July 2012 Archives

Badger hockey players participate in summer program

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Badger Women's Hockey players Molly Doner and Kelly Jaminski visited teens involved with the United Cerebral Palsy  (UCP) Teen Summer Program on July 13, 2012.

The UCP Teen Summer Program is an initiative of the Madison-based non-profit that provides fun-filled activities and support for children with disabilities.

"UCP is very grateful for the time that the UW student-athletes donated," said UCP Service Coordinator Caroline Miller. "It gave the teens in our program the opportunity to build connections in the community!"

The event also provided freshman Doner's her first experience volunteering as a Badger athlete.

"I had such a great experience and loved meeting and playing with all the kids," said Doner. "They are truly an inspiration and I received much more from the experience than I gave."

Doner and Jaminski played games one-on-one with camp attendees and participated in arts and crafts at the event.

"With the help of the [student-athletes] we were able to discover interests that we didn't know our teens had," said Miller. "One teen in particular played football for an hour and we didn't even know before that she liked to play!"

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 7 vs No. 15 (Quarterfinals)

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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Halfway through the quarterfinals and the latest matchup features the only game to pull off an upset in the first round. The 2011 Fill The Bowl vs. Minnesota in the No. 15 spot upset the second-seeded 2007 National Championship. After the upset it now will take on the No. 7 seed, the program's first WCHA tournament championship. Both games were played against Minnesota and were historic for their times, but which one deserves to move on to the semifinals?

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Thursday, Aug. 2, before the final semifinal matchup begins.

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No. 7 - First WCHA Championship (March 12, 2006)

Wisconsin Wins WCHA Championship


Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team earned its first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Avenging last season's championship loss, the Badgers downed Minnesota, 4-1, with three power-play goals.

In the first, semifinal star Cyndy Kenyon scored on the first power play, finishing a slick tic-tac-toe at 5:14 from Sara Bauer and Meaghan Mikkelson. Minnesota responded midway through the period at 12:15 when a crowd in the crease was enough to push UW goalie Meghan Horras, and the puck, over the goal line. Allie Sanchez was credited with the Gophers' only goal.

The fourth and final goal was scored by Mikkelson whose shot sliced through traffic just five seconds into a power play. Captain Sharon Cole and junior Bauer marked assists. Bauer closed out the weekend with eight points and was named the tournament MVP.

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No. 15 - 2011 Fill The Bowl vs Minnesota (Jan. 29, 2011)

Badgers drop Gophers, 3-1, before 10,668 fans


Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- No. 1 Wisconsin set a new NCAA women's hockey attendance record when 10,668 fans watched the Badgers earn a 3-1 win over No. 4 Minnesota in the Fill the Bowl game Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

Saturday night's game saw sophomore Brianna Decker score her ninth game-winning goal of the season to lead Wisconsin past the Gophers and extend UW's unbeaten streak to 14 games. Decker's tally also broke the UW program record for most game-winning goals in a single season.

The Badgers used the momentum they gained from the record-breaking crowd to jump out to an early lead against Minnesota. Junior Hilary Knight put Wisconsin on the board just 47seconds into the game, beating Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty stick-side for the goal. Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead later in the period on Decker's eventual game-winner, her second short-handed goal of the year.

Minnesota scored its lone goal of the night at the 4:42 mark of the second period, also on the penalty kill. UW would regained the two-goal lead with 8:07 left to play in the second frame as junior Carolyne Prevost scored on Wisconsin's fourth power-play opportunity of the game.





Mo's Olympic Journal: Feeling good as race day nears

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Photo: Team Canada poses for a group picture at its training camp in Kamen, Germany. (Photo courtesy former Badger Hilary Stellingwerff - @stellingwerff on Twitter)

By Mohammed Ahmed

Hello again Badger fans!

I have been unable to find Internet access over the last couple of days to post, so I apologize for that.

It is hard to believe the week in Germany is almost coming to an end. I don't know where the week went!

Other than running, eating, hanging out with teammates and sleeping I have not accomplished too much. Training is going really well and I feel I have gotten into shape a little more with the workouts I have been able to do over the last few weeks, and especially the last few days.

I did some kilometer repeats on Wednesday and I averaged a little faster than race pace (2:43), which I was really happy with. On Saturday, I did four-mile tempo with Cam Levins and we ran them all under five minutes per mile, which was a lot faster than planned.

During this period of time you have to have a lot of confidence to do well, and I believe I am mentally at a place that I have not been since before Big Tens and Payton Jordan. (Note: Ahmed ran his Olympic qualifying time of 27:34.64 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in April).

Now I need to mentally screw my head tight and not get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the race and atmosphere. 

Although I am in Germany, one of the most beautiful places in the world, I have been unable to find time to sightsee. The only sights I have seen thus far are places I ran by or through, but I will try to get out for a little bit and walk around the area before I head back to London on Wednesday.

I have my last major workout before my race on Tuesday and I am looking forward to it as it signals how close the competition is -- as well as some downtime afterwards.

Mohammed Ahmed

Lucas at Large: Taylor and Wagner let their play do the talking

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CHICAGO -- Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor knows that someone is "watching.'' But that doesn't mean he's losing sleep over showing up on the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

He's not tossing and turning, either, over his name somehow being left off the Butkus Award list, which is 51 deep and includes Badgers teammate Chris Borland.

"Some people made a big deal out of it, but I don't think it's a big deal at all; it has nothing to do with football at all,'' said Taylor, the pragmatic senior from Ashwaubenon, Wis., and the leading tackler in the Big Ten last season. "All I can control is what I do on the field and helping the team win.''

Only two players in college football had more tackles than Taylor in 2011: Boston College's Luke Kuechly, a first-round NFL draft pick of the Carolina Panthers, had 191; and Tulsa's Curnelius Arnick had 159. Taylor had 150, seven more than Borland. Moreover, Ohio State's Etienne Sabino started only five games last year, two in the Big Ten, and finished with 62 tackles, yet Sabino is on the 2012 Butkus list.

Go figure. Taylor isn't about to try.

Overall, the Badgers have eight different players on preseason watch lists, ranging from wide receiver Jared Abbrederis on the Biletnikoff Award list to tailback James White on the Doak Walker Award list. Center Travis Frederick is on three lists, while left tackle Ricky Wagner is on the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award lists.

Abbrederis and Wagner are both former walk-ons from Wisconsin high schools.

"It's an honor to be on some of those watch lists,'' said Wagner, a 6-foot-6, 322-pound senior from West Allis (Nathan Hale). "But I really can't be focusing on that during the year. If I start thinking like I have to win the Outland, I don't think I'll have a good year.''

You can understand why Wagner might think that way since his UW predecessors at left tackle -- Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi -- each won the Outland Trophy. "They're great resources to have, obviously,'' Wagner said. "You can go to the tape room at any time and watch these great players.''

Wagner wasn't limiting his "great players'' reference to just Thomas and Carimi -- citing the positive influences of Kevin Zeitler, Peter Konz, John Moffitt and Bill Nagy, among others.  A couple of years ago, when NFL players were locked out of training camp, Thomas did much of his training in Madison and left quite an impression on Wagner.  "It was great talking to a legend like Joe,'' he said.

It went beyond hero worship, though, because Wagner listened and learned from Thomas. "I really respect Joe's workmanlike mentality,'' he said. "You have to think about what you're doing as a job -- even in college -- and you've got to go to work every day, take care of business and go home.''

Carimi impacted Wagner in a different way. And it wasn't so much about the way he trained during the off-season as much as it was about the way he gained an edge on opponents on the playing field.  

"I like Gabe's physical aspect,'' Wagner said. "He had an attitude on the field; he got really mean. That was something I really respected about Gabe. And I've got to improve on that.''

Wagner is among the most soft-spoken players on the team. That's his demeanor. This is not to suggest that he never loses his temper; never shows a mean streak. But he is understated compared to more demonstrative teammates. "I've not been a very vocal guy; I lead more by example,'' he said.

The Badgers took three players to Big Ten Media Days and Wagner was one of them, joining Taylor and tailback Montee Ball. While conceding "it takes awhile for me to get comfortable'' speaking to outsiders, Wagner also said the Chicago exposure "was kind of a unique experience.''

Regarding shouldering more responsibilities as a team leader, Wagner said, "I try to work hard on the field and show the younger guys how to practice. I never take practice for granted because that's where games are won.

"If something needs to be said, I'll step up and say something.''

That has been Taylor's approach. "I want to be a leader and I see myself as a leader,'' Taylor said. "Just because maybe I don't talk as much as I should -- or talk as much as people think I should -- it doesn't mean that I don't lead by example. When I do say something, it comes from the heart.''

Taylor would rather talk with his pads, an old school cliché that's still true today.

"I've played sports my whole life and I was never really a big talker,'' said Taylor. "But my teammates would see the way I conducted myself and they would follow. You don't have to talk to get other people motivated. You can be a leader by just doing things the right way.''

Apparently that's not good enough for the Butkus watch list. Nine players from the Big Ten made the cut, but Taylor, the league's defensive player of the week three times last season, is snubbed.

Guess he will just have to play his way on to the list, which would be his preference anyway.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 3 vs No. 6 (Quarterfinals)

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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In the second matchup of the quarterfinals we have the No. 3 2009 NCAA championship game taking on the No. 6 2011 WCHA championship game. The third seed cruised past the program's first win against Minnesota Duluth to enter the quarterfinals. The 2009 title game saw Jessie Vetter stonewall Mercyhurst in a 5-0 shutout win. Kelly Nash's OT goal against Minnesota highlights the sixth seed as it had no problem with the 2005 WCHA semifinal game in the first round.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Tuesday, July 31, before the quarterfinals begin.

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No. 3 - 2009 National Championship (March 22, 2009)

National champs again!

Box Score

BOSTON -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team has done it again! Head coach Mark Johnson's top-seeded Badgers secured their third NCAA title in four years with a 5-0 victory over No. 3 seed Mercyhurst in the NCAA championship game at Agganis Arena Sunday afternoon

When the final horn sounded, the Badgers converged on goaltender Jessie Vetter as sticks and gloves went flying into the air. The senior goaltender was terrific as she turned away a career high-tying 37 shots to earn her NCAA-record 39th career shutout and 14th this season, also an NCAA record.

Brooke Ammerman tucked in the game's first goal to the left of Mercyhurst goaltender Hillary Pattenden 5:28 into the second stanza. Meghan Duggan then knocked in a rebound at 8:48 for a 2-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Angie Keseley scored on a beautiful give-and-go from Erika Lawler at 10:38.

