No. 1 Badgers improve to 12-0-0 with 4-2 win at Minnesota Duluth - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 1 Badgers improve to 12-0-0 with 4-2 win at Minnesota Duluth

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DULUTH, Minn. – Despite giving up its first goal in over a month, the top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team improved to 12-0-0 for the first time in program history with a 4-2 win over Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena on Saturday.

Wisconsin saw its historic run of shutout hockey end in the third period, as the Badgers entered Saturday’s game with nine-straight shutouts, an NCAA Division I record. The Badgers went 624 minutes, 18 seconds between giving up a power-play goal on Oct. 3 in an 8-1 win over Providence and a goal three minutes into the third period Saturday.

During the shutout streak, junior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens shut out the opposition for 543:53, almost 100 minutes more than the old NCAA record of 448:32 that UW legend Jessie Vetter set during the 2006-07 season.

“That's not something that I planned at the beginning of the year,” Desbiens remarked about the shutout streak. “I just take the games one at a time. I think what we did is amazing but it's also nice as people will talk more about our team instead of the streak.”

Desbiens collected 20 saves, including 13 in the second period, to improve to 11-0-0 this season.

"She played good, she played really well especially in the second period with two power plays and then a couple shifts where they looked like they were going to score,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said about Desbiens’ play on Saturday.” She'd probably like that first one back, but overall she looked great out there.”

Annie Pankowski led the UW offense with a goal and two assists to bring her point streak to 15 games, which is the seventh-longest streak in program history. The sophomore leads Wisconsin with 10 goals, 14 assists and 24 points.

Erika Sowchuk, Courtney Burke and Emily Clark also lit the lamp for the Cardinal and White.

"It was a good win,” Johnson said. “We put ourselves in a good position tonight, we capitalized on some of the power plays. They played better than they did last night, so it was a good test and I thought we played overall a better game. A good win, a good road win. We're a little banged up so it's good to come out of here with a sweep."

In the first period, Sowchuk scored her second of the weekend, poking the puck past UMD netminder Kayla Black at the 5:49 mark of the period to give UW a 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later on the Badgers’ first power play of the contest, Pankowski took a beautiful feed from junior Sarah Nurse and beat Black top corner to double the UW advantage. UW outshot UMD 11-6 in the first frame.

With just 30 seconds left in the second, Burke launched a rocket on UW’s third power play that dinged off the left post, right post and across the goal line to give Wisconsin a 3-0 lead. It marked her 86th career point, moving her into sole possession of fourth on the school’s all-time points list among defensemen.

Clark scored early in the third on the Badgers’ fourth power-play of the game to give UW a 4-0 lead.

Minnesota Duluth’s Maria Lindh ended the Badgers’ scoreless streak, firing a puck past Desbiens to cut into the UW lead at the 3:03 mark of the final frame

With just over three minutes left, UMD’s Lynn Astrup beat Desbiens to make it a 4-2 game, but the Badgers were able to hold to for the win.

Wisconsin went 3-for-6 on the power play, while killing all four of its penalties.

The Cardinal and White are one of two unbeaten teams in the country along with No. 2 Boston College.

It feels good,” Pankowski said. “Everyone enjoys winning and it's fun on the ice, it's fun in the locker room. This team just has it."

The Badgers return to Madison next weekend to begin a six-game homestand. Wisconsin hosts non-conference foe Lindenwood on Friday in a 2 p.m. contest at LaBahn Arena.

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