The Badgers ended last season on a high note with their third consecutive trip to the Frozen Four, successfully defending their title as Big Ten Tournament after finishing as Big Ten regular season champs.
With the Wisconsin women’s hockey team on a win streak the team has drawn attention in all the right ways. This summer five were selected during the National Women’s Hockey League draft. With five drafted, UW now has the most draft picks out of any team in the NCAA.
Senior goaltender Ann-Reneé Desbiens was selected as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year after breaking the NCAA single season shutout record. Freshmen Presley Norby and Abby Roque were both selected as WCHA Preseason Rookies of the Year.
In addition to the individual attention, the team was selected as WCHA Preseason Favorite to win the regular season title, which ranks them above Minnesota – the defending national champions.
All of this attention has skyrocketed national expectations for this coming season. However, this does not seem to phase head coach Mark Johnson.
“I don’t mind having high expectations,” Johnson said. “I think that’s good. It keeps everybody sharp. It keeps everybody focused.” Johnson has said that he does not pay much attention to rankings at this point in the year because even though the team looks good on paper, they still have to play the games.
The ladies have spent the first few weeks of the new semester getting accustomed to their seven new players and adjusting back to their linemates again. Wisconsin women’s hockey team wraps up their successful preseason when the puck drops in their season opener in Minnesota tomorrow at 6pm CT and Saturday at 3pm CT. You can watch the game or get live updates at uwbadgers.com.
Photo courtesy of uwbadgers.com