Top Line Leads Wisconsin Past Minnesota State, 6-0, To Sweep Series
Sarah Nurse, Emily Clark and Annie Pankowski account for six goals and seven assists for Badgers

Senior forward Sarah Nurse had a hat trick and an assist for the Badgers
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 0:32  WIS1-0 EV GW Emily Clark (16)Annie Pankowski/25, Sarah Nurse/23
1st 14:45  WIS2-0 EV Sarah Nurse (21)Emily Clark/24, Annie Pankowski/26
2nd 1:59  WIS3-0 PP Sarah Nurse (22)Jenny Ryan/13, Annie Pankowski/27
2nd 4:16  WIS4-0 EV Emily Clark (17)Sam Cogan/15
2nd 10:51  WIS5-0 PP Sarah Nurse (23)Annie Pankowski/28, Jenny Ryan/14
3rd 14:19  WIS6-0 PP Annie Pankowski (22)Emily Clark/25, Mikayla Johnson/4
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Minnesota State  0000
Wisconsin  2316
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Minnesota State  55616
Wisconsin  15171345
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Minnesota State (7-26-4)  0/3 5/13 0
Wisconsin (29-2-4)  3/6 3/6 0
Minnesota State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Chloe Crosby (L, 1-3-0)60:006 13141239
Wisconsin Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Ann-Renée Desbiens (W, 25-1-4)59:540 55616
Empty Net0:060     

MADISON, Wis. - Thanks to senior Sarah Nurse's third career hat trick and multi-point efforts from junior linemates Emily Clark and Annie Pankowski, the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team blitzed Minnesota State, 6-0, on Saturday at LaBahn Arena

Nurse, Clark and Pankowski combined for 13 points for the Badgers (29-2-4) to complete the sweep of Minnesota State (7-26-4) to advance to the 2017 WCHA Final Face-Off.

"Emily had good energy, good speed, which is as fast as she has probably played all year," UW head coach Mark Johnson said. "Sarah the same way. They both had great energy, steps, and were quick and when they get open and get a little space they are a dangerous. Obviously, Annie compliments that group.

"You look at a score sheet and see the number of times they are on it, generally you're going to win those hockey games."

"I think that when you get the opportunity to play with players like Emily (Clark) and Sarah (Nurse) it's a lot easier to do your job because you know what they're going to do and where they're going to be," Pankowski said. "I think the three of us just see the ice in a very similar way and it makes it a lot of fun. We just went out there and did our thing today."

Clark wasted no time in giving the Badgers an early lead, as the junior drove to the net and slid the puck past MSU goaltender Chloe Crosby just 32 seconds into the first period.

Nurse doubled Wisconsin's lead shortly after, snapping a pass from Clark past Crosby to put UW up 2-0.

Heading into the second period, Nurse tallied her second of the game after tipping in a Jenny Ryan shot from the point for a power-play goal, UW's third power-play goal of the weekend.

Clark made it 4-0 midway through the second as the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native scored her second of the game after going bar down on Crosby.

With two goals and two assists in the contest, Clark ranks third on UW in scoring with 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points.

Nurse notched her third goal before the end of the second, rifling a wrist shot off the post and in to earn her third hat trick of the season. With the feat, Nurse boasts 23 goals and 23 assists for a career-best 46 points so far this season.

Clark and Nurse weren't the only Badgers with their names all over the scoresheet, as junior Annie Pankowski collected one goal and four assists on the day to tie a career-high assists mark, one she hasn't made since her freshman campaign.

The Laguna Hills, California, native earned her 22nd goal of the season while on the power play in the third period. After a shot from Clark got to the net, Pankowski buried the rebound past Crosby to make it 6-0.

Pankowski paces all UW skaters in points with 50 coming from 22 goals and 28 assists.

Senior Ann-Renée Desbiens made 16 saves to earn her 15th shutout of the season and improve to 25-1-4 in net for the Cardinal and White.

The senior goaltender continues to dominate the NCAA rankings, leading in goals-against average (0.69), save percentage (.963), win percentage (.900) and shutouts (15).

As the top seed, the Badgers will face the lowest-remaining seed in the four-team tournament next Saturday at 2 p.m. at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. UW will know its opponent for next Saturday's WCHA Final Face-Off semifinal Sunday afternoon following first-round games between North Dakota and Ohio State and Bemidji State and Minnesota.

"It's definitely a change knowing that from here on out you have to pretty much win the whole way through and it's definitely more difficult to prepare," Clark said. "Next weekend especially, hopefully we'll be playing two different teams so we'll just play the same way we have been and come out strong."