Preview: NCAA women's Frozen Four final

  • Updated: March 18, 2012 - 12:24 AM

NCAA WOMEN'S FROZEN FOUR FINAL: NO. 2 GOPHERS VS. NO. 1 WISCONSIN

When: Sunday, 3 p.m. • Where: Amsoil Arena, Duluth

TV/radio: A free video webcast is available on www.ncaa.com. The Gophers website, www.gophersports.com, will carry a free radio broadcast and live blog.

Gophers at a glance: Coach Brad Frost said the Gophers (33-5-2) take confidence in their winning record against the Badgers this season. The Gophers split at Wisconsin in October, losing the first game 3-2 and winning the second by the same score; at Ridder Arena in January, they tied the Badgers 3-3 and won 1-0. Goaltender Noora Raty was in the net for all four games and leads the nation with a 1.33 goals-against average. In the NCAA tournament, the Gophers are 0-2 against Wisconsin, losing the 2006 title game 3-0 and dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in the 2008 quarterfinals. Madison native Amanda Kessel had a hand in all three of the Gophers' goals in Friday's semifinal victory over Cornell, scoring the first and assisting on the other two. The sophomore forward has 129 career points, trailing only Natalie Darwitz (146) for most points after two seasons of play.

Wisconsin at a glance: The Badgers (33-4-2) have been the nation's top-ranked team for all but one week this season. They lost the No. 1 spot to the Gophers in early January, after their loss and tie at Ridder Arena, then gained it back the following week. Forward Brianna Decker, who won the Patty Kazmaier Award on Saturday as the top player in women's college hockey, leads the nation with 37 goals and is tied for third in assists with 45. While the Badgers' potent offense gets most of the attention, goalie Alex Rigsby tops the nation with a .952 save percentage. Wisconsin has an astonishing 16-2 record in the NCAA tournament; its 6-2 victory over Boston College in Friday's semifinals broke Minnesota Duluth's record for most NCAA victories.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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