Five Badgers named to Canada’s Olympic roster
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin women's hockey senior Emily Clark along with former Badgers Ann-Renée Desbiens, Meaghan Mikkelson, Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull are among the 23 players Hockey Canada will take to the 2018 Winter Olympics, the organization announced Friday morning.
Clark, Desbiens, Nurse and Turnbull will make their Olympic debuts next February in PyeongChang, South Korea, while Mikkelson will make her third appearance at the winter games after helping Hockey Canada win gold at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
A senior from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Clark has spent the 2017-18 season with the Hockey Canada National Team preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics. She has great experience playing for the Canadians, appearing in three IIHF Women's World Championships for Canada. At the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championships, Clark scored twice and played on Canada's top line during the final two games of the tournament. In her three years at Wisconsin, Clark has 118 points in only 113 games, while last year she led the NCAA in game-winning goals with nine and plus/minus rating with a +48 mark.
The 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recipient, Desbiens is one of three goaltenders that were named to the squad and is the first Badger netminder to make a Hockey Canada Olympic roster. Desbiens, a native of La Malbaie, Quebec, rewrote the NCAA history books during her four-year career in Madison, recording a collegiate record 55 shutouts while also setting NCAA career records in goals-against average with an 0.89 mark and save percentage with a .955 clip. Desbiens was recently named Hockey Canada's Player of the Game in its 3-1 win over the U.S. on Dec. 15 and suited up for Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Championships.
A veteran for Hockey Canada, Mikkelson won gold with Hockey Canada at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. She has played in the Four Nations Cup five times (2008-10, 2012, 2017) and six IIHF World Championships (2008-09, 2011-13, 2017). Mikkelson has been playing professional hockey with the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, leading the Inferno to the Clarkson Cup title in 2016 before earning CWHL Defenseman of the Year honors the following season. A native of St. Albert, Alberta, Mikkelson tallied 29 goals and 86 assists during her time at Wisconsin and holds the UW single-season record for points by a defenseman, tabbing 49 points in 2006-07 to lead UW to its second-straight NCAA title.
One of three Badgers from last year's NCAA runner-up squad to make this year's Olympic team, Nurse collected a career high 53 points last year at UW to earn second-team All-America honors. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Nurse left UW with 137 career points while her 76 career goals rank eighth in program history. Nurse helped UW reach the NCAA Frozen Four in each of her years in Madison in addition to helping UW win three WCHA tournament titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns. She helped Canada win the 2015 Four Nations Cup and scored the game-winning goal for Canada in its 3-1 win over the U.S. on Dec. 15.
A forward from Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Turnbull tallied 98 career points as a Badger and led UW to the 2015 WCHA Final Face-Off title. UW's captain during the 2014-15 season, Turnbull was a force for UW on the penalty kill, as her eight career short-handed goals are tied for the most in UW history. Turnbull has appeared for Hockey Canada in three Four Nations Cups, leading Canada to gold in the 2014 and 2015 tournaments and two IIHF World Championships. After UW, Turnbull joined Mikkelson on the Calgary Inferno and scored the game-winning goal in the 2016 Clarkson Cup title game.
The five Canadian Badgers look to be joined by a quartet of American Badgers at the 2018 Winter Olympics as Team USA will announce its roster on Jan. 1. UW alumnae Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Alex Rigsby are currently on the 25-player U.S. roster that will be trimmed to 23 on New Year's Day.