This Saturday, the Badgers will head to Minnesota for the WCHA semifinal game against well-known opponent North Dakota. Wisconsin and North Dakota will be facing off in the conference tournament for the fifth time in seven years.
After dispatching Minnesota State in two games last weekend, North Dakota should provide a tougher test for the Baders this week. With an overall record of 16-15-6, UND is (probably) the fourth best team in the WCHA, but there is a steep drop off after the top three. Two of which, Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth, will square off in the other semifinal matchup. The winners of both semifinal games will then meet in the championship on Sunday.
The Badgers should win this game simply because they are the better team in every aspect of the game. But one place where this comparative advantage stands out more is in the net. Wisconsin goalie Ann-Renée Desbians hasn’t allowed a goal in seven consecutive WCHA playoff games. That is a shutout streak of 424 minutes and 23 seconds. Additionally, Desbiens was one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier award, given to the best player in women’s college hockey.
While North Dakota might not pose a serious threat, the championship game could feature two of the top five teams in the country. With the Badgers as the unanimous number one, Minnesota-Duluth at two, and Minnesota coming in at fifth in the country, this weekend will feature loads of exciting matchups.
The semifinal will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. CT, and the championship will be Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. Both games can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.