Wisconsin wins its 7th NCAA women’s hockey title

Wisconsin upset the No. 1 seed, Ohio State, in the NCAA hockey national title game in Duluth, Minnesota, on Sunday, capturing an unprecedented seventh championship at the Women’s Frozen Four with a 1-0 victory.

Freshman forward Kristen Simms’s first-period goal stood up as the game-winner thanks to a 31-save save performance from redshirt senior goalie Cami Kronish.

The Badgers’ seventh national title broke a tie with Minnesota for the most ever by a women’s hockey program in the Frozen Four. Coach Mark Johnson has been behind the Badgers’ bench for 19 years.

Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead at 6:32 of the first period on a goal by Simms that was produced by the team’s ferocious forecheck.

Freshman defender Caroline Harvey knocked the puck deep into the Ohio State zone. Caroline Harvey gets it deep before changing off. Badgers go to work with layers on the forecheck, and Simms gets a good look in the high slot. Shoots across Thiele’s body and through a screen for her 16th of the season. Forward Lacey Eden created some chaos on the forecheck. Forward Claire Enright kept the puck in the attacking zone and passed to Simms, who beat goalie Amanda Thiele high blocker side.

Wisconsin was 26-1-1 entering the third period with a lead. Ohio State had not been shut out this season and was last shut out on Jan. 21, 2022 — a stretch of 57 games.

The low-scoring result in the national title game was a surprise given that Ohio State (2nd) and Wisconsin (3rd) were two of the top three scoring teams in Div. I this season.

Wisconsin lost to Minnesota in the WCHA semifinal and needed three upset wins to make the national title game. The Badgers routed Long Island, 9-1, in their tournament opener and then upset No. 3-seeded Colgate, 4-2. The Frozen Four semifinal was a rematch with No. 2-seeded Minnesota, which Wisconsin won 3-2 on an overtime goal from Harvey at 16:47 to set up the national title showdown with No. 1 seed Ohio State.

Ohio State was trying to become the fourth straight NCAA Division I champion to win a second straight title. Minnesota (2015-16), Clarkson (2017-18) and Wisconsin (2019, 2021) were the others.

After losing to Minnesota in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association final, Ohio State rallied to beat Quinnipiac 5-2 in their regional. In the Frozen Four semifinal, they used 15 saves from Thiele to shut out Northeastern, 3-0.

The WCHA continued to dominate the Women’s Frozen Four. Teams from that conference have won 19 of the 22 Frozen Four championships, with Clarkson from the ECAC winning three times.