Wisconsin added a pair of third period goals, as well. Malee Windmeier scored just her second goal of the season at 3:26, while Hilary Knight put away her nation-leading and school-record 45th tally of the season to close the scoring at 5:38.


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No. 6 - 2011 WCHA Championship game OT win vs Minnesota (March 5, 2011)

Nash's OT tally gives Badgers WCHA Final Face-off crown

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- Senior Kelly Nash scored the game-winning goal in overtime after the top-ranked Badgers overcame 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to defeat No. 3 Minnesota, 5-4, and earn their fourth Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title.

Wisconsin trailed 4-2 heading into the third period and used goals by freshman Madison Packer and senior Meghan Duggan to tie it at 4-4 with 3:15 to play.

It took 14:11 of overtime action before the Badgers sealed the 2011 WCHA Final Face-off crown, but Nash solved Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty off a feed from senior Geena Prough to give UW its only lead of the game.

Lucas at Large: Hedstrom hopes to show some medal in London

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- Badgers in the Olympics

Despite her All-America status and championship pedigree -- a couple of Intercollegiate Rowing Association national titles as a member of the Wisconsin lightweight women's varsity eight boat  -- Kristin Hedstrom wasn't sure if the Olympics would ever be in her immediate or distant future. "It wasn't something that was always on my radar,'' she confided.

Four years ago, the UW grad went looking for answers.

"I trained really hard that first year just to see where I stacked up against everyone else in the country because I really didn't have a good idea,'' said Hedstrom, who had previously been on a couple of under-23 teams. "After that year, I ended up making the senior team and that's when it started becoming a reality for me. It was like, 'OK, maybe this is a possible, maybe I can do this.'''

Armed with that conviction, Hedstrom began taking all the necessary steps to become an Olympian. Along with her partner in the lightweight double sculls, Julie Nichols, there was an undeniable urgency in late May when they arrived at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. The reward for finishing among the top four was a trip to London and the 2012 Summer Games.

"When we crossed the finish line, we didn't actually know what place we had gotten because it was such a close race,'' Hedstrom said. "So we had to wait two or three minutes -- it felt like an eternity -- for the results to come up on this big Jumbotron. When they did finally come up, and we saw that we had gotten fourth by .09 seconds, there was a lot of excitement and a little disbelief.

"We had to keep saying to ourselves, 'Oh, my gosh, we're going to the Olympics, we're going to the Olympics.' We had to remind each other that this was actually happening. It just didn't seem real.''

In becoming the 13th women's rower from Wisconsin to compete in the Olympics -- the first in a lightweight event -- the 26-year-old Hedstrom, who lives and trains out of Oakland, Calif., has heard from a number of former UW athletes. Not only have they offered encouragement to Hedstrom, but they have shared some of their competitive experiences at various levels of rowing.

"There's just so much pride that comes with racing internationally as a Badger,'' said Hedstrom. "You learned how to be tough and how to work hard when you were at the UW and to carry that to the international level is something really special and something that we take a lot of pride in. Knowing that you come from a program like Wisconsin kind of gives you an edge, I want to say.''

After making Team USA, she received an e-mail from a former UW rower who exhorted her "to get your claws out and race like a Badger.'' Others reminded her "to absorb the moment and remember what it's like to take part in the Olympics because it's such a special time.'' Throughout her development as an elite rower, Hedstrom has managed to keep everything in context, including her formative years.

"It takes a lot of perseverance and dedication to make it happen,'' said Hedstrom, a native of Concord, Mass., who spent her freshman year at Georgetown University before transferring to Wisconsin. "I definitely had high expectations when I came here and they were met in every way.''

Reflecting on her first impression of the UW rowing environment, she said, "Everyone worked really hard and they were really smart about how they worked. More than anything else, they were just a really tough team. You kind of need that toughness when you row at Wisconsin.

"There are so many days over the winter when you're training indoors and then in the spring, there are so many days when it's freezing cold outside and you have to get out there and practice, regardless of the weather and how early it is.

"When I arrived here, the girls on the team were ready to do whatever they needed to do to win. That definitely fit in with what I wanted from a team, so it was a great fit from the start.''

At heart, she will be racing as "Badger'' in London accounting for her high expectations. "Our event is so very competitive,'' she said, "but we're right in there with everybody else.''

Medaling is now on her radar.

Lucas at Large: Perseverance pays for James brothers in London

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- Badgers in the Olympics

Perseverance is one of the common threads running through the nearly identical bios of Ross and Grant James, the 24-year-old twins from DeKalb, Ill., who are representing the Wisconsin men's rowing program in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Each has their own definition and application for the persistency that it takes to adhere to a course of action; in this case the course is 2,000 meters.

"Like most sports at this level to get to this point, you really have had to go through your share of training and competitions,'' Grant said. "The guys who persevere over others are the ones who have the commitment and just keep going at it; no matter what happens. All the hard work -- all the ups and downs -- help get a boat together, especially when you have eight guys together.''

Although they row from different sides in an eight-man boat -- Grant from the starboard side and Ross on the port side -- they're generally on the same page in terms of what it takes to be successful, on the water and off.  In 2008, they got their first taste of success on a big stage when Wisconsin's varsity eight boat outdueled No. 1 Washington for the national championship.

"Perseverance,'' said Ross, who's about four minutes younger than Grant, "is important with rowing because you have to show up every day and put in the miles. It's a lot of tough work and you often have to put aside gratification for a long time -- for maybe just one race at the end of the year. You could say that you have to persevere to get to the finish line.''

Their steadfast commitment to rowing, not to mention each other, is why they're competing for the U.S. Olympic team today in London; a journey which is the culmination of seven years of training and preparation, dating to their freshman year at the UW when they were introduced to the sport. They both were recruited by Badgers coach Chris Clark out of an orientation line; a time-honored tradition.

"It was the kind of thing where we were interested in trying something new,'' Ross said. "So you show up at the boathouse the first day with the other 130 freshmen who got talked into showing up. We just felt it was something worth trying and we're the kind of people who stick with stuff, so we kept doing it, we kept showing up. It was never easy but we won a few races and it was pretty cool.''

Cool but complicated because time management is of the essence.

"On top of the class work, studying and homework, you're going to two practices a day,'' said Ross. "It's not just the time you put in the boat house. It's the time it takes to get there, and the time it takes to cook the gross amount of food that you have to eat to stay alive. And there's the extra sleep that you try not to lose when studying or rowing because you're wearing yourself out more each day.''

The sacrifices add up. "You give up late nights or going out -- what normal college kids do,'' said Grant. "They can go out and have fun, but you have to go to bed early because you have practice in the morning. All your free time is spent studying and when you graduate, when your other classmates are going off and getting jobs, you keep training, you keep rowing full-time.''

To survive is to persevere. "Guys who make it this far are the ones who really want to be here; they've really got their hearts set on it,'' Grant said. "It's not easy coming out of college with no money and more training. But when you get the chance to go to the world championships, then the Olympics, when you finally make that boat, you say, 'That was worth it.'''

In this vein, Clark has played a valuable role in grooming the Brothers James. "He knows what needs to be done to really pick out those guys who never have rowed a stroke in their life,'' said Grant. "In a couple of years, he puts them in a spot where they can be elite athletes. I give him all the credit for developing us in the early years and getting us started on the road where we are now.''

Addressing what Clark may have initially seen in each of the 6-foot-5, 190-pound twins, Ross said, "He likes that we're tall -- almost gangly -- and our ability to be really long through the water. We're just a lever pulling an oar and the longer you can be, the better. We have a little bit of skill, enough to be able to move a boat pretty well and over the years we've developed the power to back that up.''

Olympics sports are routinely overshadowed on most college campuses. But laboring in the shadows of football and basketball and hockey was never an issue for the twins. "We never looked at it as having to compare ourselves with them,'' Ross said. "We like football. We like going to the games.  Of course that has funded all of our adventures, so we couldn't complain too much.''

Rationalizing further, he said, "We always tried to work hard, speak softly and carry a big stick. (Or oar, it was suggested to James, who ignored the play on words). We'd wear our letter jackets and bike around campus. People would perk up to see if we were a football player or not. We didn't mind too much.''

The fact that they have kept the streak alive -- UW rowers have now taken part in 12 consecutive Olympic Games -- is a source of tremendous pride for Ross and Grant James. "That's pretty special,'' Ross said, "especially because it's a program that takes guys like us - who didn't know anything about rowing -- and turns them into elite athletes. That's kind of a neat aspect to Wisconsin rowing.''

Competition fuels the twins. When they were still in their teens, on their way to becoming Eagle Scouts, they got invited to an indoor shooting range and, after firing a few rounds, the instructor asked them back with the promise to teach them how to shoot.  Fast learners, they went on to become a part of the Illinois state team and they each won a national championship in high-power rifle marksmanship.

"It's more of a mental, coordination sport; there's not any physical aspect to it,'' Grant said of their endeavors on the range. "But the focus needed to repeat over and over again with your shooting carries over in some ways to the same kind of focus to detail in rowing.''

Right now, Grant is pushing Ross to be the best rower in the Olympic boat.

Right now, Ross is pushing Grant to be the best rower in the Olympic boat.

You get the idea, right now, don't you?

"We're exceptionally competitive,'' Ross said. "We're twins; we have a lot of similar experiences, so basically everything is a competition. Rowing lends us to be competitive. When you're always running with somebody who's very similar physically, whoever wins on that day is usually just the guy who wanted it more. That's something that has always pushed us, which is good.''

While Grant acknowledged the obvious -- "Our whole lives, it has always been like, 'Who's the better twin?'' he said -- the focus is on something else in London. "This is everything we've been training for,'' he said. "Our goal is to get a medal, and I don't think we'll be satisfied if we don't.''

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 4 vs No. 5 (Quarterfinals)

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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The first matchup of the quarterfinals is a big one! The No. 4 seed, the Badgers' most recent national championship, had no problem getting past the Camp Randall Hockey Classic in the first round. The 2011 National Championship is now facing a more daunting opponent in the fifth seed, the four overtime victory against Harvard in the NCAA quarterfinals of 2007. The four OT game handily defeated the Badgers' 2008 NCAA-quarterfinal-OT win vs Minnesota in the first round.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Sunday, July 29, before the quarterfinals begin.

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No. 4 - 2011 National Championship (March 20, 2011)

National champion Badgers bring home fourth crown!


Box Score

ERIE, Pa. -- The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team won its fourth national championship in six years on Sunday as the Badgers defeated Boston University, 4-1, at Tullio Arena in front of 3,956 fans.

