HAMDEN, Conn. -- An amazing postseason run came to a close for Clarkson University Women's Hockey as the Golden Knights lost to Wisconsin in the Frozen Four semifinals held at the People's United Center on the campus of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT on Friday night.
Champions of the past two NCAA Tournaments, Clarkson entered the 2019 Frozen Four with a string of 19 consecutive playoff wins, including seven straight NCAA postseason victories.
The Knights, who made their fourth consecutive showing in the Frozen Four, finished the 2018-19 campaign with a 30-8-2 record. Clarkson's senior class ended its stellar four-year career with 128 victories and two National Championships (2017, 2018).
Wisconsin, which lost the national title game to the Green and Gold in 2017, controlled the majority of this year' semifinal match up en route to the 5-0 victory. The Badgers outshot Clarkson 40-14. Wisconsin's shorthanded units excelled, killing off all four of the Knights' man-advantage chances, helping the Badgers hand Clarkson its first shutout of the season.
Wisconsin, benefiting from a power-play opportunity in the first period, outshot the Golden Knights 13-5 through the opening 20 minutes, but it was the Knights who had the two best opportunities to get on the scoreboard first. The top two scorers in the nation had excellent chances to give the Green and Gold the early lead, but could not connect. Senior left wing Loren Gabel (Kitchener, ONT), a Top 3 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, had a 2-on-1 chance with linemate, sophomore right wing Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE), but her rising wrist shot from the right circle was gloved by Badger goalie Kristen Campbell at 7:15.
Shortly after Clarkson killed off the Wisconsin power play, Giguere attempted to lift in a backhand from in close, but was denied by Campbell with three minutes remaining in the stanza.
Wisconsin outshot the Knights again in the middle frame and finally got one past Clarkson goaltender Kassidy Sauve (Whitby, ONT) at 9:29 with a goal by Abby Roque on a shot from the slot. Clarkson could not convert on its three power-play opportunities in the stanza.
The Badgers scored four times over the final 10 minutes of the third to pull away for the win, and the opportunity to face WCHA rival Minnesota in Sunday's National Championship game.
At 13:47, a pass by Sam Cogan from behind the Clarkson net bounced off a Golden Knight defender in front to give Wisconsin a two-goal lead.
The Badgers' leading scorer Annie Pankowski scored twice to seal the win, connecting at 13:37 and again with an empty-net tally at 18:40.
Norby Presley closed out the scoring with 55 seconds remaining.
Sauve finished with a 35 saves.