How the Wisconsin women's hockey team will compensate for the loss of Natalie Buchbinder and other notes

Wisconsin's Natalie Buchbinder, shown against Bemidji State earlier this season, suffered a lower leg injury before the Badgers' game Saturday and is out for the season.
Wisconsin's Natalie Buchbinder, shown against Bemidji State earlier this season, suffered a lower leg injury before the Badgers' game Saturday and is out for the season.

MADISON – A weekly look at the Wisconsin women’s hockey team.


Badgers hold steady in both major polls

Wisconsin remained ranked No 8 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls after snapping a five-game losing streak. The Badgers defeated Minnesota State, 2-1, on Saturday and posted a 6-0 win over the Mavericks on Sunday.


Cami Kronish shuts down Minnesota State

The Badgers senior notched her sixth shutout of the season and allowed one goal over the weekend, shutting down a team that entered the series with a six-game winning streak. The New York City native recorded 21 saves Saturday and withstood 28 shots and an early Mavericks power play Sunday

The effort earned her a second straight WCHA player of the week honor and dropped her goals against average to 1.27 and her save percentage to .936. Both are WCHA bests.


Natalie Buchbinder done for season

The Badgers lost one of their top defenders for the season when senior Natalie Buchbinder suffered a lower leg injury before the game with Minnesota State on Saturday. She finished the season with 15 assists and ranked fourth among defenders with a plus-24 plus/minus total.

Buchbinder teamed up with Nicole LaMantia on the Badgers' first blueline. Senior Chayla Edwards moved up to take her place and junior Mayson Toft was added as the seventh defender.

However, Badgers coach Mark Johnson said replacing Buchbinder will be a collective effort.

“Somebody that may have gotten 3, 4, 5 minutes in that game is now going to get 8, 10, 12 minutes,” he said, “so you have to prepare for that opportunity because you don’t know when your opportunity is going to come.”

Cami Kronish in goal full time?

The Minnesota State series marked the first time since Jane Gervais returned from an ankle injury that Kronish played both games of a series.

Johnson wouldn’t say his goaltender rotation is done, instead saying the decision about which goalie plays on the second night will be determined after the first contest.

“In this season when you have eight games left and there is no margin for error, you have to go on that,” he said. “That is what we did this past weekend and as a staff we decided to go with Cami Saturday and then see where we are after the game.”

UW seeks national attendance record

The Badgers will hold their Fill The Bowl game at the Kohl Center on Feb. 3 against St. Cloud State. Tickets are still available. Wisconsin set the national single-game attendance record of 15,359 against St. Cloud State in 2017.

An equipment drive will be held in conjunction with the contest. Fans are asked to donate new or gently used items for all ages: helmets, winter mittens/gloves, hockey gloves, skates (figure and hockey), hockey sticks and hockey pads.


5 Players who have scored at least 10 goals this season for UW: Lacey Eden (16), Britta Curl (16), Casey O’Brien (11), Sophie Shirley (10) and LaMantia (10)

2 Game-winning goals for Eden last weekend, pushing her season total to three.


Badgers visit struggling Tommies

At St. Thomas, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday: Wisconsin outscored the Tommies, 14-1, when the teams squared off in October in Madison. Since then St. Thomas’ only WCHA wins have come against last-place Bemidji State. The team has lost four straight entering the series. Both games will be streamed on BTN+.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin women's hockey must make up for loss of Natalie Buchbinder