Pankowski joining former Badgers for World Championship - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pankowski joining former Badgers for World Championship

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MADISON, Wis. – The United States’ roster for the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship has a Wisconsin flair as six Badgers, one current and five former, make up more than one fourth of the 23-player roster that was announced Wednesday by USA Hockey.

UW sophomore Annie Pankowski will join former players Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Brianna Decker, Jessie Vetter and Alex Rigsby in defending the gold medal won by Team USA last year.

Pankowski was a member of the 2015 gold-medal winning IIHF World Championship team and participated in the 2013 and 2014 Four Nations Cups. She has skated in two Under-22 Series vs. Canada (2014, 2015) and two U-18 Series vs. Canada (2010, 2011). Pankowski also won silver with Team USA at the U-18 IIHF World Championships in 2012.

The Laguna Hills, California native leads the Badgers this season with 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points. She became the first UW player to score 50 points in a season since Decker in 2012-13, and her 95 career points puts her five points from becoming the 20th player in program history to reach the 100 career-point benchmark. Last season, Pankowski was named the USCHO.Com Rookie of the Year, the National Rookie of the Year, and the WCHA Rookie of the Year after finishing the season with a team-high 21 goals and 43 points.

Knight suited up for the 2010 and 2014 winter Olympics, earning silver both years with Team USA. Hailing from Sun Valley, Idaho, Knight has skated in seven IIHF World Championships and nine Four Nations Cups, earning eight gold medals, five silver medals, and a bronze. Knight currently co-captains the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, leading the league with 15 goals and 15 assists.

Knight holds the record at Wisconsin for career points (262) and career goals (143), as well as holding the only five-goal game in program history. She received first-team All-America accolades twice during her career, only one of Wisconsin players to do so. Knight won NCAA titles with Wisconsin in 2009 and 2011.

A Danvers, Massachusetts native, Duggan has played in eight Four Nations Cups and six IIHF World Championships, captaining five of those squads. She skated for Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, captaining the 2014 team. Duggan has registered 38 goals and 30 assists in her career with Team USA. Duggan currently plays for the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL, scoring 15 points in 14 games this season.

Duggan scored 238 points in her career at Wisconsin, ranking third in program history. She holds the record for all-time postseason points with 20 goals and 26 assists, winning three national championships, three WCHA regular season championships and three WCHA playoff championships (2007, 2009, and 2011) in the process. Duggan was the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recipient and was named a first-team All-American the same season.

Decker notched two goals and four assists at the 2014 Olympics, earning silver with Team USA. She has participated in four IIHF World Championships and seven Four Nations Cups, serving as an alternate captain of the 2015 IIHF World Championship squad and recording 11 points in the tournament. Decker serves as a co-captain with Knight for the Boston Pride, tallying 27 points this season, including three short-handed goals.

During her time at UW, the Dousman native racked up 244 points to hold the second-most career points in program history. Decker was named the WCHA Playoff Championship MVP and earned Academic All-WCHA accolades in 2011 en route to winning a NCAA title with the Badgers. In 2012, Decker became the fourth Patty Kazmaier recipient in program history and was named the WCHA Player of the Year that same season.

Vetter, a Cottage Grove native, joined her Wisconsin teammates at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics games, earning silver both years. The 2009 USA Hockey Bob Allen Women’s Hockey Player of the Year has suited up for Team USA in seven IIHF World Championships and seven Four Nations Cups, where she was named MVP in 2011. Vetter is the only ice hockey player to have received the Sportswoman of the Year Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation, which she was awarded with in 2009.

A 2007 and 2009 All-America honoree, Vetter broke a then-NCAA record of 91 wins during her career at UW and registered 39 career shutouts. In the 2006-07 season, Vetter posted the first goals-against average below 1.00 in program history. The same season, she set the then-NCAA men’s and women’s ice hockey shutout record with 448 minutes and 32 seconds in net without allowing a goal.

Rigsby has been a member of two IIHF World Championships teams, winning gold in 2013 and 2015, as well as three Four Nations Cups teams (2012, 2014, and 2015). Rigsby also won a silver and gold medal with two U-18 IIHF World Championship teams. Rigsby was the first goaltender to play with the U-18, U-22, and national teams and the first female player drafted into the USHL.

In 2011, the Delafield native led the Badgers to the national title with a 27-1-1 record. A 12-time WCHA Defensive player of the Week pick, Rigsby became the first UW goalie named a captain during the 2013-14 season. Her 100 career wins continue to lead NCAA records, and her .941 save percentage is tied for a program-best.

The tournament runs March 28 to April 4 in Kamloops, British Columbia. Team USA will play Canada, Finland and Russia in preliminary action.

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