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Back to work: Badgers open 2014 at St. Cloud State

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No. 2 Wisconsin at St. Cloud State  - Game 1
Date / Time
Friday, Jan. 3  |  7:07 p.m. (CT)
Location St. Cloud, Minn.Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
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No. 2 Wisconsin at St. Cloud State  - Game 2
Date / Time
Saturday, Jan. 4  |  3:07 p.m. (CT)
Location St. Cloud, Minn.Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
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Jan. 2, 2014

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Following nearly a month-long break from competition, the Wisconsin women's hockey team will kick off the new year on Jan. 3 and 4 in a road series against conference-foe St. Cloud State at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. Friday night and again Saturday at 3 p.m.

The No 2. Badgers (14-2-2, 10-2-2) last faced the Huskies (3-14-3, 2-10-2) in a home series on Oct. 18-19 at LaBahn Arena, two contests Wisconsin dominated 4-1 and 6-0. Junior Katy Josephs led the Cardinal and White with four points on two goals and two assists in Friday's match-up, and senior goaltender Alex Rigsby made 16 saves in the win.

Freshman netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens made her collegiate debut in the series conclusion against SCSU, earning her first collegiate shutout and win after making 17 saves.

Wisconsin leads the all-time series with St. Cloud State 55-7-2, and has only lost two home contests against the WCHA opponent. The last time the Huskies defeated the Badgers was on Jan. 23, 2010, at the Kohl Center.

Before the holiday break, the Badgers defeated league-rival Bemidji State 7-2 in a home tilt on Dec. 6 before shutting out the Beavers 5-0 in the series conclusion on Dec. 8. The victories extended Wisconsin's unbeaten streak to 14 games, the longest in the nation.

Senior Madison Packer led the Badgers with six points on four goals and two assists during the series. Packer recorded her second collegiate hat trick in Friday's win, and assisted in the game-winning goal before tallying another goal and assist in Saturday's contest.

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Packer was named WCHA Co-Offensive Player of the Week with Minnesota's Rachel Bona on Dec. 11 for her performance in the series, marking the second consecutive week Packer received offensive honors from the conference. Her 97 career points put her in 18th place on UW's all-time point list, and leave her three points away from becoming the 18th player in school history to record 100 points.

Sophomore Courtney Burke also had a career weekend for the Badgers against BSU, assisting in both game-winning goals and recording five total assists during the pair of tilts to bring her season total to 14. Burke leads the team in assists, and ranks 14th nationally in total assists.

Desbiens guarded the net for the Badgers in the series, earning her second career shutout in Sunday's tilt and extending her season record to 6-0-0. She recorded 14 saves in the first contest and 19 in the second.

Resting during the weekend was Rigsby, who leads the nation in overall goaltending statistics. Rigsby holds an 8-2-2 season record and has 296 saves on the season. Her 1.026 goals-against average is the best in the country, and she ranks second nationally with her .958 save percentage. With 91 career wins, she is tied for the school record with former Badger goaltender Jessie Vetter.

SCSU last skated on Dec. 13 and 14 in a home conference series against Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs claimed 2-1 victories in both contests. Junior Julie Friend recorded 24 saves for the Huskies in the first loss, moving her season record to 2-8-2. Sophomore Katie Fitzgerald guarded St. Cloud's net in the second tilt, making 30 saves in the losing effort. She holds a 1-6-1 season record. SCSU senior Molli Mott scored both goals for the Huskies.

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