ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Freshman goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens pitched her third shutout of the season while four different Badgers found the back of the net as the No. 2 Wisconsin women’s hockey team blanked St. Cloud State, 4-0, Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Making her seventh start for the Cardinal and White, Desbiens stopped all 28 shots she faced to improve to 8-0-0 in her career.
“Ann played great today,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “I thought she was sharp, especially in the first period when St. Cloud was on the power play. I thought she made three real nice saves on their opportunities on that power play. She looked comfortable and confident, and she earned a shutout. We are excited for her, and as time goes on she will continue to improve.”
“I think we played defensively today,” Desbiens said. “We didn’t give up many scoring chances from the slot, which makes my life easier. It was a team effort.”
With her performance this weekend, Desbiens leads the country in goals against average (0.80), save percentage (.963) and winning percentage (1.000).
The UW offense exploded for three goals in the first 10 minutes. Freshman Sarah Nurse got the scoring going early, sneaking a puck past SCSU netminder Katie Fitzgerald at the 1:42 mark of the period. Minutes later, Brittany Ammerman fired a laser past Fitzgerald and senior defenseman Kelly Jaminski capped off the scoring in the first with a rocket to give Wisconsin a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.
Junior Katy Josephs found the back of the net in the second period to propel Wisconsin to a 4-0 lead.
“It is always helpful to have balance,” Johnson said. “Teams can’t be concerned with just one line or two lines. If you have a lot of people making contributions it makes you that much deeper and better. Some of the play of our defensemen helped us on the offensive end.”
“The more people we get in the mix the better we become as a team.”
With the win, Wisconsin extended its unbeaten streak to 16 games, the longest such streak in the country. The Badgers also clinched their 20th-straight triumph over the Huskies.
“It is nice to be able to bring those six points back to Madison,” Desbiens said. “The team did a great job getting back to the ice after the holiday break.”
“I thought we played well today,” Johnson added. "We came out a little bit stronger, just because we hadn’t played in such a long time. We played well yesterday, but today we played stronger. We talked about getting a fast start, and getting three goals in the first period helped.”
“It was a great six periods against St. Cloud this weekend. Now we have an opportunity to build on it as we prepare for North Dakota next weekend.”
The Badgers return home to face No. 4 North Dakota next weekend at LaBahn Arena. UW and UND meet on Saturday, Jan. 11 in a 2 p.m. contest before concluding the series Sunday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m.