Despite UW outshooting BU 10-4 in the first period, the teams remained locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes. The Badgers finally put one past BU goaltender Kerrin Sperry at the 2:25 mark of the second period when Carolyne Prévost redirected a shot from the point to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead.

Wisconsin then took a 2-0 lead with 4:26 remaining in the middle frame when junior Brooke Ammerman converted the eventual game-winner on the power play. With just 3:23 remaining, the Badgers extended their lead back to two. Junior Hilary Knight gained control of the puck and took it into the zone, firing a shot at Sperry. The rebound popped loose, and a streaking Mallory Deluce buried it.

The Terriers pulled Sperry immediately following Deluce's goal and again with 2:33 to go. BU fired five shots, including two stopped by Alex Rigsby, before Prévost secured the victory and national championship with an empty-net goal at 19:42.


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No. 5 - Four OT win against Harvard (March 10, 2007)

Zaugg's Goal Lifts UW Over Harvard in 4 OTs


Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- It took over 120 minutes of scoreless hockey, but junior Jinelle Zaugg's goal at 7:09 into the fourth overtime vaulted Wisconsin past Harvard 1-0 and into the NCAA Frozen Four. Saturday night's game ranks as the second longest game in NCAA history.

The Eagle River, Wis., native scored her 26th goal of the season at the 127:09 mark of the contest and was assisted by senior Sara Bauer and sophomore Alycia Matthews. Bauer passed from the left circle across the front of the goal to an open Zaugg who one-timed it over goalie Brittany Martin's shoulder for the game-winner.

The Badgers played their final game in Madison for the 2007 season in front of a Kohl Center women's hockey record-setting crowd of 5,125. This tally also ranks as the second largest college women's hockey crowd since the NCAA sponsored the sport in 2000-01 behind a 5,167 crowd at the 2003 championship game in Duluth, Minn., when Minnesota Duluth skated to a 4-3 double overtime win over Harvard.

Lucas at Large: By any name, Ball is center of attention

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CHICAGO -- Resplendent in a purple shirt, purple vest and purple bow tie, Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball wasn't necessarily trying to make a fashion statement here Thursday at the Big Ten football media assembly; nor was he showing his solidarity for Northwestern with his color selection and coordination.

It just looked that way, much to his dismay.

"No matter which color I picked, it was going to be somebody else's,'' he said.

Originally he was planning on going with a scarlet shirt. But he decided that matching scarlet with his grey suit -- Ohio State colors -- would have constituted more of a wardrobe malfunction. So he went with the purple and the bow tie, a personal first.

"I looked at it (a bow tie) and I said, 'Why not try it?''' he explained.

That might also be the best explanation for his name change.

Ball would prefer to be Mon-TAY instead of Mon-TEE.

"That's the actual pronunciation of my name,'' he pointed out.

Ball revealed his preference prior to last year's Heisman Trophy ceremonies in New York City.

But he backed off it then, and he didn't make a big deal out of it.

As far as he's concerned, it still isn't a big deal.

"I guess some reporters asked how I wanted to be called and I was thinking to myself since that's my actual name, let's go with Mon-TAY,'' he said.

None of his teammates have gotten into the habit yet of calling him Mon-TAY.

"But my girlfriend calls me Mon-TAY and now so do all of her friends,'' Ball said.

What does his mom call him?

"Junior,'' he said.

That eliminates any potential for some household confusion since he was named after his dad, Montee, Sr. That aside, there's no issue with calling him a Heisman finalist since he was one last season. Plus, he also ranks as one of one this season's Heisman frontrunners, since he's the leading returning vote-getter.

ESPN's Desmond Howard, who won the 1991 Heisman at Michigan, fielded some questions on Ball here Thursday. What's the best advice he could give to Ball going into his senior year?

"Take it game by game and don't pay attention to the hype,'' Howard said. "I think the best thing for Montee is that he went through it last year, so he kind of understands what the hype is all about.''

Howard has a high regard for Ball's make-up.

"His mentality is what has made him who he is today -- just the fact that he lost the weight and came back in better shape because he wanted to be the best he could be,'' he said. "That's what starts to separate good and great players, the mentality; not just the physical attributes but where you are mentally.''

During the morning media session, Ball got the chance to do a radio interview with another former Heisman winner, Ohio State's Eddie George, who won the award in 1995. "That was neat, that was shocking,'' Ball said. "Just looking at him and listening to him, I was thinking about all the things that he's done. It was incredible to be around him.''

Ball has tried to keep his own Heisman candidacy in perspective.

"It feels great being one of the leading candidates for the Heisman,'' he said. "But I'm just really looking forward to having another great season with the team because without the team's success I'm not going to be there (in the Heisman running).

"So I just have to make sure we practice hard and play hard and win our games so I can get my own personal goals; but most importantly we can win another Big Ten championship.''

Is there more pressure given the Heisman expectations?

"Actually, no,'' said Ball who paused and admitted, "Yeah to be honest there's a little bit (of pressure). But it's nothing that I'm too worried about because I know what I'm capable of doing if I stay healthy.

"I know I have the right mindset to go out there and practice as hard as I can and play as hard as I can. That's the only things that I can control.''

Ball estimated that about 50 percent of the questions that he received during the television interviews Thursday were about the pronunciation of his first name; the other 50 percent were about his decision to return for his senior year at Wisconsin.

"I was taught to never regret my decisions,'' he said. "I still support the decision that I made and I'm really grateful and happy that I came back because I'm enjoying myself. This is my last year in college football and I'm going to make sure that I have a really great year.''

Mo's Olympic Journal: Training camp opens in Germany

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Photo: Home away from home in the Olympic Village

By Mohammed Ahmed


Hello again Badger fans! Greetings from Kamen, Germany.

The last afternoon and night (July 23rd) at the Olympic Village was filled with great memories. At mid afternoon we went over to the Canadian fitting area to get fitted on our gear, and to say we are spoiled is an understatement. We got to try on 26 different pairs of items that did not include the gear Athletics Canada gives us. All in all, we have tons of gear and I won't be needing to use any of my normal clothes I brought with me!

I went for my run at Victory Park  and I had couple of joggers attempt to drop me, but they got denied once I started running at six-minute per mile pace. I did some float-around 200s at the practice track afterwards and I got to meet legendary Somalian 1500-meter runner and 1987 world champion Abdi Bile sitting at the side of the track.

Afterwards, I went to Westfield Mall and met up with my good friend and former training partner, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Sophie, who were vacationing in the area. It was great seeing some familiar faces to make me feel like home in London.  

I did not have a great sleep the last night there because I woke up to the practice fireworks for the opening ceremonies at midnight and could not fall back to sleep. How inconsiderate, London (LOL)! The little sleep made the trip to Germany hard because I was sleepy.
 
We got into Kamen, Germany, yesterday afternoon after an eight-hour travel day. After two hours of relaxing I went out for my run with Cam Levins, who will be racing with me in the 10K and also racing the 5K afterwards. I went for a 75-minute run and did a little pick-up in the middle of the run and it felt really good.

After the run, I came back to my room and passed out almost as soon as I got back. I slept nine hours, which was really good, but after a disastrous sleep the night before and the journey over to Germany I expected it. I forced myself to get up at around 8 local time, though I could have used couple more hours of sleep, and went for a 30 minute jog.

Waking up early in the morning and jogging gets me to acclimate quicker to the time change. Afterwards, I ate my breakfast, checked out the facilities and relaxed in my huge room.

The set up we have here in Kamen is phenomenal, we are at the "Kamen Sport Center" and we have everything we can ever need at our convenience. We have a world-class medical team (doctor, physio-therapists, massage therapists, etc.), other staff, coaches and training facilities (the track is a two-minute walk from the residence, and we have great trail system a seven-minute jog away).

With such a great setup I should be able to train hard and get fit to take on the best in the world.

I am off to do my first workout session since last Saturday, hopefully it flushes me out of the jet lag I am feeling

Mohammed Ahmed

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 1 vs No. 16

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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The final matchup of the first round is finally here and pits two big games against each other. The 1st seed is Wisconsin's first-ever NCAA Championship, a 3-0 shutout against Minnesota on March 26, 2006. The 16th-seed features the Badgers' NCAA attendance record breaking Fill The Bowl game on January 28, 2012, when UW beat Bemidji State 1-0 in a hard fought defensive battle.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Friday, July 27, before the quarterfinals begin.

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No. 1 - 2006 National Championship (March 26, 2006)

National Champions!


Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wisconsin women's hockey program won its first NCAA championship with a 3-0 victory over two-time defending champion Minnesota in the title game at Mariucci Arena.

When time had run out, the Badgers poured onto the ice and celebrated together with the championship trophy. There were hugs and "high-fives" all around at the bench area and on the ice as the UW Band played away and a strong contingent of Badger fans voiced their approval.

The Badgers got a pair of goals from sophomore Jinelle Zaugg, another from senior Grace Hutchins and a stellar performance from 2006 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and freshman netminder Jessie Vetter to knock off the rival-Golden Gophers for a fifth time this season. Each team fired 10 shots on goal in the first period before the Golden Gophers outshot the Badgers 21-9 the rest of the way, including a 14-4 edge in the third period. Vetter, however, was equal to the task.


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No. 16 - 2012 Fill The Bowl vs Bemidji State (January 28, 2012)

Badgers break NCAA attendance record in 1-0 win


Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- Hilary Knight scored the game-winning goal in the third period in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Kohl Center on Saturday night. In their third annual Fill the Bowl game, the Badgers set the new NCAA single-game attendance record, as 12,402 fans watched Wisconsin shut out Bemidji State in the 1-0 game.

The game started off fast, mirroring the previous night's game. The two teams continued the back-and-forth play, each finding good opportunities on the goal. Wisconsin tested BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova firing 18 shots on the net in the first period alone. Despite the even play, the Badgers had a shot at the lead early in the second period when Madison Packer found the back of the net on a breakaway play. However, the goal was overturned as play had stopped in result to Tomcikova's mask coming off prior to the shot

Brittany Ammerman set up the eventual game-winner for the Badgers as she battled for control of the puck in the corner before getting it out to Knight, who was sitting on the goal line to the right of Tomcikova. Knight found an opening and fired the puck five-hole for the first and only goal of the game. Alex Rigby came up big once again for Wisconsin making 28 saves in the team's eighth shutout of the season.

Mo's Olympic Journal: Welcome to London

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Mohammed Ahmed will compete for his native Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Before he runs in the men's 10,000 meters on Aug. 4, Ahmed will provide regular updates on his travels for UWBadgers.com.

By Mohammed Ahmed

Hello Badger Fans! Greetings from London.

