Sunday night the NCAA announced that the Minnesota Golden Gophers were given the #2 seed for the 2019 NCAA Women’s Hockey Tournament. They will host #7 seed Princeton in an NCAA Quarterfinal at Ridder Arena at 4PM on Saturday.
The Gophers had a chance at the #1 seed if they had defeated Wisconsin in the WCHA Championship Game on Sunday, but the Badgers defeated Minnesota 3-1 to claim the title. Wisconsin eclipsed the Gophers to move to #1 in the Pairwise rankings and with it received the #1 NCAA seed.
The badgers jumped out early on Minnesota taking a 1-0 lead 8:11 into the first period on a goal by Caitlin Schneider. The Badgers would go up 2-0 early in the second when Britta Curl scored on a gorgeous shot from the slot. Minnesota battled back and cut the lead to 2-1 on a Grace Zumwinkle power play rocket with just over ten minutes left in the period.
But, it would not be enough. Badger goalie Kristin Campbell stopped everything the Gophers threw at her...as did Gopher goalie Sydney Scobee. The Gophers pulled Scobee late in the third period to try and get the equalizer but Wisconsin’s Anne Pankowski would find the back of the open net with 1:05 left in the game to make it 3-1.
The win gives Wisconsin the 3-2 season series lead between the two teams with the potential of a sixth matchup in the NCAA Tournament. With the Badgers as the #1 seed and the Gophers as the #2 they would not meet until the NCAA Championship game.
The Gophers will be making their 17th overall and 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. This will be their first time hosting a NCAA Quarterfinal since 2016 when they hosted....Princeton. The Gophers defeated the Tigers 6-2 in route to their seventh national championship. The Gophers are 10-3 all-time in NCAA Quarterfinals, and have lost just once at Ridder Arena.
Princeton finished the season 20-7-5 and finished fourth in the ECAC. They are one of three ECAC teams to make the field along with two-time defending NCAA Champion Clarkson and Cornell.
The Full NCAA Tournament Bracket is below. We will have a full preview of the matchup between the Gophers and Tigers later this week.