No. 1 Badgers light the lamp eight times vs. No. 2 UMD, clinch s - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 1 Badgers light the lamp eight times vs. No. 2 UMD, clinch sixth WCHA regular season title

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MADISON, Wis. (Per UW Athletics) – For the second-straight year, it was a sweet sendoff for the Badgers’ seniors on Senior Day as the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team won the 2016-17 WCHA regular season crown thanks to a 8-0 win on Sunday against No. 2 Minnesota Duluth.

"I think the way the whole season has transpired, you have to give the senior class and out leadership group a lot of credit," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "It takes a lot of commitment, it takes a lot of consistency, it takes a lot of dedication on the part of the players. It's a trophy that takes a long time to win, certainly out senior class has a lot of things to be proud of because they've had a big impact."

Junior Baylee Wellhausen scored her first career collegiate hat trick while fellow junior Annie Pankowski tallied a pair of goals in the triumph.

"This was my first Badger hat trick so that was pretty exciting," Wellhausen said. "I've never been on the ice when people were throwing hats so that was surreal."

Juniors Emily Clark and Maddie Rolfes along with freshman Abby Roque also scored on Sunday.

Senior Ann-Renée Desbiens earned her 50th career shutout, making 15 saves to earn her NCAA-leading 12th shutout of the season. 

"I saved it for today, actually," Desbiens joked of the milestone. "No, it's pretty impressive, I cannot believe it."

The Badgers (26-2-2, 21-2-2-2 WCHA) came out rolling against the Bulldogs (20-4-5, 17-4-4-1 WCHA), as Roque got UW on the board late in the first, rifling a shot top-shelf for a power-play goal. 

"The thing that impressed me probably the most was the consistency in her play from what she did yesterday into today on a short rest," said Johnson of the rookie's performance.

Wellhausen doubled Wisconsin's lead shortly after, punching in a rebound to begin her hat trick campaign and put the Badgers up 2-0 after the first frame. 

Wisconsin kept the offense rolling into the second period, as Rolfes tallied another power play goal off a backhanded shot from the high slot. With less than five minutes left in the second, Wellhausen found the scoresheet again after getting a quick wrist shot past Rooney. 

Clark joined in on the scoring fun seconds later, stuffing in a rebound from a Pankowski shot to extend UW's lead to 5-0. Wellhausen closed out scoring as the period wound down, firing the puck from the top of the circle and over Rooney's shoulder to tally her first career hat trick. 

"She's had a great year, scored a bunch of big goals for us and came up huge today." Johnson said of Wellhausen's performance. 

Heading into the final 20 minutes of play, the Badgers had no issue keeping the momentum rolling and the goals flowing. 

Pankowski contributed the final two goals to extend UW's lead to 8-0 after netting two back-to-back goals to open the third period. With the pair, Pankowski boasts a team-leading 20 goals so far this season. The junior also enjoys 22 assists, combining for a team-best 42 points. 

Desbiens stopped all 15 shots she faced en route to claiming her 50th career shutout. The senior goaltender leads the NCAA in goals-against average (0.76), save percentage (.957), winning percentage (.923) and shutouts (12). 

"We showed that we can come back from a tie and do even better the day after," Desbiens said. "We have a lot of energy and you never know what you're going to get. It's the No. 2 team in the country and we really outplayed them today."

UW closes out the regular season with a series at No. 5 Minnesota next weekend. Faceoff on both Saturday and Sunday is set for 3 p.m.

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