The Wisconsin Badgers are primed for a historic run at the NCAA Championship with all the right pieces, but tonight saw the team take on their home opener without Sophia Shaver, an integral part of their forward group. Put eloquently in this moving player blog by forward Baylee Wellhausen, tragedy struck in Shaver’s family causing her to miss this week’s practices and games. Judging from Wellhausen’s words, the team has the unique bond needed to make a deep run, and the Badgers took to the ice wearing her number “12” on their helmets and a camo bracelet with the initials “DS”.
A charged game on home ice saw not only the team’s 3rd win of the year by a score of 3-0, but also a team record broken: acclaimed goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens broke Wisconsin’s shutout record with her 40th career shutout. The NWHL 2016 4th overall pick showed off her superstar talent on what will be one of the most emotional game nights of the regular season.
Here’s how Wisconsin lit the lamp:
- Junior Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, California) gained the zone and fed a cross slot pass to Junior Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) who used a one timer as she dropped to one knee. Both forwards in on this play are potential high 2017 NWHL Draft picks.
2. For her second of the game, Junior Emily Clark drove a zone entry by penetrating three Buckeyes and roofing the puck top right shelf at the hashmarks.
3. You can’t see it in the highlight, but before Senior Jenny Ryan (Victor, N.Y.) deked Ohio State’s Kassidy Sauvé out of this hemisphere, the NWHL 2016 9th overall was sprung by a pass as she stepped out of the penalty box by none other than the Junior Emily Clark, who had already scored two goals. New York Riveters fans are certainly going to love this breakaway dipsy-doodle!
The Badgers and Buckeyes have another showdown tomorrow, October 8th, 2016 at 1:07CT. It’s very likely we see a similar effort, fueled by love, from the best team in the nation.