Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - March 27, 2014

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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54 // VARSITY March 27, 2014 INSIDE WOMEN'S HOCKEY What a run: Badgers end stellar season in semis Wisconsin's future looks bright for next season BY AJ HARRISON @BADGERWHOCKEY H eading into the 2013- 14 season, many didn't know what to expect from this year's Badgers. Last year marked the first time since 2004 that UW hadn't made the NCAA tournament under head coach Mark John- son and the Cardinal and White lost Brianna Decker, the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Award recipient. Wisconsin was pegged to finish sixth in the Preseason Poll and seventh in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll. The Badgers exceed expectations, finishing third in both after bowing out in the semifinals of the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn. The Badgers' exit came sooner than the team would have liked, but the Badgers accom- plished a lot during the season. Three players joined the century club, as se- nior goaltender Alex Rigsby became the first player in program history to record 100 wins and Madison Packer and Brit- tany Ammerman each topped 100 career points during the season. Wisconsin loses a remarkable senior class, which includes Natalie Berg, Ilana Friedman, Kelly Jaminski, Stef McKeough and Alex Rigsby, but the Badgers return a lot of firepower for the 2014-15 season. UW's top line of Katy Josephs, Blayre Turnbull and Ammerman all return for their senior seasons, and the Badgers return four solid defensemen, headlined by second-team All-WCHA performer Courtney Burke. In net, current freshman Ann-Renee Desbiens looks to fill the shoes of Rigs- by, but with 12 games of experience this year, Desbiens is ready for the challenge. The underclassmen will also be criti- cal for the squad, as forwards Sarah Nurse and Sydney McKibbon are primed for stellar sophomore seasons. The incoming freshman class is one of the best under Johnson, made up of Tay- lar (T.T.) Cianfarano, Emily Clark, Annie Pankowski, Maddie Rolfes, Baylee Well- hausen and Lauren Williams. Pankowski saw time on the U.S. National Team last fall, playing alongside Badger legends Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Jessie Vetter. The trio of Cianfarano, Rolfes and Wellhausen are starring on the U.S. U18 team as they compete at the IIHF World Championships. Despite the loss of a spectacular senior class, the future is bright for Wisconsin. SCHEDULE (28-8-2) NCAA FROZEN FOUR March 21 #1 Minnesota L, 5-3

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