MADISON — The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers women's hockey team opened its home schedule with a 3-0 win over Ohio State Friday night.
It was the 26th consecutive win for the Badgers at LaBahn Arena, a streak that now crosses three different seasons. The shutout was the 40th of senior goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens' career, setting a new program record at Wisconsin. She is now three shutouts away from tying the NCAA career record.
No one will be happier than Desbiens when she finally breaks that final milestone, as it means she no longer has to answer questions about it.
"It’s a team achievement. Yes, it’ll be my name on the record, but everyone knows that it’s not only me," said Desbiens.
Despite her exasperation with the constant attention about her record-breaking performances, Desbiens admitted she loves getting shutouts.
"At the end of the day, if we don’t let a puck in, we’re likely to win. It just shows how consistent our team is," she said.
Junior Emily Clark led the Badgers, scoring the first two Wisconsin goals and assisting on the third. She opened the scoring just two minutes into the game when she one-timed a perfect pass from junior Annie Pankowski past Ohio State goalie Cassie Sauve. The two almost connected again on their next shift, but Clark wasn't able to slot that one home.
Neither team was able to get much going throughout the game as they combined for a total of 16 penalties. Clark said the Badgers settled down in later periods after head coach Mark Johnson talked to them about playing smarter and more disciplined hockey.
"There wasn’t a lot of five-on-five play and that creates a difficult scenario for a lot of reasons as far as line match-ups and as far as getting into our rhythm," Johnson said.
Senior Jenny Ryan closed out the scoring for Wisconsin when she beat Sauve one-on-one to start the third period. Clark hit her in stride with a pass as Ryan exited the penalty box and Ryan slotted it in to make it 3-0.
The two teams face off again on Saturday at LaBahn Arena at 1:07 PM.