In the end, Ohio State simply couldn’t solve Wisconsin goaltender Cami Kronish.
Despite outshooting sixth-seeded Wisconsin 31-22 in the National Championship Game Sunday, the Buckeyes fell short 1-0 on their bid to repeat as national champions. OSU’s own goaltender, Amanda Thiele, posted a strong outing of her own by making 21 of 22 saves, but it wasn’t quite enough as Kronish went a perfect 31 for 31.
For the Badgers, it’s the team’s seventh national championship, the most in NCAA women’s hockey history.
Sunday’s championship contest mostly played out as a defensive battle. Neither team scored in the final 46 minutes of game time. Both goalies combined for a ridiculous .981 save percentage and both blue lines combined to block 32 shots, 18 of those going to Ohio State.
The contest’s eventual game-winner came from Wisconsin freshman forward Kirsten Simms with 6:42 to play in the opening period. She fired a near-perfect shot from the edge of the right circle that snuck past the opposite pipe of the net.
Wisconsin held the lead from there, a lack of penalties helping to keep Ohio State — who has one of the nation’s most efficient power plays in terms of goal percentage — at bay. After an elbowing penalty against Casey O’Brien less than 11 minutes into the contest, the Badgers didn’t send a single player to the penalty box.
Ohio State pulled its goalie for the final 1:30 of gametime in an attempt to even the contest, but it wasn’t enough to get through Kronish.
Overall, though, OSU made its third consecutive Frozen Four and finished with a 33-6-2 record with a WCHA regular season title and runner-up finish to its credit for the 2022-23 season, a year after winning the first national title in program history in 2021-22.