I got to London safely after a decently long travel day on Saturday. I flew from Madison to Chicago and then straight to London. The flight did not feel too long because I was passed out after an hour in the air and didn't wake up until an hour before landing time.

The travel to the Olympic Village was surprisingly long, though. After landing at 11 a.m., I did not get into the village until two hours later. The bus took forever and we had to go through several checkpoints for security. The security is intense and, every time we leave the village, we have to get checked again and we have to have our accreditation pass on us at all times.  

The village is really nice. It feels like I am at campus with so many athletes walking around. After arrival to the village I got set up at my room and I tried to get accustomed to the cell phone they gave us and meet my teammates. I tried sleeping a little, but I could not fall asleep, so I went for my run with the lads.

I went for a 50-minute run with Alex Genest (steeplechaser) and Nate Brannen (1500 meters) and then did some strides at the practice track (by the way, the track felt super fast and it is a similar surface to what we should be competing on). I slept really well last night and I don't feel too bad walking around today (Monday), so hopefully I should be accustomed to the time change soon enough.

I fly out Tuesday morning to Germany for a pre-Olympic training camp and will be coming back to London on Aug. 1. I won't participate on the Opening Ceremony, which is a little sad, but I should have a lot of fun hanging out with the best Canadian runners and some Germans.

I will try to get another post to you guys once I am in Germany.

Until then,
Mohammed Ahmed


Greatest Games Bracket: No. 2 vs No. 15

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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The first round of the Greatest Game Bracket is starting to wind down, with only two matchups left. The second-seeded game is the 2007 NCAA championship game, in which the Badgers defeated Minnesota Duluth 4-1 in Lake Placid, N.Y. At No. 15 is the 2011 Fill The Bowl game against Minnesota. The Badgers used an NCAA record crowd to gain an early lead and eventual win over Minnesota.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Wednesday morning, July 25, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 2 - 2007 National Championship (March 18, 2007)

Badgers repeat as NCAA champs!


Box Score

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Four different Badgers scored as the No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team defeated Minnesota Duluth, 4-1, Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Frozen Four championship game at Herb Brooks Arena to claim the team's second straight NCAA title.

In the opening period, Jinelle Zaugg scored Wisconsin's first goal on a power play opportunity. Three skaters tallied goals in the second frame for UW including: Erika Lawler, Sara Bauer and Jasmine Giles.

Wisconsin doubled its lead early in the second period when Lawler slipped a shot underneath UMD goalie Kim Martin from the bottom of the left circle. Freshman Meghan Duggan and Bauer each earned assists on Lawler's 10th goal of the season. The Badgers went up 3-0 on the Bulldogs at the 11:56 mark of the second. Bauer snapped a shot into the upper right corner of the net above Martin's glove hand for her 24th goal of the year.

Minnesota Duluth got on the board less than three minutes later when Emmanuelle Blais tipped a shot from the point by Noemie Marin past Jessie Vetter. The power-play goal snapped a 422 minute and 36 second shutout streak for the Badgers in NCAA tournament play. However, it took UW just 10 seconds to respond to UMD's goal as Lawler got a breakaway off of the ensuing faceoff. Martin made the initial save, but Giles was there to flip the puck over her on the rebound, giving the Badgers a 4-1 advantage.


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No. 15 - 2011 Fill The Bowl vs Minnesota (Jan. 29, 2011)

Badgers drop Gophers, 3-1, before 10,668 fans


Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- No. 1 Wisconsin set a new NCAA women's hockey attendance record when 10,668 fans watched the Badgers earn a 3-1 win over No. 4 Minnesota in the Fill the Bowl game Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

Saturday night's game saw sophomore Brianna Decker score her ninth game-winning goal of the season to lead Wisconsin past the Gophers and extend UW's unbeaten streak to 14 games. Decker's tally also broke the UW program record for most game-winning goals in a single season.

The Badgers used the momentum they gained from the record-breaking crowd to jump out to an early lead against Minnesota. Junior Hilary Knight put Wisconsin on the board just 47seconds into the game, beating Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty stick-side for the goal. Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead later in the period on Decker's eventual game-winner, her second short-handed goal of the year.

Minnesota scored its lone goal of the night at the 4:42 mark of the second period, also on the penalty kill. UW would regained the two-goal lead with 8:07 left to play in the second frame as junior Carolyne Prevost scored on Wisconsin's fourth power-play opportunity of the game.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 3 vs No. 14

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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It's a goaltender duel in the No. 3 vs. No. 14 pairing. Coming in at No. 3 is the 2009 National Championship game that saw the then-senior Jessie Vetter turn away 37-shots in a shutout effort to close out her storied career. Wisconsin's first starting goaltender, Jackie MacMillan, is the main showcase in the 14 seed, as MacMillan made 47 saves in the program's first win against both a ranked opponent and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Monday morning, July 23, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 3 - 200 9 National Championship (March 22, 2009)

National champs again!


Box Score

BOSTON -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team has done it again! Head coach Mark Johnson's top-seeded Badgers secured their third NCAA title in four years with a 5-0 victory over No. 3 seed Mercyhurst in the NCAA championship game at Agganis Arena Sunday afternoon

When the final horn sounded, the Badgers converged on goaltender Jessie Vetter as sticks and gloves went flying into the air. The senior goaltender was terrific as she turned away a career high-tying 37 shots to earn her NCAA-record 39th career shutout and 14th this season, also an NCAA record.

Brooke Ammerman tucked in the game's first goal to the left of Mercyhurst goaltender Hillary Pattenden 5:28 into the second stanza. Meghan Duggan then knocked in a rebound at 8:48 for a 2-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Angie Keseley scored on a beautiful give-and-go from Erika Lawler at 10:38.

Wisconsin added a pair of third period goals, as well. Malee Windmeier scored just her second goal of the season at 3:26, while Hilary Knight put away her nation-leading and school-record 45th tally of the season to close the scoring at 5:38.


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No. 14 - First win against Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 20, 2000)

Women's hockey stuns No. 3 Minnesota Duluth


Box Score

DULUTH, Minn. -- The University of Wisconsin earned its first win over a ranked opponent on Friday when it knocked off third-ranked Minnesota Duluth, 4-2, at the DECC. Jackie MacMillan stopped 47 shots and Michelle Sikich scored the game-winner and added an assist, as the Badgers led from the midway point of the first period on.

The Badgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on a pair of power-play goals. The first came when Meghan Hunter roofed a shot over UMD goaltender Tuula Puputti at the 9:38 mark. Sis Paulsen scored the second at 14:15 of the first. Sikich hit Paulsen in the right slot, who slipped the puck just under Puputti's pad for the goal.

After Minnesota Duluth scored their first goal at 15:26, UW had an answer less than three minutes later when Sikich converted a rebound on Kelly Kegley's wrap-around attempt. The Bulldogs took just 28 seconds in the third period to cut UW's 3-1 lead to one with a tally on a player-advantage. Once again the Badgers had an answer, as Steph Millar deflected a Paulsen slap shot taken from the top of the right circle.

MacMillan stopped 18 shots in the first, 14 in the second and 15 more in the third period to improve her season mark to a perfect 3-0-0.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 4 vs No. 13

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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The No. 4 vs. No. 13 matchup features the first of four national championship games. Coming in at No. 4 is the 2011 National Championship game that saw the Badgers down Boston University 4-1. At No. 13 is the first hockey game to be played at Camp Randall Stadium and, at the time, set the NCAA single-game attendance record.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Saturday morning, July 21, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 4 - 2011 National Championship (March 20, 2011)

National champion Badgers bring home fourth crown!


Box Score

ERIE, Pa. -- The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team won its fourth national championship in six years on Sunday as the Badgers defeated Boston University, 4-1, at Tullio Arena in front of 3,956 fans.

Despite UW outshooting BU 10-4 in the first period, the teams remained locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes. The Badgers finally put one past BU goaltender Kerrin Sperry at the 2:25 mark of the second period when Carolyne Prevost redirected a shot from the point to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead.

Wisconsin then took a 2-0 lead with 4:26 remaining in the middle frame when junior Brooke Ammerman converted the eventual game-winner on the power play. With just 3:23 remaining, the Badgers extended their lead back to two. Junior Hilary Knight gained control of the puck and took it into the zone, firing a shot at Sperry. The rebound popped loose, and a streaking Mallory Deluce buried it.

The Terriers pulled Sperry immediately following Deluce's goal and again with 2:33 to go. BU fired five shots, including two stopped by Alex Rigsby, before Prevost secured the victory and national championship with an empty-net goal at 19:42.


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No. 13 - Camp Randall Hockey Classic (Feb. 6, 2010)

Badgers freeze Beavers in 6-1 outdoor victory


Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team defeated the Bemidji State Beavers, 6-1, in the first-ever Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic on Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers played in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 8,263 fans in the second-ever women's hockey outdoor showdown.

Sophomore Carolyne Prevost scored the first goal in Camp Randall history at the 16:53 mark when she broke away from the Bemidji State defense and backhanded it in to put the Badgers up 1-0. The Badgers kept up the pressure on the Beavers, outshooting Bemidji 13-2 in the first 20 minutes of play. At the close of the second frame, with the Badgers leading 4-0, Wisconsin dominated the shot chart 29-6.

Kelly Nash finished the contest with a career-high four points, scoring a goal and tallying three assists. The Badgers dominated offensively, outshooting the Beavers 42-13. Freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger finished with 13 saves in net for Wisconsin, and Alana McElhinney recorded 36 for BSU.

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 5 vs No. 12

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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Today's No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup continues the trend of great overtime games. Coming in at No. 5 is the infamous four-overtime win against Harvard on March 10, 2007 as the Badgers earned their second-consecutive trip to the Frozen Four. The 12th-seeded game features the Badgers' overtime win in the NCAA quarterfinals vs. Minnesota, earning their third-straight trip to the Frozen Four.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Thursday morning, July 19, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 5 - Four OT win against Harvard (March 10, 2007)

Zaugg's goal lifts UW over Harvard in 4 OTs

Box Score

MADISON, Wis. -- It took over 120 minutes of scoreless hockey, but junior Jinelle Zaugg's goal at 7:09 into the fourth overtime vaulted Wisconsin past Harvard 1-0 and into the NCAA Frozen Four. Saturday night's game ranks as the second longest game in NCAA history.

The Eagle River, Wis., native scored her 26th goal of the season at the 127:09 mark of the contest and was assisted by senior Sara Bauer and sophomore Alycia Matthews. Bauer passed from the left circle across the front of the goal to an open Zaugg who one-timed it over goalie Brittany Martin's shoulder for the game-winner.

