MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE) – Wisconsin's season ended Saturday night when Ohio State swept the Badgers in a best-of-three series, with a 4-3 overtime victory at the Eagle's Nest in Verona, Wis.
With just over a minute left in regulation, UW's Kyla Sanders (Fort Myers, Fla.) knotted the score to give the Badgers new life and send the game to overtime. However, the comeback fell short when Ohio State's Raelyn LaRocque capitalized on a one-on-one with senior goaltender Alannah McCready (Blaine, Minn.) just 3:39 into the extra frame.
"We definitely felt that we had the momentum, especially after getting that last shot in the period," McCready said. "We had momentum in the third period and starting overtime. We had a couple power play opportunities but we just couldn't capitalize."
Last year, the Badgers ended the Buckeyes season with 4-0 and 7-1 wins in the WCHA play offs last year at the Eagle's Nest.
Since the WCHA added eight teams and required a quarterfinal series, this is the only time Wisconsin has not advanced to the WCHA Final Face-off.
"It's a heavy moment in the locker room right now," Interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser said. "Obviously it does sting to have your season cut short. For the returners and upperclassmen, they are used to having a postseason to look forward to and its difficult because its fun to play for a championship."
Ohio State freshman Hokey Langan scored back-to-back goals in the first 10 minutes of play to give OSU the 2-0 lead. However, the Badgers answered with a pair of power-play goals in the final 11 minutes of the frame to tie the score at 2-2 heading into intermission.
At the 5:43 mark, Langan capitalized on a turnover and sent a wrist shot past McCready's left glove to give the Buckeyes the 1-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later OSU's Laura McIntosh found Langan near the right face-off circle. Langan sent the puck to the back of the net for her second power play goal of the contest with 12:31 left in the first period.
At the 9:52 mark, freshman Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) found freshman Alev Kelter (Eagle River, Alaska) in front of the blue line. Kelter took a hard shot that was redirected by sophomore Carolyne Prevost (Sarnia, Ontario) past OSU's Chelsea Knapp to decrease the deficit to 2-1.
From behind the goal line, Wisconsin sophomore Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) passed the puck to senior captain Jasmine Giles (Ottawa, Ontario). Giles then flipped the puck past Knapp from just in front of the crease to solidify the first period draw. Sophomore Brittany Haverstock (Hammonds Plains, N.S.) completed the play with the secondary assist at the 19:06 mark.
Wisconsin outshot Ohio State 9-4 in the second period; however, the score remained knotted at 2-2 heading into the final intermission.
The neck-on-neck competition continued as each team found a goal in the final period to send the contest into overtime.
Just 16 seconds into the final 20 minutes of regulation, Langan completed her hat trick after flipping the puck into the back of the net to give the Buckeyes the 3-2 advantage.
With 1:06 left in the third period, Giles centered the puck to Sanders who stuffed it in to send the game into overtime. Junior Mallory Deluce (London, Ontario) notched the secondary assist.
LaRocque pushed the puck past McCready at the 3:39 mark of the overtime period to send the Buckeyes to the WCHA Final Face-off with a 4-3 victory.
In the final five games of her collegiate career, Giles tallied 11 points scoring six goals and five assists. She finished her career with 109 points (41 goals, 68 assists).
Knapp finished with 20 saves in net for OSU and McCready stopped 24 of Ohio State's shot attempts for the Badgers.
McCready started the last five games of her collegiate career and finished with a 9-8-0 record in her final season and a 12-8-1 record overall.
The Buckeyes outshot Wisconsin 28-23. However the Badgers capitalized on 2-of-7 power play opportunities and OSU finished 1-for-3 with the man advantage.