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WIsconsin Women’s Hockey Wins NCAA-Best 7th National Title

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Wisconsin Women's Hockey

Wisconsin women’s hockey played a game for the ages in Duluth, Minnesota, against Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. It was the Badgers’ fifth game against the Buckeyes this season, but this game had national title implications. Ohio State came in as the preseason favorite to repeat as champs, earned the number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament, and challenged the Badgers the entire way, but it was not enough. Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 1-0.

After a five-game skid earlier this season, the NCAA Tournament was not a guarantee for the Badgers. Badgers’ fans defining memories from this season will not be that losing skid, however. What will be remembered are the contributions from an incredible freshman class, defeating the defending national champions, and securing the program’s seventh national championship.

Wisconsin Women’s Hockey Secures Early Lead

A pair of freshmen got the Badgers on the board early. Wisconsin has relied on their freshman to generate scoring throughout the season and Kirsten Simms answered the call with 6:32 remaining in the opening frame. Fellow freshman Claire Enright fought to keep the puck in the offensive zone and found Simms open in the high slot. Simms got a wrist shot off around one defender and scored high blocker side.

The Buckeyes outshot the Badgers 16-5 in the first period. Badgers senior goaltender Cami Kronish held OSU scoreless, stopping all 16 shots. Wisconsin skaters added another 7 blocked shot attempts by Ohio State – including three by captain Britta Curl.

Although no goals were scored in the second period, there was plenty of action on both ends of the ice. Wisconsin led the Buckeyes in shots on goal 11-6 in the second. The Badgers controlled possession at the end of the period in the Ohio State defensive zone to close the period – peppering a total of nine shot attempts toward the OSU goal in the final 1:50.

Third Period Blitz for the Buckeyes

Enright tried to get her name on the scoresheet again early in the third period. After finding herself alone on a breakaway, the Farmington, Minnesota native tried to go to her backhand to beat Ohio State goaltender Amanda Thiele, but could not get around her right leg.

After killing a roughing penalty committed by defender Riley Brengman, Ohio State brought pressure to its offensive zone. Kronish made an impressive toe save after sliding from her right to left across the crease to stop a shot attempt by Buckeyes winger Paetyn Levis with 12:43 remaining. It was the first of three saves by Kronish in a mere 49 seconds.

After both teams were held scoreless down the stretch, Ohio State attempted to pull Thiele for an extra skater but had the play blown dead after making an early substitution. Eventually, Thiele was successfully pulled, but it was too late. The Badgers won 1-0, shutting out Ohio State for the first time all season.

Wisconsin Women’s Hockey Record-Breaking National Championship

With the victory, Wisconsin broke its tie with the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the most NCAA Division 1 Women’s Hockey national championships. It is another feather in the cap of head coach Mark Johnson – the all-time winningest coach in women’s college hockey.

Kronish was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. She made 31 saves in the championship game, including 16 in the first period. The 2022-23 season was Kronish’s first as the Badgers’ starting goaltender.

Four other Badgers joined Kronish with individual accolades. Kronish, Natalie Buchbinder, Curl, Nicole LaMantia, and Sophie Shirley won their third national championship. That group of five joins only seven other UW players to ever win three national titles.


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Wisconsin Badgers AD Chris McIntosh is Setting a Precedent

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Wisconsin Badgers - Chris McIntosh

Madison, WI – UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh has made waves in the Wisconsin athletic department in his year and a half with the school.

From making a splash hire to parting with a longtime head coach, Wisconsin’s AD has made it clear that competing at a championship level is the expectation.

McIntosh has made some tough decisions at UW, but he’s handled these decisions gracefully. The shakeups could seem drastic to some, but Wisconsin’s AD is not one to shy away from making these moves.

Simply put, McIntosh is setting a precedent for UW athletics.

Chris McIntosh fires Tony Granato

The most recent shakeup came on Monday afternoon as former men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato was relieved of his duties. 

The news was made official by the Wisconsin athletics account.

In his time with the Badgers, Granato posted a 105-129-16 record while going 65-87-12 in conference play. 

In the press conference following the firing, McIntosh said, “I believe our men’s hockey program can consistently compete at a championship level. My intention is to find a coach that will lead the effort to get us there.” 

McIntosh wants the Wisconsin hockey program to return to its glory days, and he jump-started that mission by letting go of Tony Granato. The message is clear: UW will no longer be complacent in fighting for conference titles.

