|NCAA Quarterfinal: Minnesota at Wisconsin|
|Game Info||Saturday, March 10 | 2 p.m.|
|Location||LaBahn Arena | Madison, Wis.|
|Coverage||Game Day Live | Free Video | Free Audio | Live Stats|
|Social Media||@GopherWHockey | Facebook | Instagram|
March 6, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Golden Gopher women's hockey team punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament by winning the program's seventh WCHA Final Faceoff title and earning the WCHA's automatic NCAA tournament bid over the weekend. The No. 5 Gophers and No. 2 Badgers face off in the NCAA quarterfinal round at 2:07 p.m. CT Saturday at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis.
About the NCAA Tournament Field
Minnesota (24-10-3) earned one of four automatic bids into the NCAA tournament after winning the WCHA Final Faceoff. The Gophers join conference champions Mercyhurst (CHA), Clarkson (ECAC Hockey), and Northeastern (Hockey East) to make up the automatic qualifiers. The Golden Knights got the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, followed by at-large qualifiers No. 2 seed Wisconsin, No. 3 seed Colgate, and No. 4 seed Boston College. Ohio State rounds out the NCAA tournament field as the fourth at-large selection. Along with Minnesota at Wisconsin, the other NCAA quarterfinal matchups have Mercyhurst at Clarkson, Ohio State at Boston College, and Northeastern at Colgate.
Gophers in the NCAA Postseason
Minnesota is making its 11th-straight and 16th overall appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Gophers have won four of the last six national championships, and Minnesota has only missed the NCAA tournament twice in its 18-year history. Overall, the Gophers are 24-10-1 in NCAA tournament games since 2000-01.
The Gophers are 10-2 all-time in NCAA quarterfinal games since the tournament expanded to eight teams in 2005. A year ago, Minnesota defeated Minnesota Duluth on the road by a score of 1-0 in the NCAA quarterfinal a week after falling to the Bulldogs in double overtime in the WCHA semifinal round.
Last season, the Gophers saw their streak of NCAA title game appearances come to an end at five with a national semifinal loss to eventual national champion Clarkson, but Minnesota made the program's sixth-straight and 13th overall appearance at the Frozen Four. Since 2011-12, the Gophers are 15-2-0 in NCAA games. Minnesota owns an all-time record of 24-10-1 in NCAA tournament games since 2000-01 as well.
About the Series: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
The Gophers are 50-34-11 all-time against Wisconsin. Minnesota is 1-4-0 against Wisconsin this year as the Badgers won all four regular-season meetings this year in four one-goal games. Just last weekend, the Gophers won 3-1 over their border rivals in the WCHA title game. Grace Zumwinkle (2g-2a), Nicole Schammel (1g-3a), Taylor Wente (1g-2a), and Sydney Baldwin (2g-1a) lead Minnesota against Wisconsin this season, and Sidney Peters has played all five games in net, combining for 125 saves on 136 shots faced.
Last Time Out: Minnesota 3, Wisconsin 1
Sidney Peters led Minnesota at the WCHA Final Faceoff by making 64 saves on 65 shots faced and earning WCHA Final Faceoff Most Outstanding Player honors. Sydney Baldwin, Taylor Williamson, and Grace Zumwinkle joined Peters on the all-tournament team as Minnesota defeated Ohio State, 2-0, and Wisconsin, 3-1, in the WCHA tournament. Zumwinkle (2g-1a), Taylor Wente (1g-2a), Olivia Knowles (2a), and Nicole Schammel (1g-1a) led the Gophers on the score sheet over the weekend.
Gophers Win WCHA Final Faceoff
Minnesota won the program's seventh WCHA postseason tournament last weekend. The Gophers' 2018 Final Faceoff title is Minnesota's first since 2014. The Gophers won three-straight titles in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and took home WCHA postseason crowns in 2002, 2004, and 2005. Minnesota has a 48-14-0 all-time mark in WCHA postseason games, including Sunday's title game win over Wisconsin.
Twenty Years of Gopher Women's Hockey
Minnesota enters the NCAA postseason with an all-time program record of 621-130-52. The 2017-18 season marks the 21st season in Gopher women's hockey history, and Minnesota secured the program's 599th and 600th all-time wins on the road at Bemidji State earlier this season.