The Badgers played their final game in Madison for the 2007 season in front of a Kohl Center women's hockey record-setting crowd of 5,125. This tally also ranks as the second largest college women's hockey crowd since the NCAA sponsored the sport in 2000-01 behind a 5,167 crowd at the 2003 championship game in Duluth, Minn., when Minnesota Duluth skated to a 4-3 double overtime win over Harvard.

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No. 12 - NCAA quarterfinal OT win vs Minnesota (March 15, 2008)

Deluce sends Badgers to Frozen Four

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- Led by goals from three freshman, including the game-winner 1:29 into overtime by Mallory Deluce, the No. 4/5 Wisconsin women's hockey team outlasted No. 5/4 Minnesota 3-2 Saturday night at Ridder Arena in an NCAA quarterfinal.

Kelly Nash and Hilary Knight each scored in regulation as the two-time defending NCAA champion Badgers advanced to the Frozen Four, held March 20 and 22 in Duluth, Minn., for the third straight season.








Greatest Games Bracket: No. 6 vs No. 11

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

Today's No. 6 vs. No. 11 pits two OT thrillers against each other. The 6th seed is the OT WCHA Championship win against arch rival Minnesota on March 5, 2011 as the Badgers earned their fourth WCHA tournament title. The 11th-seeded game features the Badgers' WCHA OT Semifinal win against UMD on March 5, 2005.

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Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Tuesday morning, July 17, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 6 - 2011 WCHA championship game OT win vs Minnesota (March 5, 2011)

Nash's OT tally gives Badgers WCHA Final Face-Off crown


Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- Senior Kelly Nash scored the game-winning goal in overtime after the top-ranked Badgers overcame 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to defeat No. 3 Minnesota, 5-4, and earn their fourth Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title.

Wisconsin trailed 4-2 heading into the third period and used goals by freshman Madison Packer and senior Meghan Duggan to tie it at 4-4 with 3:15 to play.

It took 14:11 of overtime action before the Badgers sealed the 2011 WCHA Final Face-off crown, but Nash solved Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty off a feed from senior Geena Prough to give UW its only lead of the game.

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No. 11 - 2005 WCHA semifinal overtime win vs UMD (March 5, 2005)

Overtime goal by Cole gives Badgers a shot at WCHA title


Box Score

MIINEAPOLIS -- The No. 3 Wisconsin women's hockey advanced to the 2005 WCHA Championship game after a thrilling overtime goal was scored by junior forward Sharon Cole two minutes and 34 seconds into the overtime period. The 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis was the fifth meeting for the Badgers and Minnesota Duluth.

After 2:34 of intense overtime action, Lindsay Macy pushed the puck out of the corner to Sara Bauer. Patient with the puck, Bauer allowed Cole to get into position before lacing the puck through the UMD defender's skate and stick for Cole to shoot past Schaublin on the low left side. The goal extended Cole's point streak to 10 games as well as giving the team a 10-game winning streak.





Butch, Taylor shine in NBA Summer League finales

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Four Badgers will compete in the 2012 NBA Summer League, with the hopes of earning an invitation to an NBA training camp this coming fall. Brian Butch, Marcus Landry, Kammron Taylor and recent graduate Jordan Taylor will look to showcase their talents in front of numerous NBA scouts and GMs during the five-game, two-week slate, which is set to begin Friday, July 13th at the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

Taylor ended his NBA Summer League experience with an eight-point, four-assist, three-rebound performance in the Hawks' 84-78 loss to the Portland Trailblazers Thursday night. Taylor garnered his first and only start in his final summer league contest, finishing the five game stretch with averages of 5.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds, including a 3.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Despite a 2-3 record in the summer league, Taylor's strong, consistent play during the five games bodes well as GMs evaluate the participants heading into training camp this fall.

Schedule (All times CT):
Game 1: Atlanta 102, Washington 82 - 17 mins, 7 pts, 1 stl, 1 ast, 1 TO 
Game 2: Atlanta 76, San Antonio 82 - 11 mins, 3 pts, 2 ast, 1 TO
Game 3: Atlanta 69, Boston 87 - 20 mins, 4 pts, 5 ast, 6 reb, 0 TO
Game 4: Atlanta 67, Dallas 61 - 16 mins, 7 pts, 2 ast, 3 rebs, 1 TO
Game 5: Atlanta 78, Portland 84 - 25 mins, 8 pts, 4 ast, 3 rebs, 1 TO
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Brian Butch (2004-08) - Milwaukee Bucks 
In his NBA Summer League finale, Butch garnered the most minutes off of the bench (18) and tallied nine points (4-for-8, 50.0 percent), eight rebounds and two blocked shots in the Bucks', 113-68, thrashing of the Chicago Bulls. Butch, who has spent time in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, also showed his stroke from beyond the arc, going 1-for-2 (50.0 percent) from three-point range. After his final contest, Butch averaged 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds through three NBA Summer League games played. His previous experience, as well as his strong play toward the end of the summer league slate, bodes well for the former Badger heading into the evaluation period just before NBA training camp kicks off this fall.

Schedule (All times CT):
Game 1: Milwaukee 76, New Orleans 68 - 10 mins, 4 pts, 2 rebs
Game 4: Milwaukee 88, Boston 87 - 9 mins, 2 pts, 5 rebs, 1 blk
Game 5: Milwaukee 113, Chicago 68 - 18 mins, 9 pts, 8 rebs, 2 blks
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landry_suns_square.jpgMarcus Landry (2006-09) - Phoenix Suns 
Landry has made the most of his time in the 2012 NBA Summer League and did not disappoint in the Suns' final game, posting a 15-point effort in Phoenix's, 96-87, summer league finale victory over Memphis. In 25 minutes played, the former Badger went 5-for-10 (50.0 percent) from the field, including a 2-for-6 (33.3 percent) performance from beyond the arc. Landry finished the summer league averaging 12.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting nearly 40.0 percent from three-point range. Landry scored in double-figures all five games and was one of the most consistent free agents of the summer league. He will hope to see that consistency result in an invite to an NBA training camp this fall.

Schedule (All times CT):
Game 1: Phoenix 99, New York 74 - 20 mins, 12 pts, 5 rebs, 1 stl
Game 2: Phoenix 74, Cleveland 89 - 19 mins, 11 pts, 3 rebs
Game 3: Phoenix 61, New Orleans 78 - 28 mins, 11 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast
Game 4: Phoenix 75, NBA D-League 89 - 12 mins, 6 pts, 0 rebs, 0 ast
Game 5: Phoenix 96, Memphis 87 - 25 mins, 15 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast
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Kammron Taylor (2004-07) - Minnesota Timberwolves
Taylor was the final Badger to finish his summer league experience, tallying 15 points, three assists and three rebounds in the T'Wolves', 97-91, win over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night. Taylor got the start, going 5-for-8 (62.5 percent) from the field, and knocked down the game-clinching free throws, finishing 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) from the stripe. After seeing action in four of Minnesota's five summer league games, Taylor ended with averages of 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists, tallying highs in points (15) and assists (3) in his final game. 

Schedule (All times CT):
Game 1: Minnesota 73, LA Clippers 64 - 14 mins, 2 pts, 2 ast, 4 reb 
Game 3: Minnesota 78, Cleveland 65 - 18 mins, 12 pts, 2 ast, 3 rebs
Game 4: Minnesota 86, D-League 78 - 21 mins, 11 pts, 2 ast, 1 reb
Game 5: Minnesota 97, Memphis 91 - 22 mins, 15 pts, 3 ast, 3 rebs

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 7 vs No. 10

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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Just like the last matchup, today's No. 7 vs. No. 10 pairing features two more milestones for the women's hockey program. The 7th seed is the first WCHA championship win against Minnesota on March 12, 2006. The 10th-seeded game features the Badgers' first-ever advance to the WCHA Championship game after defeating the eventual national champions Minnesota-Duluth on March 8, 2002.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Sunday, July 15, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 7 - First WCHA Championship (March 12, 2006)

Wisconsin wins WCHA Championship


Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team earned its first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Avenging last season's championship loss, the Badgers downed Minnesota, 4-1, with three power-play goals.

In the first, semifinal star Cyndy Kenyon scored on the first power play, finishing a slick tic-tac-toe at 5:14 from Sara Bauer and Meaghan Mikkelson. Minnesota responded midway through the period at 12:15 when a crowd in the crease was enough to push UW goalie Meghan Horras, and the puck, over the goal line. Allie Sanchez was credited with the Gophers' only goal.

The fourth and final goal was scored by Mikkelson whose shot sliced through traffic just five seconds into a power play. Captain Sharon Cole and junior Bauer marked assists. Bauer closed out the weekend with eight points and was named the tournament MVP.

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No. 10 - UW advances to first-ever WCHA Championship game (March 18, 2002)

Women's hockey advances to championship game


Box Score

BLAINE, Minn. -- The Wisconsin women's hockey team improved to 15-2-0 since the start of 2002 and advanced to its first WCHA Women's Final Five Championship Game with a 4-1 victory over No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth at Fogerty Arena.

Forward Karen Rickard put the Badgers ahead at 4:20 of the first period on a spectacular effort backhanded goal. Meghan Hunter extended the lead for the Badgers with a power-play empty-net goal at 11:11. The Badgers grabbed a 3-0 lead at 5:35 of the second period with a goal from Sis Paulsen coming straight out of the penalty box.

Despite a Minnesota-Duluth goal late in the second, Wisconsin regained its three-goal lead early in the third period when Jackie Friesen scored her seventh of the season. MacMillan and the Badger defense was stellar as the Badgers won their third consecutive game against the defending NCAA Champion Bulldogs.
MBB_practice 032.jpgWhen the NCAA granted college basketball coaches the opportunity for two hours of structured practice time per week during the two-month summer school window, there was the suspicion that some players might go "Iverson" and react to the news like Allen Iverson might have reacted: "We're sitting here talkin' about practice? Not a game, not a game. We're talking about practice, man?"

Wisconsin senior Jared Berggren grinned at the thought of it all.

"Practice?" he confessed, mimicking Iverson's voice inflexion. "That's exactly what I said."

UW junior Josh Gasser had a similar confession.

"My first reaction," he said, "was, 'What are we going to do?'"

We're gonna practice; we're talkin' about two hours of practice each week.

"The summer," Gasser said, "has always been kind of nice for doing your own thing."

But all of that has changed and Berggren and Gasser really aren't complaining.

On the contrary, they both endorse the new NCAA landscape for men's hoops.

Since the start of summer school, the Badgers have been practicing two hours every Tuesday.

"By having it (practice) once a week I think is perfect," Gasser said. "We play in open gym throughout the week but you get a little higher intensity of play now (with the coaches present); this elevates it up a notch. I think it's going to help us individually and as a team."

