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Badgers denied national title by Clarkson Golden Knights

The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team were hoping to go wire-to-wire as the best in women’s college hockey. All that stood in their way were the Clarkson Golden Knights. 

It was a big roadblock, and the Badgers hopes for another national championship were dashed in a 3-0 loss to Clarkson. The win was the Golden Knights’ second national championship ever and denied the Badgers their fifth title in school history.

Ann-Renee Desbiens was named the Patty Kazmaier Award winner just before the Frozen Four this weekend. However, it was Clarkson’s Shea Tiley that came up bigger in net in the national championship game.

Tiley stopped all 41 shots the Badgers peppered her with. Meanwhile, UW hung Desbiens out to dry a few times and eventually that is what cost the Badgers.

Wisconsin dominated much of the first period, out-shooting the Golden Knights 6-3. However, a theme would emerge and the two teams headed in to intermission tied at 0-0.

Mikaela Gardner took a tripping penalty at the 18:55 mark of the first period and Clarkson made UW pay for the mistake. It took until after intermission, but Savannah Harmon put home the eventual game-winner just 22 seconds in to the second period.

The offensive output was ratcheted up a notch in the second period, as UW put 17 shots on net to Clarkson’s 11. None of them found the back of the net though and it was desperation time for the Badgers in the third period.

UW attempted to respond to the 1-0 deficit with an offensive onslaught in the final period as well. However, Tiley was up to the task and pushed aside all 18 shots faced in the final period.

Mistakes in the neutral zone nearly cost Wisconsin big time throughout the first two periods. Those mistakes weren’t corrected heading in to the third period and despite the best effort of Desbiens eventually the Badgers were made to pay for their mistakes.

Desbiens appeared to give her team some much-needed momentum in the

Desbiens stopped the initial shot to her right, but the rebounding puck went right to Clarkson’s Cayley Mercer and she easily poked the puck home for a 2-0 lead.

Wisconsin had just over three minutes left to try to get back in to the game.

Clarkson responded by packing it in defensively and not allowing any real good offensive opportunity to the Badgers.

The Golden Knights would add an empty-netter from Mercer at with 44 seconds to play to completely seal the deal.

UW ended the year with a 33-3-4 overall record and the WCHA regular season and tournament championships. However, it took just one hot goaltender to end the dream of going wire-to-wire for a national championship.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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