2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey Championship :: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

I spent most of Sunday at Amsoil Arena covering the NCAA women’s hockey championship game between Wisconsin and Minnesota for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The goal of the assignment wasn’t just game action. The Hockey Hall of Fame wanted a comprehensive record of the game, which meant getting shots of all kinds of things because championship day isn’t contained to the ice.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and there are many details that are unique to each year’s championship.  While many of those details aren’t shown here, a few of my favorites from throughout the day are below.

I decided to do something a little different for this game and that was mounting a remote camera in the rafters above the ice.  It was my first experience doing this above the ice and I made sure to drag the Duluth News Tribune’s Clint Austin with me to make sure everything was double and triple secure.  Big thanks Clint!  Because of that, you’ll see a few different shots below taken at the same time from my shooting position and from overhead.  The camera was mounted about 100 feet in the air near the scoreboard that hangs above center ice.

The game was a good one.  Minnesota won their first national championship since 2005 on the back of goaltender Noora Raty’s 42 saves. The first period featured five goals, Minnesota’s 2-0 lead evaporating during a furious two-goal burst by the Badgers and a penalty shot that would prove to be the game-winner for the Gophers.  It was a fun game to watch.  Big thanks to Clint Austin, Megan Kress, UMD photographer Brett Groehler, Jeff Stark, Wisconsin’s Ross LaDue and Minnesota’s Sara Berhow for all your help Sunday.

The Wisconsin Badgers’ locker room before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Minnesota Gophers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Kate Bockenstedt, equipment manager for the Minnesota Gophers, sews a Frozen Four patch onto a jersey prior to their NCAA championship game against Wisconsin Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Minnesota Gophers’ locker room before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota Gopher Megan Bozek has the words “BATTLE” written on her stick prior to their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Wisconsin Badgers’ covered the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog logo during before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Minnesota Gophers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Minnesota Gophers’ locker room before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Wisconsin Badgers’ locker room before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Minnesota Gophers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Wisconsin Badgers’ locker room before their NCAA women’s hockey championship game against the Minnesota Gophers Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The Wisconsin Badgers passed the time before their NCAA championship game against the Minnesota Gophers by playing football and kicking around a small soccer ball in the halls outside the rink Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Bucky Badger (left) and Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher (right) take the ice prior to the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Amsoil Arena rises for the national anthem prior to the NCAA women’s hockey national championship game between Wisconsin and Minnesota Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Donna Sheehan of Madison, Wisc. cheers on the Badgers prior to their NCAA championship women’s hockey game against Minnesota Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota’s Amanda Kessel (left, 8) scores on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby (center, 33) and Britt Haverstock (right, 4) during the first period of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Kessel’s score put the Gophers up 1-0 against the Badgers.

Minnesota’s Amanda Kessel (left, 8) scores on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby (center, 33) during the first period of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Kessel’s score put the Gophers up 1-0 against the Badgers.

Minnesota’s Amanda Kessel (left, hand up) celebrates her first period goal against Wisconsin with teammates during the first period of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Kessel’s score put the Gophers up 1-0 against the Badgers.

Minnesota’s Amanda Kessel (left, hand up) celebrates her first period goal against Wisconsin during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Kessel’s score put the Gophers up 1-0 against the Badgers.

Wisconsin’s Brianna Decker (left, 18) and Minnesota’s Jen Schoullis (right, 24) battle for the puck during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Stefa McKeough (5) and Minnesota’s Stephanie Ander (28) battle for the puck during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Brooke Ammerman (left, 20) celebrates her first period goal with teammate Brianna Decker (right, 18) against Minnesota Sunday afternoon during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Ammerman’s goal tied the game at 2-2.

Wisconsin’s Brianna Decker (hands up) celebrates teammate Brooke Ammerman’s (bottom) goal in the first period against Minnesota during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota backup goaltender Shyler Sletta watches the action against Wisconsin during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby deflects a Minnesota shot during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Britt Haverstock (left, 4) was called for tripping on Minnesota’s Emily West (right) during a breakaway in the first period during the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. A penalty shot followed and West scored to give the Gophers a 3-2 lead.

Minnesota’s Emily West (on ice) crashes into Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby after being tripped by the Badgers’ Britt Haverstock during a breakaway in the first period of the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. A penalty shot followed and West scored to give the Gophers a 3-2 lead.

Minnesota’s Emily West (right) crashes into Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby after being tripped by the Badgers’ Britt Haverstock (left) during a breakaway in the first period of the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. A penalty shot followed and West scored to give the Gophers a 3-2 lead.

Minnesota’s Emily West (right) scores on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby (left) during a penalty shot in the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. West’s goal put the Gophers up 3-2.

Minnesota’s Emily West (right) scores on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby (left) during a penalty shot in the NCAA women’s hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. West’s goal put the Gophers up 3-2.

Minnesota’s Emily West (center, 17) celebrates the goal she scored on a penalty shot against Wisconsin with the Gopher bench in the first period Saturday afternoon during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. West’s score put the Gophers up 3-2 against the Badgers.

Wisconsin players look around the ice during a break in action during their game against Minnesota in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson follows the action on the ice during the Badgers’ game against Minnesota in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Hilary Knight (23) and Minnesota’s Mira Jalosuo (left, 7) battle for the puck during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Hilary Knight (23) moves the puck while being chased by Minnesota’s Emily West (right, 17) during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Brianna Decker (left, 18) falls to the ice while battling Minnesota’s Kelly Terry (right, 10) during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota women’s hockey head coach Brad Frost shouts instructions to his players during their game against Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota’s Sarah Erickson (right, 4) and goaltender Noora Raty (on ice) deflect the puck from going into the net during a scramble in the second period Saturday afternoon during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota’s Sarah Davis (left, 9) couldn’t score on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota’s Jen Schoullis (right, 24) couldn’t score on Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin and Minnesota players battle for the puck after a face-off near the Wisconsin net during the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty celebrates the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin’s Katy Josephs wipes a tear away while watching Minnesota players receive their championship medals after the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Wisconsin players watch Minnesota players receive their championship medals after the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota players celebrate their 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota players celebrate their 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

LEFT: Minnesota’s Kelly Terry takes a picture with a friend after the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. RIGHT: Minnesota players Becky Kortum (left, 11) and Megan Bozek (right) celebrate the Gophers’ 4-2 victory.

Minnesota’s Baylee Gillander (left, 27) takes a picture of teammates Kelly Terry (center) and Amanda Kessel (right) after the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

A box containing Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty’s championship medal sits in her goalie glove following the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota players celebrate their 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota players celebrate their 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota’s Sarah Davis (left, 9) hangs out on the ice chatting with teammate Baylee Gillander (right, 27) after the Gophers’ defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 4-2 in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota players Sarah Davis (left) and Kelly Terry (right) share a moment away from the celebration frenzy after the Gopher’s defeated Wisconsin 4-2 in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn.

The 2012 Women’s Frozen Four was held at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. The four teams qualifying were Boston College, Cornell, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 4-2 in the finals to win their first national title since 2005.