In the first Battle at the Burgh tournament, four of the NCAA’s top teams convened at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa. The biggest moment of the weekend belonged to the Badgers, who won the inaugural tournament title, but there was plenty of other excitement to be had.
Northeastern squeezes past Colgate in a shootout
In the first semifinal, top-five Northeastern was held to one goal all afternoon by the Raiders, who made this one very interesting all game long.
Mia Brown put the Huskies up 1-0 less than five minutes into the game. The Raiders had some good stretches with pressure throughout the game, but Northeastern clung tightly to that lead and pressed hard to double it. Colgate goaltender Liz Auby denied them any chance of that, and freshman Danielle Serdachny finally tied it up with about four minutes to play.
After a scoreless overtime period, the teams headed to the shootout. Chloé Aurard scored a beautiful goal, and after Aerin Frankel denied two Colgate skaters, Lauren MacInnis won it for the Huskies on their third attempt, sending them to the championship game.
Just as importantly, we got to witness Alina Müller literally jump for joy afterward, which feels like a win for everyone.
Wisconsin’s third-period goals defeat Robert Morris
Wisconsin came into the weekend as the top team in the country, but walked into a bit of a challenging environment in the second semifinal. The Colonials play their home games just 15 miles from the UPMC Sports Complex, they had their band in tow, and a majority of the crowd was cheering them on.
It didn’t stop the Badgers from jumping out to an early lead on a Daryl Watts shorthanded rebound. The Colonials kept it tight into the second period, though, and took advantage on the power play, as they are wont to do. Defender Emily Curlett scored her 10th goal of the year on a 5-on-3 to knot things up.
RMU freshman goaltender Raygan Kirk turned in a stellar performance in net, but it wasn’t quite enough to deter the Badgers. Brette Pettet scored the go-ahead tally about eight minutes into the third, and Sophie Shirley added an insurance goal on a very nice tip-in with less than four minutes to play.
It was a pretty good day for the Badgers, who snapped a picture with Sidney Crosby on Saturday morning at the rink.
Really nice to see the Badgers take time out of their busy day to make a fan happy.
Something fun to note from all of the action on Saturday: all four teams in attendance had at least one player who previously suited up for the Pittsburgh Pens Elite program as youth players. In both games, when the teams lined up before puck drop, those particular women were joined by current Pens Elite players who were donning their old jerseys. The Pens Elite alumni participating this weekend were Colgate’s Delani and Eleri MacKay and Kaitlyn O’Donohoe, Northeastern’s Gwyneth Philips, Robert Morris’ Angelica Diffendal, and Wisconsin’s Chayla Edwards.
Very cute thing happening today at the Battle at the Burgh: teams are joined on the ice by Pens Elite players donning the jerseys of current @ColgateWIH/@GoNUwhockey players who came up through the program: Gwyneth Philips, Delani and Eleri MacKay, and Kaitlyn O’Donohoe. pic.twitter.com/X1et19Q0gP— Gabs Fundaro (@gabfun) January 4, 2020
Thrilling third-place game ends on a buzzer beater
Colgate and Robert Morris played a barnburner on Sunday afternoon in the third-place game. After the Colonials jumped out a 2-0 lead in the first, the teams traded goals and temporary leads all game long.
RMU ended the first period up 3-2 and came back from a deficit in the second to tie it up at 4-4. Diffendal snapped the tie midway through the third period, but Malia Schneider, who centers a fantastic top line for the Raiders, evened things up again with less than minutes to go.
That set up a magical finish for Robert Morris forward Kyleigh Hanzlik, who was playing her first weekend of games for the Colonials.
🔈🎙️ "Are you kidding me? What a sight ... what a goal!"— RMU Hockey (@RMUWHockey) January 5, 2020
Volume ⬆️ for @VoiceOfGman and Bob Kennedy on the call for @KyleighHanzlik's fantastic finish to close our Battle at the Burgh on a storybook note!
What a way to close non-conference play.#PittsburghsCollegeHockeyTeam pic.twitter.com/37hjBc8lVC
It was the first career goal for Hanzlik, who just transferred to the Colonials from Wisconsin. Needless to say, her former Badgers teammates were thrilled for her.
.@RMUWHockey takes the consolation game at the Battle of the Burgh as former Badger @kyleighhanzlik scores her first career goal.— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) January 5, 2020
Safe to say the #Badgers were excited for their former teammate pic.twitter.com/lRHeGdIuhU
Wisconsin tops Northeastern in overtime
The championship game featured another thriller between two of the nation’s top-three-ish teams (give or take a spot or two). The two squads combined for 105 shots on goal and needed overtime to decide the champion.
The Badgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals from Britta Curl and Abby Roque. In the second period, though, the Huskies potted two to make it a 2-2 game, after Brooke Hobson scored on the power play and Tessa Ward added another goal seven minutes later.
Daryl Watts scored a go-ahead goal for Wisconsin in the third period, but Skylar Fontaine (who was stellar all weekend) made sure the Huskies didn’t go quietly.
The game went to overtime, and Wisconsin ended up getting a power play. Badger forward Caitlin Schneider scored on a diving play to win it for her squad.
Schneider snags the power-play game-winner! pic.twitter.com/CTV6AdKh7X— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) January 6, 2020
- G Aerin Frankel, Junior, Northeastern*: 82 saves on 87 shots
- G Kristen Campbell, Senior, Wisconsin: 57 saves on 61 shots
- D Emily Curlett, Junior, Robert Morris: 1 goal, 3 assists, 12 blocked shots
- D Mekenzie Steffen, Senior, Wisconsin: 3 assists, 3 blocked shots
- F Sammy Smigliani, Freshman, Colgate: 1 goal, 4 assists
- F Daryl Watts, Junior, Wisconsin: 2 goals, 1 assist/
*Most Valuable Player