league tournament 3-2 in overtime 10 days ago. Five games were decided by one goal with the Badgers also posting a 5-0 win.