UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers make most of U.S./Canada U-22 series

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It might have been a hot weekend in Madison, but seven Badgers spent the weekend on the ice in Calgary, Alberta, as the U.S. U-22 team faced Canada in a three-game series to cap off the summer.

The U.S. had the upper hand, defeating Canada 2-1 on Thursday, 6-0 on Friday and 3-2 on Sunday.

Former UW goaltender Alex Rigsby stood out in the series, as she won both games she started and earned a 6-0 shutout win over Canada in the second game of the series. Rigsby had a goals-against average of 0.50, a save percentage of .971 and had a shutout in Team USA's 6-0 win on Saturday night.

The lone goal that Rigsby gave up in the series came thanks to Canada's Blayre Turnbull, as the Badgers' captain beat her former teammate on a 2-on-1 rush to score her first goal as a member of the national team.

"It was great to get my first goal but it would have been better to get a win," Turnbull said.

Incoming freshman Annie Pankowski, a member of last year's U.S. national team, recorded two assists while appearing on the team's top-line.

"With the start of the new four-year cycle, we had a fresh start to really set the tone on how USA Hockey was going to play," Pankowski said. "As a team, I think we had an awesome weekend and it really showed what an extremely talented pool of players the United States has."

Despite giving up four goals in the first period to the U.S. in Game 2, Ann-Renee Desbiens bounced back in the final game, as the UW sophomore had a shut out until the final few minutes and made several acrobatic saves to keep Canada in the contest.

Fellow sophomores Sarah Nurse and Mellissa Channell also suited up Canada during the series. Nurse played alongside Turnbull on Canada's top forward line, while Channell looked solid on Canada's blue line.

Emily Clark rounded out the UW quintet on Team Canada, as the freshman appeared on Canada's second line.

Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson attended the series in Calgary, Alberta, and was pleased how his Wisconsin players performed.

"They all played pretty well," Johnson said. "To me, one of the positives is the exposure to the training camp and the things that they take away that can help them in their development. The biggest thing is the confidence factor, as they made it through camp, through the cuts, and were able to play in a highly-competitive series.

"It should be a big confidence booster for the kids as they make their way back to Madison and get ready for our season."

"Overall it was a great experience," Turnbull said. "I learned a lot from the coaches and other players that hopefully I will be able to bring back to school and share with my Badger teammates."


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