Although Granato was a Wisconsin guy through and through, results matter at the end of the day. Now, McIntosh will look to bring in a coach to elevate Wisconsin’s hockey program back to title contention.

Chris McIntosh makes a home run hire in Luke Fickell

McIntosh made a splash hire by bringing in Luke Fickell to take over as the Badgers football head coach in a move that could define his career as Wisconsin’s athletic director.

Former Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard seemed to be a shoo-in for the head coaching job. However, McIntosh took a big swing and landed the former Cincinnati Bearcats head coach.

The move stunned the UW faithful, but a chain reaction quickly began. Recruits and transfers began committing to UW, thoroughly shaking up the program.

After a season that was far from pretty, McIntosh recognized a change was necessary and looked at all of his options. Rather than sticking with the Badgers legend, Wisconsin’s AD took a home run swing, which paid off.

Wisconsin’s football program will be under new direction in 2023. McIntosh may have brought the Badgers back into Big Ten contention–and potentially national championship contention–with a move that could define his legacy. The future looks to be a bright one for the football program, and McIntosh made it happen.

Times are changing in Madison, and the standard has been raised. The goal is no longer just conference contention; it’s time UW competes for the whole damn thing.

McIntosh is setting a precedent, and he’s shown he is ready to do what it takes to make it happen. Wisconsin’s AD has not shied away from a challenge, and he’s making his mark on UW athletics.


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Wisconsin Men’s Hockey News: Tony Granato Out as Head Coach

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Madison, WI- Chris McIntosh and UW Athletic Department announced a leadership change in the Men’s Hockey program on Monday evening. 

Tony Granato led the Badgers to a 13-23 record this season, with a first-round loss in the Big Ten tournament to the Wolverines.

Granato played for the Badgers for the ’83-’87 seasons while being the captain in the ’86-’87 season. After that, Granato played in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks. The former Badgers head coach would then go on to be a coach in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche.

Following that, he would move on to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, serving as an assistant coach in both franchises before returning to become the head coach of the Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team. Coach Granato also served as Head Coach of the USA Hockey team in the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang. 

Tony Granato spent the last seven seasons as the head coach of the Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team. In his time, he went 105-129-16 and 65-87-12 in the BigTen. 

In a press conference regarding the firing of Coach Granato, AD Chris McIntosh said, “I believe our men’s hockey program can consistently compete at a championship level. My intention is to find a coach that will lead the effort to get us there”. 

Steve Rohlik, Head Coach of Ohio State, is one name many people are looking at to be the new head coach. Rohlik played with the Badgers back in his college days. He played from 1986-’87 through 1989-’90 while wearing the Captain “C” for his last two seasons. 


Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin men’s hockey news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Austin Schuster on Twitter. @Schuster__16

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Wisconsin Men’s Hockey: Big Ten Tournament Preview

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The Big Ten Conference Hockey tournament is starting this Friday (3/3/2023). The 2-7 seeds will play in a best-of-3 game series this weekend, while the one seed will get a bye week.

Here’s a look at the seedings:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Michigan
  3. Ohio State
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Michigan State
  6. Penn State
  7. Wisconsin

 Big Ten Tournament Outlook

The #7 Seed Wisconsin Badgers will take on the #2 seed Michigan Wolverines. The Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team has been playing spoiler for the last month in B1G play, earning weekend splits in their previous three series. Last week against Penn State, the Badgers lost 6-2 on Friday. However, they were able to secure a 2-1 win on Saturday. 

This weekend the Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team will be looking for a series win against the Wolverines. Michigan leads the season series 3-1. Game times will be at 6 pm CST for Friday and Saturday, with Sunday TBD. You can watch on BTN+ or listen on the Wisconsin Badgers app. 

If the Wisconsin Men’s Hockey Team wins the series over the highly touted Wolverines, they will play the winner of the Ohio State vs. Penn State series in a single-game elimination series to move onto the Big Ten Tournament Final.

The Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team has a real chance to spoil some seasons. With a series win or even two, they could keep some teams on the bubble out of the tournament. The Badgers could make some noise, with 5 of the 7 B1G schools projected to make the tournament. With a Big Ten tournament win, the Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team could make the tournament, as that is their only hope now.


Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Austin Schuster on Twitter. @Schuster__16

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