In another turn of bad news for Wisconsin sports fans in the last week or so, senior women’s hockey star Annie Pankowski was released from the U.S. Olympic team on Saturday morning. Pankowski will use her final year of NCAA eligibility to play for Mark Johnson’s squad in the 2018-19 season.
Hannah Bevis of The Ice Garden wrote this about the Pankowski cut:
Pankowski was one of the members of the original 23-player roster named in May and was assumed to be a lock for the Olympic team. However, because of the recent (unexpected) additions of Cayla Barnes, Sidney Morin and Haley Skarupa to the original 23-player roster, the team had to make three cuts before the Olympics in order to meet the 23-player roster limit. Pankowski was the first player released from the team.
Pankowski has twice been a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the nation’s top DI women’s hockey player. She has earned second-team All American and all-conference honors twice in her career. She’s accomplished in the classroom as well, winning the NCAA Elite 90 award given to the top 90 scholars in college athletics. In 113 games for the Badgers, she has scored 68 goals and tallied 87 assists. Ten of those goals were game winners.
After the most recent cut, Team USA is down to four former Badgers: Meghan Duggan, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight, and Alex Rigsby.
The 2018-19 season will also see the return of senior Emily Clark from Hockey Canada:
Former Badgers Sarah Nurse, Ann-Renée Desbiens, Meaghan Mikkelson, and Blayre Turnbull join Clark in search of a 2018 Olympic roster spot.