With their second weekend at home in the books, the No. 1 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team victoriously slid past the Bemidji State University Beavers, sweeping them 5-0 and 6-0.
This weekend’s sweep was predominately due to the efforts of Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens. Desbiens not only earned two more shutouts this weekend, but with her 44th shutout Sunday, officially clinched the NCAA career shutout record of 43.
Desbiens blocked 36 attempts at goal this weekend, helping her team remain scoreless through six intense periods of play. She also managed to hold down the net while the Badgers killed nine penalties between the two games.
This accolade for Desbiens will complete a phenomenal series of accomplishments that the Badger goaltender has made since coming to Wisconsin. It is not something that Desbiens had planned from the beginning, and it is still something that shocks her when she looks back at it.
“It’s kind of impressive,” Desbiens said. “It not something I would have thought about when I got here four years ago.”
Desbiens’ team couldn’t be more proud of her at this moment, especially her head coach Mark Johnson. Johnson took a few minutes to compliment his star goaltender on her efforts.
“Last year was a real special year for [Desbiens] as an individual,” Johnson said. “She did things that I’ve never seen in the game of hockey from a goaltending standpoint. Again, I credit her for not living on her laurels this past summer and continuing to work. She’s got bigger things ahead of her, and so she continues to work and continues to stay focused, she’s got a bright future.”
Of course, Desbiens had a tough road to get to this accomplishment. Just this weekend alone, Desbiens defended nine penalty kills, which isn’t the usual number that she is used to facing on a weekend, and made it tough to secure two more shutouts.
To help secure her net, Desbiens relied on both the Wisconsin penalty kill unit and on her defensive unit to help her out during these intense times. With penalties becoming more common in women’s hockey this season, senior defensemen Jenny Ryan knows that penalty kills are one of the most important things the Badgers need to work on.
Women’s hockey: No. 1 Badgers take on Bemidji State without Pankowski in WCHA conference matchupFor the first time in a month, the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will be skating on their home Read…
“We take pride in our penalty kill, and we’ve worked really hard on it,” Ryan said. “We try to play off each other, and we know where the other’s going to be. Ann takes charge back there, and we can count on her to do more things than a normal goalie would do.”
The No. 1 ranked team gets to take a break from playing for a week. Their next series against the University of Minnesota-Duluth is Nov. 18 in Duluth. Until then, the Badgers have a lot to celebrate.