NCAA Frozen Four Returns to Ridder Arena
The NCAA Women's Frozen Four returns to Ridder Arena this season, marking the fourth time the national championship will be played on the Gophers' home ice. Ticket packages and single-session tickets are on sale now. The national semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 16 with the national championship game to follow on Sunday, March 18. Ridder Arena hosted the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
From 2014-15 to 2017-18, the four Gopher seniors, Sydney Baldwin, Cara Piazza, Sidney Peters, and Caitlin Reilly, have led Minnesota to a 119-25-13 overall record. In WCHA games, the seniors are 78-17-13. The class has made three NCAA Frozen Four appearances and won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2015 and 2016. The Gophers were WCHA regular-season champions in 2015, and the seniors added a WCHA Final Faceoff title to their resume this season after being WCHA tournament runners-up in 2016.
Eight Gophers Medal at Olympic Games
Eight players with Gopher ties won medals at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Senior Kelly Pannek and alumnae Hannah Brandt ('16), Dani Cameranesi ('17), Amanda Kessel ('16), Gigi Marvin ('09), and Lee Stecklein ('17) won gold with 2018 U.S. Women's Olympic Team, and alumnae Noora Räty ('13) and Mira Jalosuo ('13) won bronze with Team Finland.
Minnesota opened the season with a perfect 10-0-0 road record over the first half of the regular season, earning sweeps at Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, Mercyhurst, and Lindenwood. The Gophers are currently 11-4-1 in road games.
Sydney Baldwin (12g-20a), Nicole Schammel (17g-15a), Sophie Skarzynski (8g-19a), Caitlin Reilly (9g-17a), Alex Woken (10g-12a), Patti Marshall (2g-15a), Lindsay Agnew (5g-8a), and Kippin Keller (2g-8a) have already reached career-highs for scoring this season.
- The Gophers are 21-2-0 when allowing zero, one, or two goals this season. Minnesota has allowed just three goals total in the team's last four games.
- In four 2018 postseason games, Sidney Peters leads NCAA goaltenders with a .972 save percentage and a 0.75 goals against average. She is 4-0-0 and is one of seven NCAA netminders with a shutout in the postseason.
- Minnesota has outscored its opponents 14-3 during four postseason games led by the line of Nicole Schammel (3g-2a), Grace Zumwinkle (3g-1a), and Taylor Wente (1g-3a).
- Grace Zumwinkle (17g-21a) ranks second in the WCHA and eighth in the NCAA among rookies with 1.03 points per game in 37 games played.
- Minnesota is 21-2-2 when leading after two periods this season.
For the season, Sydney Baldwin (12g-20a) leads WCHA defensemen and ranks fourth in the NCAA with 0.86 points per game. Her 24 career goals are tied for seventh among all-time Minnesota defensemen. Olivia Knowles (7g-13a) and Patti Marshall (2g-15a) are among the WCHA's top-scoring defensemen as well; Knowles (0.54 points per game) and Marshall (0.46 points per game) rank eighth and 10th, respectively, among WCHA blue-liners.
All five of Minnesota's freshmen are seeing significant ice time with all four skaters picking up their first collegiate goals and goaltender Alex Gulstene playing in 13 games (7-2-2). Grace Zumwinkle (17g-21a) leads the team in scoring while Taylor Wente (11g-14a), Olivia Knowles (7g-13a), and Emily Brown (4g-8a) have all registered points on the year.
Peters Named Hockey Humanitarian Award Finalist
Senior goaltender Sidney Peters is one of five finalists for the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The award is presented annually to college hockey's finest citizen - a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
Gophers Special Teams
The Gophers are second in the WCHA and rank 12th in the NCAA on the power play, converting on 20.2 percent of attempts at 21-for-104. The Gophers slipped to fourth in the league and 17th in the NCAA on the penalty kill at 85.9 percent (79-for-92).
Sydney Baldwin recorded her 50th career point with an assist against Merrimack (Sept. 29). She is tied for second on the team with 32 points (12g-20a) on the season, and her career total stands at 81 career points with 24 goals and 57 assists. Baldwin is tied for seventh in career goals and tied for 10th in career points among all-time Gopher blue-liners.
Home, Sweet Home
Including a 13-6-2 mark at home in 2017-18, the Gophers have compiled a record of 123-12-12 in home games at Ridder Arena dating back to 2011-12.
Up Next: NCAA Women's Frozen Four
The four NCAA quarterfinal winners advance to the 2018 NCAA Women's Frozen Four next Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18 at Ridder Arena.
Baldwin Earns All-American Nod
3/15/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
University of Minnesota senior Sydney Baldwin has been named a CCM/AHCA First Team All-American.
Frozen Four Returns to Ridder Arena
3/13/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
The NCAA national champion will be crowned at Ridder Arena for the fourth time this weekend.
Gophers Fall in NCAA Quarterfinal
3/10/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Minnesota made the program's 11th-straight NCAA postseason appearance but fell to Wisconsin on the road Saturday.