Team Wisconsin won America’s Showcase 2018 in St. Louis this past weekend. The team opened play on Thursday with wins over Philadelphia 10-0 and Pacific 3-2 in overtime. Colleen Milligan of the Cap City Cougars tapped in a rebound with 18 seconds remaining in the overtime to secure the victory.
On Friday, TW closed out its pool play with a 3-1 win over Minnesota and a 7-0 win over Mid-Am. Taylor Thornton of the Cap City Cougars recorded the shut out over Mid-Am while Ivy Shonka stopped 20 shots in the win over Minnesota. Goals by Baileigh Johnson of Black River Falls and Ally Conybear of the Madison Metro Lynx in the second period gave TW a 2-1 lead before Alaina Schauf from Fox Cities clinched the game with an empty net goal.
By winning its pool, TW advanced to the Sunday semi-finals as the number one seed. In the semi-final game, TW built a 4-0 lead on goals by Johnson, Taylar Meier and Anna Albrightson from the St. Croix Valley Fusion before Indiana, the defending champion, struck for two goals to make the game a contest after two periods. Goals by Sierra Berg of the Metro Lynx and Conybear and Avrey Simonson from the Wisconsin Valley Union allowed TW to win the period and take a 7-4 win to advance to the championship game.
The final pitted TW against Minnesota. TW struck first as Colleen Milligan scored 3:32 into the game. But, Minnesota came roaring back to take a 3-1 lead midway through the second period. Alaina Schauf with assists from her linemates Johnson and Zoe Sternberg from Brookfield cut the margin to one with a nice backdoor goal.
Then with less then 15 seconds remaining in the second period, Milligan and Carson Sheridan of Cap City applied heavy pressure. Claire Casey, who resides just outside of Superior and attends Duluth Marshall, picked up the loose puck, crossed in front of the Minnesota state 2AA champion goaltender from Edina and made a nifty move to tie the game with three seconds remaining in the stanza.
Early in the third period, TW’s Zoe Lohrie of the Madison Capitols took a shot from the point that linemates Berg and Kassidy Oliva of the Central Wisconsin Storm battled to find the net. Oliva got credit for pushing it home. The game winner came at the 2:02 mark. For the next 15 minutes, Wisconsin became the better team and finished the game with a 4-3 win. Shonka stopped 35 shots in the only game TW was outshot.
The 6-0 mark was a team effort as Wisconsin’s goaltenders, defense and forwards played a strong game through the tournament. Lauren Godfrey from Lakeland was solid through the tournament. Four of the six D scored goals while all six tallied points in addition to playing well in their own zone. All nine forwards scored goals. Hannah Kolpien of the Madison Capitols tied for the lead among forwards with four goals and was strong as a penalty killer.
It was a complete team effort.