Hey Badger Fans,
It has been a crazy stretch of days for the team, as we traveled to Minnesota for the WCHA Final Face-Off for a battle with North Dakota. The team came up short as we fell 1-0 in Friday night's match up, but we were able to walk away from the weekend with a few positives. There were a handful of awards that recognized various players on our team for their play this season, awarded Thursday night at a banquet where the last four teams standing gathered for about an hour. Following the banquet the team headed back to the hotel and got some rest in preparation for the big game.
The game did not go as we had hoped, and we were sent home early from the tournament, but a last minute kick in the teeth was a big wake up call for our team heading into the NCAA Tournament. The team got together Sunday and had a little meeting to get us ready for the week ahead, and to talk out what the group needs to do in order to find success moving forward. I think the meeting went well and the team is in a good place, ready to do work and bring our best hockey to LaBahn this weekend.
After the meeting the team hit the ice for a little practice, and then the gym for a workout. Following the workout we gathered together in the team video room to watch the selection show where we learned that we will be hosting Harvard this weekend, Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The team is excited at the opportunity to play a new opponent, a team no one on the current roster has ever played, and we are very fortunate to have earned a home seed for the first round. Over the past few weeks the team has learned that playoffs are a grind, and no one will go down easy, and that is our mentality moving forward. We plan to work harder than we have all season this next week in order to find success Saturday night and hope to have a great home crowd gathered to cheer us on.
Harvard is a talented group who has had a great deal of success this season on the East Coast, but as I have said numerous times before the work ethic of this Badger squad is unlike anything I have ever been a part of and we are hungrier than ever after having our weekend cut short up in Bemidji.
This week will be one that focuses on systems, teamwork, and doing the little things in order to be successful. We have worked well as a unit up until this point, and know what we are capable of when we show up as a group, and that is the mentality we are bringing to the rink everyday to prepare for the weekend. The team had a rest and recovery day Monday to get our bodies back into the best possible mode to go to work this week, and we are all healthy and feeling strong.
Check back in later this week to get reactions from players about hosting Harvard, and to hear some thoughts from my teammates about what to expect heading into the biggest weekend of the season.
Until next time, thanks for reading, and On Wisconsin!