Without directly mentioning freshmen Sam Dekker and Zak Showalter, he added, "For the younger guys, they'll get to learn more quickly. Coming in the fall, it won't be as big of a shock to them when we start practice. They'll have a better idea of what's going on."

As a true freshman, Gasser started 30 games without the benefit of organized summer practices. In retrospect, he said, "It would have been nice to have from the standpoint of mentally getting used to the rules defensively and to the kinds of sets that we run offensively (at Wisconsin)."

The additional coaching structure is also bound to help a redshirt freshman like George Marshall, who'll be competing for minutes at the point guard position vacated by Jordan Taylor. Last season, Marshall worked exclusively on the scout team; manning up daily against Taylor in practice.

What are the benefits to the two hours of weekly instruction in June and July?

"I think the cohesiveness of the team comes together a little bit sooner," Marshall said. "You get a better feel for the coaches and the coaches get a better feel for you. If there's anything that needs fixing or you need to work on, you know earlier as opposed to waiting until the fall or the season."

Berggren recalled getting a "heads-up" on the changes from the basketball team's strength coach Scott Hettenbach who had to redesign his summer conditioning program since the two hours of practice time are coming out of the eight hours that were previously budgeted for training.

As a result, Hettenbach has put an even greater emphasis on quality over quantity. "With two less hours in the weight room," Gasser said, "we get in and we get out.  It's more high-quality work - fast and intense - and we still get the same amount of stuff done as we had in the past."

During those two hours on the court, Berggren said, "We knew that it was going to be different but we didn't know what to expect coming into it. In talking to the assistants, there was the thought that we would kind of do what we do in the spring and fall and that's more individual work.

"But we've done mostly team stuff - four-on-four; five-on-five - which is good. It's more game-like because you have coaches instructing you. Sometimes you can get into bad habits in open gym. This keeps everyone playing hard and we get to see who's coming along in the summer.

"For the freshmen, they can start getting doses of coaching in their ear; learning what they've got to do without being overwhelmed when we start going six days a week with our real practices. It gives them a taste early-on so they know what to expect and it will definitely speed along the process."

Along with the Tuesday practice, the open gym scrimmages are still critical to player development. "But Wednesdays are completely open now and that's kind of nice," Berggren said. "It's good to get in the gym on your own and get shots up and work on some individual skill stuff."

In this context, each player has his own needs.

"For me, it's the same thing every off-season," said Berggren. "I try to get stronger, quicker, more athletic. I try to get in better shape and I try to put on some muscle and lose some body fat."

Marshall is working "on my leadership and making the right reads" while continuing "to take my game to the next level" by making plays during the practices "and making my teammates better."

Being more of a leader is also on Gasser's radar. "I've played more minutes of game time than anyone on the team," he said, "so even though I'm a junior, I have to show some leadership out there."

As seniors, Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans will be expected to carry more of the burden in terms of their own accountability and leadership, especially with Taylor gone.

"We know that we have to be a little more vocal and take on a bigger leadership role," Berggren said. "We've all done that in our own ways this past spring and throughout the summer.

"It is different because it is our last chance. I've talked to Ryan about it - how this is kind of why we took the redshirt (as freshman). This is what it's all for now. We both recognize that."

There's something that Marshall has recognized, too. "Having leaders who are already established," he said of the UW's upperclassmen, "makes my transition a little easier."

Marshall hasn't forgotten some of the things that Taylor taught him. "He just said always play hard and always listen," he recounted. "My role is to do whatever it takes to help the team win."

Regarding that transition, Berggren observed, "George just needs game experience and these practices are the closest you can really get in the summer. It's better than just playing pick-up games."

The weekly two-hour practices not only keep an open line of communication between the coaches and the players during the summer, but it's another step in the team-building process.

"You can kind of see who's going to fit in where and who's competing for what minutes," Berggren said. "It's good to see guys battling like that already and it's only July."

Is there any chance for burnout with the extra practices? "No, not at all," Gasser said. "If we weren't doing this we'd be in here anyway working on our own game or playing in open gym."

Given the UW's returning personnel, and team strengths, the NCAA changes to the summer calendar couldn't have been more timely. "Guys need to find their roles," Gasser said. "And we've got a lot of guys who can play. We're probably deeper this year than we have been in the past."

Berggren was on the same page. "I think the sky is the limit for this team," he said. "We have four out of five starters coming back and a lot of guys off the bench who are all fighting for playing time. Everyone is hungry and looking to prove something. We have very high goals for ourselves."
NBA-Summer-League_banner.jpgNBA Summer League Scores/Schedules

Four Badgers will compete in the 2012 NBA Summer League, with the hopes of earning an invitation to an NBA training camp this coming fall. Brian Butch, Marcus Landry, Kammron Taylor and recent graduate Jordan Taylor will look to showcase their talents in front of numerous NBA scouts and GMs during the five-game, two-week slate, which is set to begin Friday, July 13th at the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

NBA TV will televise all 60 games, including 39 live from both the Thomas & Mack Center and COX Pavilion in Las Vegas. Games will also be available online at NBA.com.

Brian Butch (2004-08) - Milwaukee Bucks
If there is one thing for certain regarding Butch and his NBA career, it is that he is persistent. After ending his last two NBA Summer League experiences earlier than expected due to injury, Butch returns looking to make up for time lost. Following graduation, the Appleton, Wis., native began his professional career in China before leaving for the Greek League later that season.

Butch eventually landed with the NBDL's Bakersfield Jam, serving as the team's starting center and earning a spot on the D-League Western Conference All-Star team. The 7-footer also spent time with the Denver Nuggets before returning to the Jam in 2010.

Schedule (All time CT):
Monday, July 16: Milwaukee vs. New Orleans (9:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 18: Milwaukee vs. Washington (3 p.m.)
Thursday, July 19: Milwaukee vs. NBA D-League (9 p.m.)
Saturday, July 21: Milwaukee vs. Boston (9:30 p.m.)
Sunday, July 22: Milwaukee vs. Chicago (3 p.m.)

Marcus Landry (2006-09) - Phoenix Suns
Landry began his NBA career as an undrafted free agent, earning an invite to the New York Knicks training camp and a spot on their 15-man roster at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. After being traded to Boston later in the season, the Celtics assigned Landry to the Maine Red Claws of the NBDL for the remainder of the season. Landry later spent time with the D-League's Reno Bighorns, teaming up with current New York Knick, Jeremy Lin. The Milwaukee, Wis., native spent last season playing in France for the BCM Gravelines.

Schedule (All time CT):
Sunday, July 15: Phoenix vs. New York (3 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 17: Phoenix vs. Cleveland (7:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 18: Phoenix vs. New Orleans (7:30 p.m.)
Friday, July 20: Phoenix vs. NBA D-League (9 p.m.)
Saturday, July 21:
Phoenix vs. Memphis (9 p.m.)

Jordan Taylor (2009-2012) - Atlanta Hawks
After concluding a polished career with the Badgers that included earning All-America mention in consecutive years, Taylor begins his pro career with the Atlanta Hawks summer league organization. An undrafted free agent, Taylor earned numerous summer league offers, choosing to sign with the Hawks. Taylor will try to impress GMs at this week's summer league in the hopes of beginning his professional career at the highest level of basketball.

Schedule (All time CT):
Friday, July 13: Atlanta vs. Washington (3 p.m.)
Sunday, July 15: Atlanta vs. San Antonio (7 p.m.)
Monday, May 16: Atlanta vs. Boston (3 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 18: Atlanta vs. Dallas (7 p.m.)
Thursday, July 19: Atlanta vs. Portland (5 p.m.)

Kammron Taylor (2004-07) - Minnesota Timberwolves
Taylor returns to the U.S. after spending this past season in Ukraine where he averaged 14.6 points and 3.6 assists. The former second-team All-Big Ten honoree enjoyed stints in France, Hungary, Turkey and Spain following his UW career and now the Minneapolis native will look to build his NBA stock while playing for his hometown team.

Schedule (All times CT):
Monday, July 16:
Minnesota vs. LA Clippers (9 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 17: Minnesota vs. Charlotte (9:30 p.m.)
Thursday, July 19: Minnesota vs. Cleveland (7 p.m.)
Saturday, July 21: Minnesota vs. NBA D-League (7 p.m.)
Sunday, July 22: Minnesota vs. Memphis (7 p.m.)
Mike Eaves used two words - "emotional energizer'' to punctuate his thoughts on the topic. Was the UW men's hockey coach addressing A) the 13-year, $98 million contracts that Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signed with the Minnesota Wild; B) the Hockey City Classic pitting the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers at Chicago's historic Soldier Field in February; C) his anticipation level for the 2012-2013 season; the school's final one in the WCHA; or D) the completion of the La Bahn Arena.

In spirit alone, Eaves was speaking to "all of the above'' upon returning to his Kohl Center office Monday following his annual summer pilgrimage to Montana. While he was vacationing, two of his former pupils - Parise and Suter - scored huge NHL free agent contracts. Eaves coached Parise and Suter, who skated one season at Wisconsin before turning pro with the Nashville Predators, to gold medals in the World Under-18 Championships in 2002 and the World Junior Championship in 2004.

"I guess that I was a little surprised that they both went to the same team,'' said Eaves, a member of the Minnesota North Stars during his NHL playing days in the early '80s. "There was a little bit of a rumor about that (happening) but there were a lot of teams that had their foot in the door and really wanted them. I think it's great for Minnesota. They (the Wild) are now starting to put some fundamental pieces together and getting closer to being a championship team.''

Reflecting on Suter's growth, Eaves cited his comfort level on the ice and said "It was like, 'This is what he was meant to do.' It's like when you watch someone and right away you're drawn to him because they have this special presence. It's their control, their skill, their ability. It's like watching Celine Dion on stage. They talk about having a stage presence. Ryan Suter has this ice presence, if you will.''

The special players share many of the same defining characteristics, Eaves added. That would include another notable free agent defenseman with an "ice presence'' - Justin Schultz, who skipped his final year of eligibility at Wisconsin and recently signed with the Edmonton Oilers. "It's a young team and he can grow up with them,'' Eaves said. "He's going to have a chance to play right away.''

It has been a busy and profitable off-season free agent market for former UW players. Adam Burish has been reunited with his old teammate and roommate, Joe Pavelski, with the San Jose Sharks. Burish signed a four-year, $7.2 million deal.  "He's a piece of the puzzle that people recognize they need to have,'' Eaves said. "He's a winner. You need that type of person to accept his role and excel in it.''

