clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Last Minute Goal Lifts Wisconsin to Frozen Four Championship Game

Mellissa Channell’s goal with 17 seconds left in the game gave Wisconsin the 1-0 shutout victory over Boston College, pushing them to the Frozen Four finals against Clarkson.

Sarah Potomak skating during the 2016 WCHA Championship.
Mellissa Channell (#2, center) scored the lone goal of the game for Wisconsin.
Cat Lenander

Friday was the night of the Frozen Four semifinals at the Family Arena in Charles, Missouri and the first game of the night was Wisconsin v Boston College. Sophia Shaver made the first shot of the game, which BC goaltender Katie Burt blocked at 1:37. Then Eagle Kristyn Capizzano flew down the right side to fire on goal, which was immediately followed up with Haley McLean putting on two shots—all of which Ann-Reneé Desbiens stopped cold. BC spent the first half of the period firing on goal with little Badger push back, which left lunging to makes saves. Of course, Jenny Ryan taking a slashing penalty for downing Capizzano at 7:20 didn’t help matters, but Wisconsin eventually killed the penalty.

Twelve minutes into the game Wisconsin finally started making inroads into Boston College’s zone. Megan Keller took a checking penalty for taking out Presley Norby, which kicked in at 14:21 after being delayed long enough for Desbiens to leave the ice for 17 seconds. On the power play Annie Pankowski weaved through the Eagles’ zone, shot, and Sarah Nurse tried to tip it in, but Burt stopped the shot. Then as the period wound down Rolfes tripped Kenzie Kent along Wisconsin’s boards at 18:26. However, BC’s power play was neutralized shortly thereafter when Makenna Newkirk went for interference after she downed Nurse and Erin Connolly sat on her at 19:27. First period ended scoreless, with shots 12-5 in favor of Boston College.

Wisconsin was soon on the power play after second period started. Shaver’s shot resulted in a loose puck in the crease and a flurry of activity, but the Badgers were unable to convert. However, they stayed on the attack for much of the period. Baylee Wellhausen made an attempt down the left side and was denied. Burt lunged out of crease to cover the puck when it ricocheted off the backboards due to a wide shot. Then when Desbiens came out to the left circle to play the puck meant to pass behind her net to a teammate, but hit the post instead, which sent the puck to an open Eagle between the circles. It was BC’s best chance of the night and Newkirk’s shot went wide as Desbiens slid back into position.

Norby went down in the corner and seemed hurt, though there was no penalty and had to be helped off the ice by Sydney McKibbon. The Eagles made repeated attempts down the left side, but Desbiens blocked each shot. Nurse had a breakaway down the right side, but she got caught before she could get the shot off. Then Norby put a high shot on goal, which Burt plucked out of the air with a deft glove save. Both sides piled on shots for several minutes until Connolly checked Emily Clark along the boards at 17:17. There was some shoving after one of Burt’s numerous saves in an otherwise uneventful power play. Neither team scored, but Wisconsin pulled ahead in shots, where were 26-19 by the end of the period.

Third period was a bit delayed because the ice was still wet, but after the puck dropped Pankowski raced up the right side and shot into Burt. However, Keller didn’t like how close Clark had gotten to her goalie and smashed her into the ice after the whistle, which sent her to the box for roughing at 0:19. The penalty harmlessly expired two minutes later. The Badgers continued buzzing and an Eagle eventually had to belly flop onto the ice and push the puck away from a Badger before she could score. Mikaela Gardner took an interference penalty for downing Andie Anastos at 4:49 and her teammates kept BC from directly shooting on goal for the entire penalty. A few minutes later a BC icing was waved off. Then Burt made two huge saves on two Clark attempts, the second of which ended with a covered puck.

Wisconsin continued harrying the Eagles’ zone. McKibbon’s stick caught on Burt’s net then snapped and her arm appeared sore after that. Burt had to dive out of her crease to cover the puck when she didn’t corral it after making the initial save. Sam Cogan picked up a loose puck and tried to lob it past Burt, but failed at 14:24. Then McLean shot from the top of the left circle into Desbiens. Ryan and Keller collided without injury or penalty as both teams felt the pressure to score build. The Eagles tried to make more runs into Wisconsin’s zone in the last three minutes of the game, but the Badgers expertly neutralized them by pushing players to the boards and then launching their own offensive. Wellhausen made another left circle attempt, which was denied.

Pankowski had a try on Burt’s doorstep, but the goaltender deflected the puck to the right corner, where Abby Roque caught it, passed to Pankowski behind then net and she passed to Mellissa Channell on the blue line. Channell immediately fired high into traffic from the left point and scored at 19:43. BC used their timeout and pulled Burt, but Wisconsin kept them at bay for another 17 seconds, completing the shutout in a 1-0. With that the Badgers advance to the Frozen Four Championship—which will occur on March 19th at 2pm, airing on the Big Ten Network—and Boston College’s season is over.