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Wisconsin women’s hockey: Badgers shut out Bemidji State 5-0

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Goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens tied the NCAA record for career shutouts with 43.

Nicole Haase

MADISON — Just six weeks into the season, Wisconsin goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens has tied the NCAA career record for shutouts. She earned her 43rd Saturday afternoon in the Badgers’ 5-0 win against Bemidji State.

It would be an impressive achievement for any goalie, but Desbiens tallied just three shutouts her freshman year. She followed that with 14 her sophomore year, an impressive 21 last season and five more this season.

In 96 starts, she’s amassed a career 0.95 goals against average, a .951 save percentage and a 80-12-6 record.

She has more than half the season left to go.

“She did things I’ve never seen in the game of hockey from a goaltending standpoint,” said coach Mark Johnson.

The record-tying game was the No. 1 Badgers’s first home game in nearly a month. Saturday afternoon’s win extended Wisconsin’s home unbeaten streak to 28 games.

With Annie Pankowski playing for Team USA at the Four Nations Tournament and Sam Cogan out with an injury, the Badgers’ lines were mixed up, but that didn’t seem to stop them from finding the net. Eight of the nine members of the top three lines tallied points in the win.

Michaela Gardner opened the scoring midway through the first period with a long shot that skipped through a crowd in front of Bemidji State goalie Britni Mowat and found the back of the net.

It was a close first period, with the teams evenly matched 8-8 in shots on goal. But Wisconsin opened it up in the second, adding 16 shots to the Beavers’ seven and putting two more goals on the board.

Presley Norby, the reigning WCHA Rookie of the Month, scored twice to give Wisconsin the 3-0 lead. Her first came from a gorgeous pass by Sarah Nurse that put Norby between the circles with a clear shot on net. Her wrister hit the upper corner and put the Badgers up by two.

Her second goal came on a fortuitous line change where the Badgers caught Bemidji unaware and Norby was by herself at the blue line when Maddie Rolfes hit her with a long pass. Norby had a free lane in to Mowat and placed her shot to make it 3-0.

Gardner scored her second of the game when she poked in a loose puck in the crease and Alexis Mauermann tallied her first goal as a Badger to close out the scoring 5-0.

The win moves Wisconsin to 10-0-1 on the season. The two teams will meet again on Sunday for a 1 p.m. CT puck drop.