So what has been Wisconsin's role in grooming so many NHL-ready players?

"People ask about that, 'What are you doing (right) there?''' Eaves said. "First of all, we've gotten top-notch young men and they have a lot of things that we don't teach. Secondly, the coaches we've had here are good teachers and played at that (pro) level and can give them insight. And we have a total program with the things we do off-ice with the strength coaches that we've had like Jim Snider.

"There are some real good things here that are being combined with their natural abilities. There are about four or five programs that have quite a few of their former players in the NHL. And we're one of them, so it does get noticed ... our formula or ideal to win at this level is about excellence. The Navy Seals have a great saying, 'The way you do anything is the way you do everything.'''

That quest for excellence extends to all corners of a successful hockey program and beyond. That quest drives Eaves, too, particularly coming off a season in which the Badgers failed to make the NCAA tournament. "We didn't get in, because we ran out of games,'' he said. "At the end of the year, we could beat anybody and nobody wanted to play us because we were coming into our own.''

Youth was served. Growing pains were plentiful. But Eaves is confident that the returning core of players learned their lessons and benefited from the orientation, however rude at times. "We knew that we were going to be young,'' Eaves said. "Then you get on the ice and you go, 'Whoa.' That's when reality hits ... (but) we started something at the end of the year and morphed into a team that believed.
   
"We're moving in the right direction.''
   
One of the highlights of the upcoming season will be Wisconsin's appearance in the Hockey City Classic that will be staged Feb. 17 at Chicago's Soldier Field. The Badgers will play Minnesota in one half of the doubleheader with Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio) matching up in the other game.
   
"It's an emotional energizer,'' Eaves said Monday.
   
Especially for two of his players who are Chicago-area products.
   
Frankie Simonelli is from Bensenville and Michael Mersch is from Park Ridge.
   
"I'm sure they're already talking to their teammates about getting extra tickets,'' Eaves said.

This will mark the third time that the Badgers have taken part in an outdoor game.

"People ask me all the time, 'Why are you doing that?''' Eaves said. "We have one of the longest seasons in college athletics. At that time of year - kind of the dog days of February - we get to do something that is unique and special to bring the energy back into the season.''
   
That energy manifests itself whenever Eaves looks out his office window at the adjacent La Bahn Arena, which will house a practice facility for the men's program and serve as home ice for the Badger women. The project has many other amenities, like new locker rooms.
 
"There's nothing like it in the country,'' he said proudly.
   
Jumping out of his chair, Eaves all but pressed his nose against the glass.

"From the very first day (of the construction), we've found ourselves doing this in the morning; just watching like a little kid might,'' he said. "Wait 'til you walk into that arena. You'll go, 'Wow. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?' This is the final jewel in the crown that we call this hockey program.''

Greatest Games Bracket: No. 8 vs No. 9

The storied history of Wisconsin women's hockey is filled with memorable games, but which one is the best of all time? This summer, we're going to determine the greatest Wisconsin women's hockey game and we're putting it to a vote. A total of 16 games will be paired off bracket-style and a new matchup will appear every-other day for fan voting on the UW Women's Hockey Facebook page.

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Today's No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup features two milestones for the women's hockey program. The 8th seed is the double-OT win against Mercyhurst on March 18, 2006 as the Badgers earned their first trip to the Frozen Four. The 9th-seeded game features the Badgers' first win against arch rival Minnesota and a third-place finish at the WCHA Championship on March 10, 2001.

Below are the recaps and box scores from the two games. To cast your vote, head over to the women's hockey Facebook page and select your choice in the corresponding fan poll. The votes will be tallied and a winner declared on Friday, July 13, before the next matchup is announced.

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No. 8 - First NCAA tournament win (March 18, 2006)

Wisconsin advances to Frozen Four after double-OT thriller


MADISON, Wis. -- Tia Hanson tipped in the winning goal in double overtime to give the No. 2 Badgers a 2-1 advantage over No. 7 Mercyhurst in the women's ice hockey NCAA regional game. Playing 90:10 it was the longest game on record for UW. The Badgers advanced to the Frozen Four to face St. Lawrence in its first trip to the finals.

The Lakers jumped to a 1-0 lead 9:06 into the game, but Wisconsin responded with a goal less than five minutes later when junior Bobbi-Jo Slusar scored on a power-play slap shot from the blue line. 

Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter and Mercyhurst goalie Laura Hosier were unfazed entering the second overtime period, both stopping every puck thrown at them. Halfway through the second overtime, Wisconsin finally broke the puck through Mercyhurst's defense. From above the right circle, Badger junior Kristin Witting sliced the puck in the direction of the net. A tip by Hanson snuck the puck around Hosier's right skate to end the night's hockey action.


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No. 9 - First win against Minnesota & Third Place at WCHA tournament (March 10, 2001)

Badgers defeats No. 3 Minnesota to earn third at WCHA Championship


ROCHESTER, Minn. - The seventh-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team overcame three one-goal deficits to win the third-place game at the WCHA Women's Championship over third-ranked Minnesota. Steph Millar scored the game-winning goal midway through the third to give the Badgers the win.

Millar tallied what would be the game-winner for her ninth of the season. Sis Paulsen pinched deep along the boards, skated behind the net with the puck and made a feed to Hunter in front. The puck went off Hunter's stick to Millar in the slot, who buried the wrist shot.

Minnesota had a chance to tie on a Badger power play at about 11 minutes of the third period. Clarke stole the puck at her own blue like and skated in alone against MacMillan. The sophomore stuck out the left pad to keep the lead for Wisconsin.

Lucas at Large: Heat doesn't slow Badgers' summer schedule

FB_110806_Herbert_Ben.jpgCamp Randall Stadium's new FieldTurf surface is more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and physically forgiving to the legs than the old rug, which was first installed nine years ago. But on a blazing hot day -- when the temperature is soaring above 100 degrees -- it can still radiate heat like a griddle.

Not that UW football strength coach Ben Herbert minds.

"I think the heat is a great thing,'' he said Thursday with a mischievous grin.

The summer conditioning phase of Wisconsin's out-of-season program began on June 4 in what turned out to be an unseasonably hot and dry month. July has brought more of the same -- more heat and more humidity (and little or no rain). Madison has registered nine straight days in which the temperature has reached 90 or above, including the last two days, which have topped 100.

"Your radar is obviously on high alert to make sure you're really dialed in,'' Herbert said. "We're always like that, but you just want to make sure because of the heat. Our Sports Medicine staffers, Mike (Moll) and Patrick (Whitley), do a great job of watching the guys and seeing where they're at. At any point, if they need to step aside and take a breather, they fully understand that's what they need to do.''

Herbert likes to talk about athletes "being comfortable when you're uncomfortable'' during training. But there are limits, and his approach reflects that on a daily basis. "There are always times where you have to give some external motivation to really bring the best out of them,'' he said. "But if a guy is having trouble tolerating something, we don't approach it as, 'You're soft, you're mentally weak.'''

Herbert believes in building up players.

"Our guys have a clear understanding,'' he said, "that if there's something they're exposed to, and it makes them feel a certain way -- just something is not right -- they need to take the needed steps to get right mentally and physically. Be smart with how you feel and understand where you're at.''

The Badgers have been in a very good spot -- to Herbert's thinking -- since early June.

"Our guys came back ready to work from Day One and they're excited,'' Herbert said.

Last weekend marked the halfway point of the eight-week summer phase.

Reflecting on the results, Herbert said, "We really did hit the ground running.''

The Fourth of July, in this context, was significant to Herbert for only one reason.

"We treated it as a normal training day,'' he said.

That meant four different groups trained at 6:30 a.m. and 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

"For being as hot as it was, they tolerated it extremely well,'' Herbert said.

Besides a weight room session, there was over an hour of sprint work on the new turf.

"The guys love it,'' Herbert said. "It looks great and it feels good to their body and legs.''

An impish grin reappeared on his face.

"Because of the softer surface,'' he said, "the (blocking) sleds are a little heavier (to push).

"They don't slide quite as easily as they did before -- which I don't mind.''

After one more sizzling hot day, the temperature is expected to drop into the 80s this weekend.

"We address it as needed,'' Herbert said, "and we've had no guys with issues.''

If someone is struggling, he stressed, "We put him in the best situation health-wise.''

Speaking to the bottom line, Herbert went on, "We're going to get the work in we need.''

But everybody is going to be smart about it.

"If there are things they can't tolerate,'' he said, "we'll obviously back off accordingly.''

Despite the record-setting heat, the Badgers have continued to make positive gains.

"That,'' he said of July 4th, "was as good of a day as we've had all summer.''

Training under such conditions has its advantages.

"From a preparation standpoint, this is outstanding,'' said Herbert, a former UW defensive player. "I've been in a couple of training camps that were like dreams -- 60 to 70 degrees. But they're few and far apart. Usually it's between 80 and 85. This year has been unique. August is going to be hot and once they put the pads and helmet on they will be better acclimated to tolerate the heat.''

That's when the players will be forced to make some adjustments.

"When you put that helmet on, it changes everything,'' Herbert said. "The majority of heat that escapes from your body is through the top of your head. When you trap that heat with a plastic shell, it changes the dynamic of how your body must tolerate that heat. From a heat acclimation standpoint, it would be outstanding if we could prepare them with their helmets on (in June and July).''

Regarding changes in NCAA legislation, he conceded, "I fully understand and agree why it is the way it is. But maybe at some point down the line they could understand how it would be beneficial.''

Herbert was speaking Thursday from his new office. The weight room has been relocated from the basement of the McClain Facility to its footprint under the stands in the north end of Camp Randall. For now, Herbert is sharing some space with the makeshift training and equipment rooms.

"I wouldn't even say there has been an adjustment,'' he said of the ongoing construction.

That's noteworthy considering the players have been shuffled to a temporary locker room area in the stadium -- space once used by Badger football teams in the '70s and 80s -- while the old room is being remodeled in McClain. "It has been as smooth as it could possibly be,'' Herbert observed.

"It has been as seamless of a transition as I could have ever hoped for. We're excited about the temporary space and some of the things that we've been able to do. And it excites you that much more knowing what it's going to be like when it's done. It will be unbelievable.''

Give the new weight room some time to evolve, he suggested, and it will develop a personality.

"No doubt,'' Herbert said. "That was one of the things that I realized was going to be different because of all the sweat and sacrifice and just the aura that the old space had in McClain. The guys liked to grind in there.

"The new setup has no frills. It's not the prettiest you've ever seen. But it sets up well and it's very conducive to putting in the work that we need to put in. The guys have responded well.

"It's definitely already taken on an identity of its own.''

