Badger women raise banner, sweep opening series

2011 Wisconsin Women's NCAA Championship Banner. Photo by Nicole Haase

So much for a championship hangover.

The Wisconsin Women's hockey team had an opportunity to put a cap on their 2011 National Championship season  by raising a banner in the Kohl Center rafters commemorating their outstanding accomplishment . They also had a chance to start a new chapter, kicking off the 2011-2012 campaign at home against Lindenwood University who was making their NCAA Division 1 debut. Both went flawlessly.

Friday night the Badger women raised their banner and then raised their game. Despite missing seven players, the Badgers were able kick off the new season in style with an 11-0 victory. Sophomore Kelly Jaminski (Wisconsin Rapids, WI) led the charge offensively recording her first two goals as a Badger and adding three assists in a five point night.

Junior Brianna Decker (Dousman, WI) started right where she left off last year with a four point game (2 G, 2 A) on opening night. WCHA preseason player of the year Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, ID) chipped in a goal and two assists. Also finishing with three point nights were Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) with two goals and an assist and Natalie Berg (Minnetonka, MN) and Laurel Miller (Ramsey, MN) who both added three assists.

With seven players out of the lineup, the Badgers were only able to suit up three lines of forwards and four defensemen. Carolyne Prevost, Brittany Haverstock, Stefanie Mckeough and Saige Pacholok were all missing over the weekend as they were in Calgary for Hockey Canada's 2011 Fall Festival. Additionally, sisters Alev and Derya Kelter were unavailable as they are currently playing for the Wisconsin Women's soccer team. Sophomore Madison Packer missed both games due to a concussion suffered in practice.

In the Sunday matinee the Badgers picked up where they left off on Friday, out shooting Lindenwood 72-3 in the game en route to a 13-0 victory. Decker and Knight both recorded hat tricks and junior Jordan Brickner (Lake Forest, IL), a transfer from Colgate put together a five point night with two goals and three assists. Brooke Ammerman had another big game with two goals and two assists to finish the weekend tied for the team lead with seven points.

Freshmen Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) and Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, NS) both recorded four point games on Sunday afternoon. All four freshmen in the Badger lineup this weekend scored their first career goals.

Sophomore goalie Alex Rigsby (Delafield, WI) recorded wins in both games playing the first two periods of each game, letting in zero goals along the way. Nikki Kaasa (St. Cloud, MN) shut out Lindenwood in the third period of both games.

The Badger women continue their dominance running their current unbeaten streak which stretches back to early last season, to 29 games. Wisconsin is 27-0-2 during that stretch.

After taking next weekend off the Badgers will host North Dakota at the Kohl Center October 8th & 9th.

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For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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