No. 2 Badgers blank No. 6 Bemidji State in series opener - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 2 Badgers blank No. 6 Bemidji State in series opener

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BEMIDJI, Minn. (Per UW Athletics) -- In a battle featuring two of the nation’s top teams and defenses, the No. 2 Wisconsin women’s hockey team blanked No. 6 Bemidji State, 1-0, on Friday at the Sanford Center.

Junior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped all 28 shots she faced to earn her 11th shutout of the season, which leads the NCAA. She leads the country in goals-against average (0.67) and save percentage (.962), while her 19 wins are tied for the most in the nation.

Junior defenseman Jenny Ryan scored her second goal in as many games for the Badgers (21-1-1, 15-1-1-1 WCHA) while sophomores Annie Pankowski and Emily Clark picked up assists.

Ryan’s strike came late in the first period during a sequence of 4-on-4 hockey after UW assistant captain Sydney McKibbon and BSU’s Kaitlyn Tougas were both sent to the penalty box on offsetting penalties. 

Pankowski raced into the offensive zone where she fired the puck at BSU netminder Brittni Mowat, who made the initial save. But Ryan fired the loose puck into the net for her third game-winner of the year.

Wisconsin dominated play in the second, outshooting BSU 15-8, but the Beavers rallied in the third to outshoot UW 8-6.

Following a timeout with 2:15 left, Bemidji State pulled Mowat, but Desbiens made several critical saves to preserve the shutout.

The Badgers and Beavers wrap up their conference series on Saturday with a 2 p.m. game.

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