Wisconsin Tops Minnesota State, 8-1, To Earn WCHA Regular Season Title
Badgers Claim Fifth WCHA Regular Season Crown; Senior defenseman Courtney Burke has goal and four assists for UW

Senior defenseman Courtney Burke had a goal and three assists for the Badgers
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 11:40  WIS1-0 EV Courtney Burke (4)Baylee Wellhausen/5, Sophia Shaver/4
2nd 4:13  MNS1-1 PP Katie Johnson (5)Anna-Maria Fiegert/5, Amanda Conway/2
2nd 15:39  WIS2-1 PP GW Emily Clark (19)Courtney Burke/24, Annie Pankowski/30
3rd 3:25  WIS3-1 EV Annie Pankowski (19)Sam Cogan/13, Emily Clark/18
3rd 4:06  WIS4-1 EV EA DP Emily Clark (20)Courtney Burke/25, Kim Drake/6
3rd 4:53  WIS5-1 PP Sarah Nurse (21)Annie Pankowski/31, Courtney Burke/26
3rd 10:27  WIS6-1 EV Sydney McKibbon (6)Rachel Jones/8
3rd 12:32  WIS7-1 EV Baylee Wellhausen (7)Sophia Shaver/5, Mikaela Gardner/7
3rd 16:25  WIS8-1 EV DP Erika Sowchuk (10)Sophia Shaver/6, Courtney Burke/27
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Minnesota State  0101
Wisconsin  1168
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Minnesota State  55212
Wisconsin  8183157
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Minnesota State (3-25-4)  1/4 9/18 0
Wisconsin (30-1-1)  2/7 5/10 0
Minnesota State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Brianna Quade (L, 3-24-3)50:276 7171539
Kathryn Bidulka9:332 001010
Wisconsin Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Jorie Walters6:310 1001
Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 28-1-1)53:201 44210
Empty Net0:090     

MADISON, Wis. -- For the fifth time in program history, the No. 2 Wisconsin women's hockey team claimed the WCHA regular season title, as the Badgers earned the 2015-16 crown by defeating Minnesota State, 8-1, Sunday in front of a sellout crowd at LaBahn Arena.

En route to its first WCHA regular season title since the 2011-12 season, Wisconsin (30-1-1, 24-1-1-1 WCHA) barraged Minnesota State (3-25-4, 0-23-3-0 WCHA) with six goals in the final frame to secure the sweep. Even more special, the title-clinching victory came on the same day Wisconsin honored its eight seniors.

"With such a big senior class, the emotions are high and you want things to go well and you want them to enjoy it and really have a special moment," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "It's a tough trophy, maybe the toughest trophy to win in women's hockey, because it takes the longest to get there and you have to be consistent."

Senior captain Courtney Burke made history with the game's first goal, as the defenseman became the third UW blueliner to reach 100 points in her career. The Albany, New York, native also added four assists in the win for a career-high five points in the contest.

"I didn't really see what was going on or see it go in the net, but it was pretty awesome," Burke said of her first-period goal. "I got super excited and super nervous. I don't even really remember the play, so that shows you how excited I was."

Sophomore Emily Clark tallied two goals and an assist, while linemate Annie Pankowski recorded a goal and two assists in the victory. Pankowski now has 50 points this season, becoming the first UW player since Brianna Decker during the 2012-13 to reach 50 points in a season.

Sydney McKibbon, Sarah Nurse, Erika Sowchuk and Baylee Wellhausen tallied one goal each.

Ann-Renée Desbiens stopped 10 shots to earn her NCAA-leading 28th win of the year. Desbiens continues to lead the nation in save percentage (.966), goals-against average (0.61), and shutouts (16). Wisconsin also leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 0.56 goals per contest.

Katie Johnson scored Minnesota State's lone goal shortly into the second period, as the Mavs had a power play opportunity with Lauren Williams in the penalty box to knot the game at one.

However, Clark responded with a power-play goal towards the end of the period to give UW a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of action. 

In the third frame, Wisconsin opened the floodgates, taking a four-goal lead before the halfway point of the stanza. Pankowski, Clark, and Nurse each put the puck past Brianna Quade in a one minute, 28 second span of time to give UW the 5-1 lead.

"I think there were a couple of us looking up at the clock with fifteen minutes left being a little surprised that we were able to bury a few in that short of time," Clark said of the scoring barrage. "I think that was huge for us going into the rest of the period."

The Badgers outshot the Mavericks 31-2 in the final period, setting a new program record for shots in a period. Wisconsin shot a total of 57 shots on net through the game, marking the eighth time this season the team has taken 50 or more shots in a contest.

McKibbon then added her third goal of the weekend, marking the 10th time in her career that she has scored against Minnesota State. Wellhausen and Sowchuk added finishing goals to seal the 8-1 victory.

The Badgers' six goals in the final period tied for the fourth-most in program history in a single period and marked the first time since the 2011-12 season UW scored six or more goals in a single frame. 

"This is a whole season," Burke said of winning the regular season title. "It's six months that (Coach Johnson) keeps saying 'We work six months for this,' and we all believe that. We worked our butts off all season and I think this is just the reward for us. 

"But the regular season's still not over for us. We have probably two of the toughest games of the season yet this weekend against Minnesota. So after this, we're happy we won, but I think we need to focus in on Minnesota and finish off the season strong."

The Badgers wrap up their regular season with a series at No. 3 Minnesota next weekend. Faceoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m. (CT), while Saturday's 3 p.m. contest will air live on BTN.