Although the Wisconsin women’s hockey team is off this weekend, the Badgers are still making noise in the rankings, on award lists and on the international stage.
For starters, the Badgers (10-0-0 overall, 8-0 WCHA) are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, taking the top spot from Minnesota after last weekend.
Along with that, two of Wisconsin’s own have received some high accolades this week.
American Sports Network named junior goalie Anne-Renée Desbiens the Women’s Hockey Player of the Week for her exemplary work in the last few weeks. Desbiens is the first person in the program’s history to earn that honor.
Desbiens has posted seven straight shutouts, only allowing two goals the entire season. Despite the success, Desbiens said she doesn’t believe that she’s going to keep up her recently perfect streak.
“We’re going to get scored on eventually, so I just go into each practice and try to do my best,” Desbiens said.
Desbiens is also joined by her teammate Sam Cogan, who received the ASN’s Rookie of the Week title. Even though Cogan received such a high nomination, she isn’t worried about all of the success going to her head.
“I’m excited, but [Rookie of the Week] is not going to change my game,” Cogan said.
Overall, the Badgers are looking at this week off as a chance to recharge and recover from their away stretch.
But not all of the team is taking the week off. Junior winger Sarah Nurse and sophomore center Emily Clark are currently in Sweden, playing in the Four Nations Cup for Team Canada. They are joined by former Badger Blayre Turnbull, and will play against a Team USA that is filled with former Badgers as well.
UW head coach Mark Johnson believes that having two players compete in such a competitive tournament will be good for the team. He believes that when the two girls come back they will have a confidence that will help to inspire the team.
Clark and Nurse will be back for the Badgers’ matches against Minnesota-Duluth Nov. 14 and 15.
This week the Badgers are going to be working on conditioning, while still focusing on their team chemistry and camaraderie. Junior defender Jenny Ryan certainly believes that the team has the right feel this year to be great, a statement that has been echoed by her teammates.
“The team chemistry is great this year. Right now we’re having a lot of fun,” Ryan said.
The Badgers next game will be at Minnesota-Duluth (4-6, 2-4 WCHA) Saturday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m..