Ohio State Maintains Dominance: Women’s Hockey Tournament Top Seed Again

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The Ohio State Buckeyes have clinched the top seed for the 2023-24 NCAA women’s college hockey tournament, setting the stage for a potential revenge match following last year’s championship game loss. 

Despite a recent setback in the WCHA Final against the Wisconsin Badgers, the Buckeyes’ stellar 32-4-0 record secured them the coveted No. 1 seed.

The memory of their 1-0 defeat to the Badgers in the 2022-23 tournament final is undoubtedly still fresh in the minds of the Buckeyes. 

Wisconsin, boasting a 33-5-0 record, is seeded second and could pose a formidable challenge once again. The Badgers’ victory last year marked their seventh championship win, establishing a record in women’s college hockey.\

No. 1 Seed Despite WCHA Final Setback

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The Ohio State Buckeyes have clinched the top seed for the 2023-24 NCAA women’s college hockey tournament, setting the stage for a potential revenge match following last year’s championship game loss.

Rounding out the top five seeds are Colgate (33-5-0) at No. 3, Clarkson (32-4-2) at No. 4, and Minnesota (27-9-2) at No. 5. In the upcoming single-elimination format, the top four seeds will host regional action from Thursday to Sunday.

The tournament’s first round on Thursday will see Minnesota-Duluth (20-13-4) facing UConn (25-7-5), Cornell (24-7-1) taking on Stonehill (21-15-2), and St. Lawrence (27-10-0) going up against Penn State (22-12-3). 

The winners of these matchups will advance to the second round against Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Colgate, respectively. Clarkson and Minnesota will also square off in the second round.

The Frozen Four and championship game are scheduled for March 22 and 24 at Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, New Hampshire.

This season marks the third year of an expanded 11-team format for the women’s tournament, with five teams earning automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments and the other six decided by a selection committee.

Ohio State and Wisconsin are once again favored to reach the final, thanks to their impressive regular-season performances. 

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The Badgers lead the country in scoring, with sophomore Kirsten Sims leading the charge and earning the title of the WCHA’s player of the year. 

The Buckeyes, on the other hand, boast a deep roster and exceptional goaltending from Raygan Kirk, a finalist for the women’s hockey goalie of the year award.

Colgate’s strength lies in its special teams, leading all teams with 43 power-play goals and ranking fifth in penalty kill efficiency. 

Clarkson features a top-ranked scoring defense and outstanding goaltending from Michelle Pasiechnyk, also a finalist for the goaltender of the year award. 

Despite losing 11 graduating players, Minnesota has returned to the tournament and boasts the nation’s top power-play percentage at 37.1%.

UConn and Stonehill are making their first-ever tournament appearances, adding a fresh and exciting element to this year’s competition.

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