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A new wave of Wisconsin women’s hockey international stars emerges

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Twelve current and future Badgers competed in the USA vs. Canada development team exhibitions.

You (hopefully) know about the Badgers who make their presence known in international competition, most notably the 2018 Winter Olympics. As those players begin to retire, it is time to look to see which current Badgers are possible future international stars. When it comes to producing international talent, nobody does it better than Wisconsin women’s hockey.

Way up north, eh, in Alberta, seven current Badgers and five future Badgers competed this week in a pair of three-game series between the developmental American and Canadian women’s hockey teams. Let’s take a look at who competed in these games and how they fared in each game. It will also be a nice preview of the up-and-coming players to set their skates in LaBahn Arena over the next seven to eight years.

Overall, the series saw 32 goals, and the Badgers accounted for six goals and five assists. Most of that production came from the first game of the series, as the Badgers represented Madison well in Alberta.

Wisconsin Women’s Hockey International Players Summer 2018

Name Age Group Team Recruiting Year / Eligibility Year Goals (or goals against) Assists (or saves)
Name Age Group Team Recruiting Year / Eligibility Year Goals (or goals against) Assists (or saves)
Caroline Harvey (D) U18 USA 2021 0 0
Casey O'Brien (F) U18 USA 2020 2 1
Makenna Webster (F) U18 USA 2020 2 1
Maddi Wheeler (F) U18 CANADA 2020 0 0
Teagan Grant (D) U18 CANADA 2019 0 0
Britta Curl (F) U22 USA Freshman 0 1
Sophie Shirley (F) U22 CANADA Freshman 1 0
Natalie Buchbinder (D) U22 USA Sophomore 0 1
Abby Roque (F) U22 USA Junior 0 0
Kristen Campbell (G) U22 CANADA Junior 2 Goals Against 19 Saves
Mikaela Gardner (D) U22 USA Senior 1 0
Sophia Shaver (F) U22 USA Senior 0 1

Game 1

U18

Team USA’s under-18 team defeated Canada in overtime 2–1 thanks to a game-winning goal by Badger commit Casey O’Brien.

After 35 minutes of nothing, Boston College commit Alexie Guay opened up scoring for team Canada late in the second. The 0-1 deficit for USA would hold until 2:34 was left in the game. Badger commit Makenna Webster found herself in a two-on-one breakout with Minnesota commit Abbey Murphy. Murphy found Webster with a perfect pass, and Webster tipped the puck in to tie the game and force overtime.

Less than two minutes into overtime, O’Brien buried a wrist-shot top-shelf past the glove of Canadian goalie Raygan Kirk.

Who earned the assist on the game-winning goal?

Non other than future Badger teammate Webster, who scored the equalizer earlier in the game.

U22

The Badgers didn’t stop beating up on poor old Canada in the U22 section, as USA defeated Canada 4–1.

Senior Badger Mikaela Garner lead things off for team USA in the first period with a wraparound goal.

Incoming freshman Sophie Shirley then beat Maddie Rooney (yes, THAT Maddie Rooney) to tie the game up at 1–1 in the first period.

Then team USA broke the game wide open, scoring three unanswered goals. The go-ahead goal, believe it or not, involved two Badgers. Senior captain Sophia Shaver gained the offensive zone to find freshman Britta Curl open in the slot. While Curl’s rocket was saved, it lead to a juicy rebound goal for Gopher commit Taylor Heise.

Heise would score her second goal of the game to get a 3–1 lead, and an empty-netter by Team USA gave them a 4–1 victory in the first game of the series.

Game 2

U18

O’Brien was at it again in game two of the series, scoring a goal and adding an assist for two points in the 4–3 loss to Canada.

Midway through the first period, O’Brien put herself into position and found plenty of net on a rebound. It was her second goal of the series.

Other than O’Brien, the Badger representatives in the U18 game were absent from the box score.

U22

Just like the U18 game two, the second round of the U22 series saw a quieter day for the Badgers.

Badger sophomore Natalie Buchbinder did tally an assist on the go-ahead goal in the second period.

Oh, and Abby Roque got a trip to the penalty box. Like clockwork!

Game 3

U18

USA struggled early in this game, and faced a three-goal deficit five minutes into the second period.

However, Badger representative Webster made her presence felt again and put team USA on the board with a goal. Webster’s goal would prove to spark a nice little comeback for team USA, as the Americans would go on to force overtime. However, Guay scored the game-winner in sudden death, giving Hockey Canada a 5–4 win over USA.

U22

The Badgers were quite quiet in the 2–1 USA victory over Canada, although Sophia Shaver did have an excellent look early in the first period that was stopped nicely by Canadian goalie Tricia Deguire. Kristen Campbell had her one and only start of the series for Canada, and saved 19 of 21 USA shots on goal.


Overall, the Badgers fared quite well in this summer showcase series. Makenna Webster and Casey O’Brien are absolute studs, and they will be excellent additions to the Badger roster when they matriculate to Madison in 2020. Wisconsin’s (as well as Minnesota’s and Boston College’s) presence in international women’s hockey is promising and should continue to flourish. While the Badgers’ excellence should continue over the next 5–8 years, they will continue to see stiff competition both in the WCHA and across the NCAA as women’s hockey talent continues to deepen and grow.