Badgers capture second-straight WCHA playoff crown - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers capture second-straight WCHA playoff crown

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Wisconsin women's hockey team won its second-straight WCHA Final Face-Off title on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Minnesota at Ridder Arena.

WCHA Player of the Year Ann-Renee Desbiens made a career-high 35 saves to earn her 20th shutout of the year, adding to her NCAA single-season shutout record. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-three finalist stopped Minnesota's 27 shots in the final two periods to win her 32nd game of the year.

Junior Sydney McKibbon scored the game's lone goal midway through the second period, as the UW center knocked the puck in past Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille for her eighth goal of the year. The alternate captain has a team-high six points this postseason.

The Badgers (34-3-1) were outshot by the Golden Gophers (32-4-1) 35-24, marking only the second time this year a team has recorded more shots on goal than Wisconsin.

"It usually comes down to one team being a little more opportunistic than the other," UW head coach Mark Johnson said "We were fortunate to get the goal in the second period, then withstanding the third period and Minnesota power plays. Our locker room is very excited. It was a tough task, but as I told the team a few minutes ago, that was a gut check effort. Everybody had a hand in it. I'm very proud of what they put forward."

It marks the sixth time in program history UW has won the WCHA Final Face-Off. With their regular season title, the Badgers swept the WCHA crowns for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Wisconsin went on to win its fourth NCAA title that season.

With the tournament victory, Wisconsin earned an automatic berth to this year's NCAA tournament. The Badgers will find out their opponent on Sunday at 8 p.m. during the live selection show on NCAA.Com.  

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