Five former Badgers will compete for Hockey Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang: Meaghan Mikkelson, Blayre Turnbull, Ann-Renée Desbiens, Sarah Nurse, and Emily Clark.
All except Mikkelson will compete in the Olympics for the first time, adding their names to a long legacy of Badger hockey representation (and success) in the Olympics.
The 2018 Hockey Canada women's Olympic hockey team pic.twitter.com/EdUP4K7LUG— Nicole Haase (@NicoleHaase) December 22, 2017
About the Olympians
Mikkelson is the only one of the five former Badgers bringing Olympic experience to Hockey Canada; she earned gold medals in 2010 and 2014. She played for Mark Johnson from 2003–2007, played 142 games, and scored 114 points. She helped Bucky win two national championships (2006, 2007) during the formative years of Wisconsin women’s hockey.
Turnbull played with the Badgers from 2011–2015, playing in 143 games and scoring 98 points.
Desbiens played goalie for Wisconsin from 2013–2017 for 122 games and earned an amazing record of 99–14–9. The Ice Garden ranks Desbiens as the second-best player under 25. She was the fifth Patty Kazmaier Award winner from UW, and her accomplishments are probably too long to write here. This Olympic roster spot is definitely a dream come true for Desbiens, who proved she’s a top-three goalie in Canada. She will continue to work towards a master’s degree at UW’s School of Business in Fall 2018.
Nurse played with Desbiens from 2013–2017 and was electric on the ice. She had a knack for spectacular goals at LaBahn Arena and will definitely give Team USA some problems when she’s on the ice. She is ranked the seventh-best player under 25 by The Ice Garden. She played in 150 games for Wisconsin and earned 137 points, including 76 goals.
Clark will return to LaBahn next year to complete her senior year of eligibility, and when she does, she will bring Olympic experience with her. Clark has shown moments of excellence on the international stage, and she could be a wild card for Hockey Canada.
Other Olympic hockey news
For Hockey Canada’s men’s team, former Badger Cody Goloubef is in the running for a roster spot.
The U.S. women’s and men’s teams are scheduled to release their final rosters on Jan. 1. On the women’s side, former Badgers Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Brianna Decker, and Alex Rigsby are all expected to make the team. On the men’s side, former Badgers Robbie Earl and Tom Gilbert are on the inside track to earn a spot on the roster. If they do, they would be coached by Tony Granato and Chris Chelios who are—you guessed it—former Badgers.
There is a very real chance that 14 Badger athletes or coaches will earn medals in ice hockey in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Take that, Ohio State.