Monday, April 25, 2011

Knight leads the United States to GOLD

No matter who scored in Monday afternoon's OT thriller at the IIHF Women's World Championship, multiple Badgers were coming home with gold medals. It just so happened that USA forward Hilary Knight, who still has one season of eligibility remaining at Wisconsin found the back of the net.

The United States squad who captured the gold medal featured five current or former Badgers. Knight and Brianna Decker (who has two seasons of eligibility remaining) are the current Badgers. Recent grad and Patty Kazmaier Award winner Meghan Duggan, defenseman Molly Engstrom, and goaltender Jessie Vetter all starred in the past for the Badgers.

Knight was the most impressive player in the tournament, and led all scorers with 14 points in 5 games (5 goals, 9 assists). She also tied for the tournament lead in plus/minus at a plus 11. For her efforts, Knight was named to the all tournament team by a media panel.

Decker finished the tournament second in scoring with 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) and Meghan Duggan ended up fifth with 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists). Engstrom recorded two points from the blue line and was a +9. Jessie Vetter continued her brilliance in goal with a .952 save percentage and 1.28 GAA and saved her best in the gold medal game when she stopped 51 of 53 shots.

Two other former Badgers aren't going home empty handed. Team Canada defensemen Meghan Mikkelson and Bobbi Jo Slusar, both former University of Wisconsin stars played big roles for Team Canada. Slusar finished the tournament with a couple of points and was a +4 and Mikkelson's 3 goals and +10 rating in the tournament earned her the honor of being named the tournament's best defenseman.

chuckschwartz(at)live.com
Follow me on Twitter