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Wisconsin women's hockey: Annie Pankowski named WCHA Rookie of the Year

Senior captain Blayre Turnbull was also named to the All-WCHA first team.

Freshman Annie Pankowski was named WCHA Rookie of the Year
Freshman Annie Pankowski was named WCHA Rookie of the Year
Nicole Haase

Freshman Annie Pankowski is leading the Wisconsin Badgers with 18 goals and 39 points, so it's unsuprising that she was named WCHA Rookie of the Year.

She delayed her entrance to Wisconsin last year to take part in Team USA's pre-Sochi camp and was the last player cut before the roster was finalized.

That year-long delay brought Pankowski in with fellow freshman Emily Clark and Baylee Wellhausen, both of whom have been featured on their countries' U-18 teams. The three have flourished on Wisconsin's second line together.

It was a transition for Pankowski, who racked up assists to start the season, but managed just two goals in her first 11 games. The lack of scoring frustrated Pankowski, but she's come on strong in the second half of the season. She scored 16 goals in the final 22 games of the regular season, including nine goals in the final nine games.

Pankowski should be in position to compete for NCAA Rookie of the Year, especially with her own conference giving her precedence over Minnesota's Kelly Pannek.

Pannek has more points on the season -- 42 to Pankowski's 39 -- but her points are weighted towards assists. Pannek has 12 goals and 29 assists on the season.

Senior captain Blayre Turnbull was named first-team All-WCHA. She was named to the third team last season, so it's quite the promotion for her. She had 28 points in WCHA play and centered Wisconsin's top line while providing a much-needed boost as the team hit a scoring slump as the season came to a close, scoring six goals in the last six games.

Pankowksi is joined by redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman on the second team. This is Ammerman's second straight year named All-WCHA second-team. She scored 12 goals and added 16 assists during league play.

Senior Karley Sylvester, junior Courtney Burke and sophomore goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens were all named to the All-WCHA third team.

Sylvester had seven goals and 18 assists. Burke, who was All-WCHA second-team last season, had four goals and 15 assists.

Desbiens is second in the country with 13 shutouts, 10 of which came during league play. She is second in the WCHA with a 1.28 GAA in conference. Her overall 1.14 GAA is third in the nation.

Freshman Emily Clark joins Pankowski on the WCHA All-Rookie team. Clark had 10 goals and 12 assists in her first WCHA season.