MADISON -- The No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team concluded the first half of its season on a high note Sunday with a 5-0 conference victory over Bemidji State at LaBahn Arena, extending the team's unbeaten streak to 14 games.
Five different Badgers scored in the balanced offensive attack, with sophomore Molly Doner scoring her first goal of the season and senior Madison Packer recording her fourth goal of the series following a hat trick in Friday's game. Freshman Sarah Nurse, sophomore Kaitlyn Harding and junior Blayre Turnbull each added a goal in the win.
"It was good. We got a lot of people involved and everybody seemed to make some kind of contribution," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "When you get that contribution from different people at different times, it becomes much more difficult to play against when other groups of the teams have that going on. But it was good, everybody has to feel good about their effort today. Everybody got to play and everybody worked up a good sweat, so it was real nice."
Freshman goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens guarded the net for Wisconsin, making 19 saves to earn her second career shutout. Desbiens improved her season record to 6-0-0 after picking up wins in both games this weekend.
"It's very nice to have (the team) cheering and celebrating a big sweep this weekend," Desbiens said. "We all are very happy. Now we're just going to go back and do homework like normal students and go to school tomorrow. But I will say it's nice to end the weekend like this."
Nurse was the first to put the Badgers on the board, poking a pass from sophomore Courtney Burke into the twine on a Wisconsin power play 13:38 into the first period to tally her sixth goal of the season. Burke recorded her fourth assist of the series in the effort.
Doner was next to score for the Badgers, recording her second career goal by slipping the puck past BSU goaltender Jessica Havel at the 18:09 mark to put Wisconsin up by two heading into the second stanza. Wisconsin outshot Bemidji State 18-7 in the first.
Packer was the only player to score in the second, firing a slapshot to the upper shelf to give the Badgers a 3-0 lead with seven minutes to play in the period. Packer has 44 career goals during her four years with the team, which
The Badgers outshot the Beavers again in the second, recording 14 shots on goal to BSU's seven.
The Cardinal and White continued to bring the heat in the third, beginning with a goal by Harding six minutes into the period to give the Badgers a four-goal lead. The goal is Harding's second of both the season and her career.
Packer tallied an assist in Harding's scoring drive, bringing her series point total to five.
"On the assist at the end of the game, it was a two-on-one with some people coming back," Packer said. "And I was thinking in my head ‘If I shoot I can score and have another hat trick,' but Harding was wide open. It was a good play, she went hard to the net. She's been grinding all weekend and basically I knew all I had to do was slide over and she could tap it in."
Turnbull finished the offensive push for the Badgers, sneaking through the defense during a BSU power play and juking Havel to score her third short-handed goal of the season.
Bemidji State's Havel stopped 32 of Wisconsin's 37 shots in the loss.
The Badgers have a month off of competition before hitting the road on Jan. 3-4 to face St. Cloud State. Wisconsin returns to LaBahn Arena the following weekend to host No. 4 North Dakota on Jan. 11-12.
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