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Cornell at No. 1 Wisconsin: ECAC game of the week

The Big Red travel to Madison for a date with the Badgers

Senior goaltender Paula Voorheis
Cornell Athletic Department

Who: Cornell (6-2-1 Overall, 4-2-1 in the ECAC) vs. No. 1 Wisconsin (12-1-1 Overall)

When: Friday, November 25 at 8:07 ET / Saturday, November 26, at 9:07 ET

Where: LaBahn Arena (Madison, WI)

How to Watch: Big 10 Plus

The Skinny

Thanksgiving weekend finds the ECAC all playing a slate of non-conference games. A number of the contests - No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth at Harvard, Quinnipiac/Yale/UConn/Merrimack in the Nutmeg Classic - are fun, but the best of the bunch may be frisky Cornell traveling west to take their best cut at No. 1 Wisconsin in Madison.

The Badgers are coming off of their first loss of the season against No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth, absent all-everything netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens, out with an upper-body injury. They beat the Bulldogs on Saturday, however, and hope to have Desbiens back between the pipes this weekend in a sold out LaBahn Arena.

Cornell tied No. 8 Quinnipiac 3-3 on Friday and knocked off a very good Princeton squad on Saturday 2-1. A respectable fifth in the ECAC, the Big Red look to continue to ride a hot goaltending duo to an upset over the Badgers

Cornell Players to Watch

#31 - Paula Voorheis, Goaltender

Voorheis, a four-year starter has found herself in a timeshare with sophomore Marlene Boissonnault this year. Both are doing well, with Voorheis sitting third nationally and second in the ECAC in save percentage (.951) and third in the ECAC in goals against average (1.41). A member of the ECAC All-Rookie Team as a freshman in 2013-14, Voorheis has 35 career wins and a career 2.24 GAA in 74 games.

See Voorheis in action in the final moments against Princeton on November 19th:

#1 - Marlène Boissonnault, Goaltender

The other half of the platoon, sophomore Boissonnault sits second in the ECAC in GAA (1.23) and fifth in save percentage (.930) over four games so far this year. She saw action in eight games last year and was 5-1 as a starter.

Wisconsin Players to Watch

#30 - Ann-Renée Desbiens, Goaltender

Desbiens, a 2016 First-Team All-American and top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, is second in the nation in save percentage (.953) and shutouts (6). The NCAA record-holder for shutouts, Desbiens backstops the Badgers’ second-ranked team defense.

#16 - Sarah Nurse, Forward

Nurse, a senior, is currently tied for fourth in goals nationally (11). A 2015-16 All-WCHA Third Team member, she was a 25 goal scorer last season during the Badgers run to the Frozen Four. She has only scored two goals in the past five games, so look for her to try to get back on track against the Big Red.

The Pick

This should be a defensive battle as Wisconsin (1.00 goals/game) and Cornell (1.33 goals/game) are both top three in team defense. I expect to see both Voorheis and Boissonnault against the Badgers this weekend. Cornell has been playing well in front of their goaltender duo and Wisconsin may be vulnerable, particularly if Desbiens is slow coming back. The pick is a split: 2-1 Cornell on Friday and 4-2 Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Pick Record for the Season: 2-0-0