Achievements of the Year: Badgers are NCAA runner-up

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While losing in the national championship game usually ends the season on a bitter note, the Wisconsin women's hockey team had one of its strongest seasons to date.

The Badgers posted a 23-3-2-1 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, claiming their fourth conference title in program history.

After nearly duplicating last year's success in the WCHA regular season, Wisconsin advanced to the 2012 national collegiate title game, but fell to Minnesota by a score of 4-2.

The Badgers and Gophers scored a combined five goals in the first period to open the game. Wisconsin was on the short end of the opening frame and started the second period with a 3-2 deficit. Both team's defenses buckled-down in the second as neither team could find the back of the net. In the third period the Badgers out-shot the Gophers 20-9. However, Minnesota would be the one to tally a goal, as the Gophers went on to win.

The day before the national championship game, junior forward Brianna Decker was named the recipient of the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the best player in women's hockey. Decker was also named the WCHA's Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors after leading the nation with 37 goals.

Senior Hilary Knight capped off a remarkable career at UW, setting nearly every offensive record in program history. She owns eight separate career records in: points (262), goals (161), game-winning goals (30), power-play goals (37), short-handed goals (8), shots (986), plus/minus (+167) and hat tricks (9).

Sophomore netminder Alex Rigsby also had a fantastic season. Playing in all 40 games, Rigsby broke the school record for most saves in a season, stopping 1044 of 1100 shots on net. Her 1,044 saves was the most made by a single netminder in the nation during the season. Her .949 save percentage was second-best in the nation and ranked third all-time at UW for highest single-season save percentage.

As a team the Badgers had the best penalty-kill unit and fourth-best power play in the nation.

Wisconsin also lead the nation in attendance, averaging 1,856 fans per game in 40 games and boasted the best home attendance in the nation with 2,689 fans per game.


Achievements of the Year: Softball ties wins record with 34

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Over the course of two weeks, UW Athletics will look back on the Badgers' biggest accomplishments during the 2011-12 season.

Timely hitting, including a home run by Karla Powell, led the Wisconsin softball team to its first-ever win over Nebraska on May 11. The win snapped the Huskers' 16-game home win streak and earned the Badgers their 34th victory of the season, tying the UW school record set in 2000.

Wisconsin's 19 losses in 2012 were the fewest in school history and its .641 winning percentage was a program best.

The Badgers also set a new mark in the record books with their 12th Big Ten win of the season against Purdue on April 28, earning the most league wins in program history. Win No. 13 came against Nebraska, as the Badgers finished the year with a 13-10 record in league play.

The Badgers' success earned them a school-record-tying four student-athletes on All-Big Ten teams, including a pair of first team selections. Second baseman Whitney Massey earned a place on the NFCA All-Great Lake Region first team after finishing the season with a school record 22 doubles and a team-best .358 batting average.

MBB_120703_Butch_Brian.jpgGiven his own personal odyssey in professional basketball, Brian Butch is more than willing to share some of his experiences with another former UW player, Jordan Taylor, who's just embarking on the journey. What would be the first thing he would tell him? "Buckle-up, it's a great roller-coaster,'' he said. "Honestly, he just needs to know that it's a job now.''

The 27-year-old Butch stands to be much more than just a sounding board to Taylor, 22. He's also set to become an NBA Summer League teammate. Butch and Taylor have agreed to play for the Atlanta Hawks' entry in Las Vegas; marking the first intersection of their playing careers. "It will be nice to see a familiar face,'' Taylor said. "But at the end of the day, you have to go out and play ball.''

Both are walking into the unknown from the standpoint of what Atlanta's roster might look like at the end of the summer. The Hawks have reportedly not only traded Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets, but they've unloaded Marvin Williams to Utah for the expiring contract of Devin Harris, the No. 5 selection in the 2004 draft, and another former Badger point guard.

Reports have Atlanta positioning itself for a run at Orlando's Dwight Howard, the No. 1 overall pick in '04. The only certainty is that the Hawks' new general manager, Danny Ferry, is shaking things up. At the start of the week, Atlanta had only six players under contract. That is subject to dramatic change with the pending Johnson and Williams transactions that can't be consummated officially until July 11.

"It's July,'' Taylor said, "and a lot of things could change between now and October.''

Atlanta is offering Taylor and Butch access to a stage where they show what they can do.

"It's an opportunity,'' Butch said. "All you need is a chance.''

Resiliency also helps.

"There are going to be ups and downs,'' Butch acknowledged. "Even in the Summer League, there are going to be days when the coaches think you're great and there are going to be days when the coaches think you're horrible. You have to be ready for everything.''

Speaking directly to what Taylor needs to learn, Butch said, "The biggest thing is that he has to be confident in what he does best -- that's take care of the basketball and create for others. If he does that, he can make his way on to a team. There's no doubt that he can play in the league.

"What's the difference between guys who make it, and don't? It's opportunity, it's staying healthy and it's timing. If he (Jordan) gets into the right situation, there's no reason that he can't be the third point guard or even the second guard for someone (in the NBA).

"Everyone is so good at this level, the separation between what makes a guy stick, and what doesn't, isn't much. It's all about the fit and the timing. Everybody knows what you can and can't do.

"I can shoot the ball, but can I rebound? Jordan can take care of the ball, but can he distribute?''

MBB_120703_Taylor_Jordan.jpgTaylor is counting on answering some questions in the Summer League; a small window of five games in seven days. Milwaukee and Cleveland each offered a roster slot. Why the Hawks? Taylor didn't even work out for Atlanta prior to the draft. "It's more of an impulse thing,'' he said.

It wasn't like he studied the various rosters and determined that Hawks were the most guard-needy. "At this point, there's going to be competition everywhere you go,'' he said, "so you can't really try to duck and dodge (better players) or hand pick a place where you don't think they have any guards.''

It's more about the playing opportunity than the team affiliation, too. "The nice thing about being undrafted,'' Taylor said, "is that if I play well in the Summer League, maybe I'll have a chance to get invited to a lot of different training camps as opposed to just one (if he had been drafted).''

Asked whether Wesley Matthews could be utilized as a model -- Matthews was an undrafted free agent out of Marquette who used the Summer League as a stepping stone to his NBA career -- Taylor said, "It shows that it's not impossible. My goal is still attainable, still reachable. It might be a little tougher, it might be a little harder route this way (as a free agent) but it's not impossible.''

Taking the lead from UW coach Bo Ryan -- a huge fan of the movie "Dum and Dumber'' -- Taylor alluded to the exchange between Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Mary Swanson (Lauren Holley).

Upon inquiring what were the chances that he could wind up with a girl like her, she responded, "Not good.'' He countered, "You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?'' She replied, "I'd say more like one out of a million.'' After a pause, he shot back, "So you're telling me there's a chance?''

Opined Taylor of his Summer League audition and NBA dream, "As long as there's a chance ...''

Butch can relate, especially after the injury setbacks that he has endured and overcome. After keeping his career alive overseas, bouncing from China to Germany to Greece, Butch used the NBA Developmental League as a springboard to a roster spot with the Denver Nuggets.

But in early July of 2010, Butch dislocated his left patellar tendon while playing for the Nuggets in a Summer League game against the Lakers. After months and months of rehab, Butch went to training camp with the New Orleans Hornets and tore his MCL, which put him on the sidelines again. After more rehab, he joined Bakersfield (Calif.) in the D-League and let the team in scoring over the final 21 games.

"I don't know if you're ever left with a good taste playing in the D-League,'' he admitted. "But that was huge -- as far as confidence -- and what I needed to do. I feel good right now. I'm in great shape. I've changed my diet. I've changed my training a little bit. I've done everything I could do for this.

"Do my knees hurt? Yeah, they hurt. But it's about as good as they're going to feel and it's not like a 'bad' hurt. It's just more of, 'You're getting old' type feeling. The frustrating thing is that I have to be in the Summer League again. But I understand that because I've been hurt so many times.

"Hopefully I'll play a lot in the Summer League, and play well, and that leads to a training camp invitation wherever. Hopefully it's Atlanta. But if not, hopefully it will be to a camp somewhere. I've got to play really well so people can see that I'm healthy again.''

The window, he conceded, is beginning to close. So what keeps him going? Maybe it's the realization that former UW teammate Greg Stiemsma kept grinding overseas and at the lower levels of competition until finally catching a break. The Boston Celtics were short on "bigs'' and he filled the void.

"As you can see with Greg,'' said Butch, "it's a matter of what you do with that timing.''

What else is driving Butch?

"I'm just stubborn,'' he said. "I'm going to decide when I'm done on my terms. It's not going to be because my knees don't let me do something. When push comes to shove, I still love the game of basketball. I'll deal with all the BS because I love the game. It's that simple.''

Butch knows that some NBA general managers may do a double-take when they spot his name on Atlanta's roster for the Summer League. "They'll be thinking, 'What is Butch still doing this for?''' he said. "It's just who I am, and what I do. I want to play at the top level and I know that I'm good enough.''

Butch and his wife, Megan, will soon be celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary. The couple purchased a home in Neenah, Wis., to be close to family.  "I've told her, 'If I was a little better player or a little worse player, our life would be a lot easier,'' he said. "But I am what I am. We're stuck with it.''

If he doesn't make the NBA in the next two years, Butch said, "I can go overseas and still make a good living.'' But he agreed to play in the Summer League "to try and reach my goals and dreams.''

Not unlike the timetable that Taylor has set for himself. "At this level,'' Taylor said, "you have to take everything in stride and remember it's nothing personal.''

 He's a quick study.

Achievements of the Year: Badgers head back to Sweet 16

MBB_120703_NCAA_Celebration.jpg

For the first time in program history, the Badgers made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16.

Fourth-seeded Wisconsin entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament having tallied the third-most victories in school history and coming one game short of grabbing a share of the Big Ten regular-season crown.

After cruising past Montana, the only thing standing in the way of the Badgers and a return trip to the Round of 16 were the fourth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores, the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament champions.

After holding the SEC's two leading scorers, John Jenkins (20.1) and Jeffrey Taylor (16.3), to below-average performances, the Badgers marched on to Boston and the Sweet 16, where they would tip-off with Syracuse, the East Region's top-seeded team.

Wisconsin defeated Montana, 73-49, in the second round of the NCAA tournament at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., before holding off Vanderbilt, 60-57, and earning a trip to its second-consecutive Sweet 16.

Despite a valiant effort from the Badgers, including 14-made three-point baskets, UW fell to Syracuse, 64-63, in one of the most thrilling games of the entire 2012 NCAA Tournament.



ON WISCONSIN