Photos: Practice #2 and a visit to Best Buy

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The Badgers were back on the practice field Friday morning for their second on-site session at Freedom High School in Orlando. Afterward, the team traveled to a nearby Best Buy store to make use of the gift cards the players were given by the Capital One Bowl. Here's a look at practice and the Best Buy visit in photos:

- Photos: Capital One Bowl Practice #2 / Best Buy Visit

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What they're saying about the Capital One Bowl

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Each year when the bowl matchups are announced, media outlets scramble to make a list of the best, most watchable and most intriguing games.This year is no different and the Capital One Bowl between the Badgers and South Carolina ranks high among the 35 bowl games this year. Here's a rundown of what people around the country are saying about this Big Ten-SEC matchup:

- Athlon - No. 5
- SI.com - No. 6
- ESPN.com - No. 6
- CBSSports.com - No. 6
- SBNation - No. 7
- USA Today - No. 9



Packer's Perspective: Friedman's holiday break recap

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I hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to the New Year! Another treat for the holiday is another guest blogger, senior goaltender, Ilana Friedman!

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Greetings Badger Fans!
 
This is Ilana Friedman, one of the goalies on the women's hockey team.  I'm writing from a distant location in relation to Madison...well actually not really.  As a Middleton, Wisconsin, native, my holiday travel plans are not as exciting as a lot of other members of the team this year.  A quick ten-minute drive west on University Avenue gets me home!  Downtown is usually very quiet during the various breaks, and this break has been no different thus far, especially with the recent snowfall that's forced many to stay inside!

Break has been very relaxing thus far.  My plan usually revolves around sleeping in, trekking over to the rink and working out, sitting in our amazing hot tub or sauna, and then relaxing the rest of the day.  Over break the team likes to pick up new TV shows as we have a bit more free time than during the semester, so I'm currently catching up on Scandal (a team favorite) and just started a new biography about the Kennedy's (one of my favorite topics as a history major). 

Winter break also includes another not so fun activity: law school and internship applications.  I took the LSAT in October and am now applying to various schools and internship positions.  Although they're not too difficult to complete, they are time consuming.  I'm mainly looking at schools out east either in Boston, New York, or Washington D.C. but as our recent trip to Vail forced me to fall in love with the state, I might apply some places in Colorado too.

My holiday plans were probably a little different than many of the members on the team, as my family and I do not celebrate Christmas. I was raised Jewish, so our holiday traditions have a different little spin.  Christmas Eve was spent with my family playing various different board games like Settlers of Catan and Tripoli.  The fun continued on Christmas day, which included a movie at one of the local Madison movie theaters and Chinese food for dinner (that's why I have to continue working out over break!).  In years past we usually saw one of the Lord of the Ring's movies, and this year was no different with The Hobbit!  The rest of the day was spent with the famed pets in the Friedman household: the puggles (pug-beagle mixes).  They're names are Jem and Scout and they are divas just as their big sister is!

Although Christmas is not a holiday that I personally celebrate, I do love this time of year and I would like to extend my holiday greetings to all of our supporters!  Thanks for being the best fans in the country and enjoy the rest of the holiday season!  

Seasons greetings and On Wisconsin!
 
- Ilana Friedman

Twitter chat from Thursday

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Coach Andersen meets with the media

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Following Thursday's practice, the Badgers' first in Florida, head coach Gary Andersen met with the media:


Photos: Practice #1

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The Badgers officially began their on-site prep for the Capital One Bowl with the first practice at Freedom High School in Orlando on Thursday. Here's a photographic look at the crisp session held in some warm, 70-degree weather -- including Robert Wheelwright's highlight-reel catch (above).

- Photos: Capital One Bowl Practice #1

'Varsity' Magazine: Capital One Bowl preview

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What are the keys to the Badgers coming out on top vs. South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl? Who will make the difference on offense and defense? What's the Badgers' mindset, especially the seniors, heading into another showcase game on Jan. 1?

All those questions and more are answered in this week's edition of 'Varsity' Magazine.

Find out who said, "I like the matchup. We're a physical team; heavy in the run game and play-action. They're physical up front with great talent and speed."

Storify: From Madison to Orlando

Hello, Orlando!

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The Badgers escaped the cold of Madison in favor of 70-degree temperatures in Orlando with a two-hour flight on Christmas day. Most of UW's upperclassmen  were treated to first-class amenities in the Boeing 747 the Badgers used for the trip, including senior defensive ends Tyler Dippel and Pat Muldoon (above).

Upon arrival in the Sunshine State, the team gathered for Christmas dinner at its hotel, an event that included a visit from Santa Claus himself. Although Santa stopped by to provide gifts for the children of UW's coaches and staff, that didn't stop at least a couple players from jumping up on the big guy's lap (like Corey Clement, below).

- Photos: Capital One Bowl - Travel Day

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Packer's Perspective: Rigsby takes the reins

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Hey followers! The blog has a special treat today, a guest blogger from the Badgers! As the team is spread out across North America celebrating the holiday with their families I have asked senior goaltender Alex Rigsby to share what she is up to this holiday season, so without further introduction, Alex Rigsby!

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Greetings Badger Fans!
 
The busy semester has ended and a much deserved break is in place for the team.  I finished up the semester with two exams this past Friday and returned home right after.  My break thus far has been busy for me, but a good busy. Since my finals, I have been running around doing some last minute Christmas shopping, catching up with friends from home including former teammate, Brianna Decker, and training.
 
My dad was out of town this past weekend watching my younger brother, Chase, play hockey in Connecticut and they got back yesterday. My older brother, Zach, is currently recovering from shoulder surgery with my mom as his nurse. It is great to have our whole family together for the first time since August!
 
Last night an extra special event occurred. Growing up, I played for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals and played with the boys under a very inspiring coach, Ulvis Katlaps. Ulvis was a former Badger hockey player from Latvia who passed away suddenly from cancer this past August. Last night, the organization put on the fourth annual alumni hockey game, but this year they named it the UK2 Alumni Game. Although I did not participate in the game this year, it was a great time seeing my old teammates and how much they have grown as hockey players and young men over the past few years. We were a very close group and picked up right where we left off!
 
After the game, a dinner was held at the rink for the parents and players to mingle and catch up. The great thing about the hockey community is how tight knit and supportive it is, just like the Badger community. It was fun to hear the different stories told about Ulvis from over the years. He is greatly missed, but will always be remembered.  
 
Now, my family and I are at my grandparent's lake house.They live in a small town in Illinois and have their own private lake. They recently built a house on it, but before that, we camped in the summer and never came out here for the holidays. I love spending the holiday here and it is one of my favorite places to be. It is truly a winter wonderland!  
 
Tonight we will have our traditional seafood dinner and attend church after. Also as a tradition, my two brothers and I get to open one gift the night before, so I am anxious for that!
 
Nothing compares to spending the holidays with the family. I am looking forward to Christmas and enjoying a few extra days off before returning back to school on the 27th.  Thanks for reading and I want to wish you all a safe and Happy Holidays!!!
 
~Alex Rigsby

ON WISCONSIN