Gophers win the WCHA Final Faceoff championship

Taylor Williamson’s goal in the second period was the difference in the game.

Max Biegert

  

The Gophers captured their first WCHA Final Faceoff championship in four years after holding on to beat Wisconsin by one goal . 

Wisconsin had won the previous three Final Faceoff’s before Sunday. 

The win also cements the Gophers into the national tournament. 

No. 7 Minnesota (23-10-3) beat No. 1 Wisconsin (30-3-2) 3-1 in the WCHA Final Faceoff championship Sunday afternoon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Taylor Williamson scored 1:30 into the second period on a tip in from a shot from defenseman Olivia Knowles to put the Gophers up 2-1. Nicole Schammel scored an empty netter with 13 seconds left in the third period to seal the victory and the championship.  

Senior Sidney Peters had her second consecutive game with more than 30 saves. She had 32 on Sunday after a 33 save night on Saturday. 

Williamson’s goal was her third of the season. She missed more than three months of the season with a autoimmune disease that attacked her nervous system. 

Wisconsin had 13 shots on goal in the period, but none of them could find the back of the net. 

Both teams got off to a fast start in the first period. Freshman Taylor Wente tipped in a shot from Emily Brown just 1:06 into the period. Wisconsin bounced back quickly, Delaney Drake scored her first goal of the season 3:19 into the period. Minnesota outshot the Badgers in the first period 11-8. 

Wisconsin’s Sam Cogan was called for body checking with two minutes left in the period. The Gophers went on the power play for the first time on the weekend, but could not convert. 

The Gophers went 0-2 on the power play and were out shot by the Badgers, but the Gophers capitalized on the opportunities they had.