Hey Badger Fans!
I hope that you've all have had a great week but am I right in saying that thank goodness it's Friday! This past weekend we were quite busy; on Saturday we hosted Badgerville before the football game which was a ton of fun. We were able to meet a lot of you and hopefully you enjoyed seeing us as much as we enjoyed seeing you!
On Sunday, the Ironman race took over Madison. For those of you who don't know, the Ironman is a triathlon, combining a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike race, and a 26 mile run to the finish. In past years our entire coaching staff (Coach Johnson, Friesen, and Koch) have all claimed the Ironman title and this year our Director of Hockey Operations, Paul Hickman (who's completed the Ironman far too many times to count), and our former Badger teammate, Madison Packer, were the ones up to the challenge. Now I'm obviously no Ironman, and in fact, they had finished their swim and most of their bike ride before I'd even eaten lunch, so I asked Madison to tell me about her overall experience this weekend:
"I woke up at 5 a.m. with my mom, got all of my stuff together and headed over to the bike and changing area just to do one last check, making sure that I had everything," Packer said. "I pumped up my tires on my bike and then I put my wet suit on and headed down with my mom to meet Paul and some friends and family at the lake. That was kind of when it all really set in because you're standing there with thousands of other people waiting to get in the water and it was a little nerve racking. Once I got in my mom and I wished each other luck and we actually swam about the first 50 yards with each other before we got separated. The swim was tough but I calmed down after about ten minutes and just started focused on finishing and getting out of the water."
"After the swim you have to run up a helix by the water and rush to get changed into your bike stuff which was pretty hectic. I got out there and was lucky because I kind of knew what to expect going out on the course because I had ridden it a few times. The bike course is really tough with lots of hills so that was a mental battle, but there was a ton of crowd support and having teammates out there was a motivator. The worst part for me and what I dreaded most was the run, but I just took it one step at a time, literally. At that point your body is kind of in shock, it's like okay is this really happening!? But I saw my teammates everywhere and people ran along side me so that was a huge help.
"For me it was a big accomplishment to cross the finish line, especially since my teammates were there supporting me throughout the day and then they were there to see me finish. It was also pretty special because it was something I trained with Paul and my mom for all summer and so to be able to hug my mom when I got across the finish line it was incredible. I actually got a little emotional just because the whole race was far more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge for me, and so to keep going and then finally get across the line when I thought a number of times during the day that there was no way that I could make it was pretty cool. They also had some really good snacks on the run course so that was just a bonus!"
Most of us were around during the day keeping track of Paul and Madison and going to cheer them on at different points of the race but of course we were all anticipating watching them cross the finish line and Sydney McKibbon definitely summed up how the team was feeling.
"To see Madison finish the Ironman and cross the finish line was amazing," McKibbon said. "She had a huge smile on her face and we were there to cheer her on throughout the race and at the finish line. It was nice to see that all of her hard work and the training that she put in finally paid off. Being at the Ironman was an indescribable feeling and it really puts into perspective how hard you can push yourself and the true limits of your body. I think Madison really pushed herself these last 5 months and she really did an outstanding job!"
We are all incredibly proud of Madison and Paul for their amazing accomplishments and you know here at Wisconsin we take #NoDaysOff so of course they were both back at the LaBahn on Monday morning to see us!
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!
A graphical look at the Badgers' 37-3 win over Western Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday:
Anyone and everyone has taken part recently in the internet movement that quickly became viral. Odds are good that you yourself were nominated and/or decided to join the charitable craze. Participants are tasked with declaring a donation to the ALS Association to help fight the deadly disease, then pour a bucket of ice water over their head and are allowed to nominate or call out others to do the same.
Below are just some of the many entries from current and former student-athletes, coaches and members of Wisconsin Athletics that chose to take part and donate.
Hey everyone! I'm Sarah Nurse and I'm very excited to be taking over the blog for Madison Packer this year!
A few quick things about me: I'm a sophomore from Canada, a mashed potatoes fanatic and I just happen to be Beyonce's biggest fan.
I spent my first summer in Madison with a majority of my teammates as we all took summer classes. Despite having to take classes, we were able to find ways to let loose and have a ton of fun. For my first Fourth of July in the U.S., a handful of us made the trip up to Madison Packer's cottage to celebrate Independence Day where we spent the weekend on the lake waterskiing, paddle boarding and tubing. A few weeks later, a group travelled to Eau Claire for a massive country concert that had an incredible lineup of some of our team's favorite artists. Overall, it was great to spend eight weeks with a lot of my fellow Badgers and we all are looking forward to the upcoming season.
The past few weeks I spent time with the Canadian U-22 team in Calgary, as we had a team camp for two weeks and then we played the U.S. U-22 team in a three-game series. It was cool to play in the series with fellow Badgers Blayre Turnbull, Mellissa Channell, Emily Clark, Ann-Renee Desbiens, Annie Pankowski and Alex Rigsby.
Until next time!
It might have been a hot weekend in Madison, but seven Badgers spent the weekend on the ice in Calgary, Alberta, as the U.S. U-22 team faced Canada in a three-game series to cap off the summer.
The U.S. had the upper hand, defeating Canada 2-1 on Thursday, 6-0 on Friday and 3-2 on Sunday.
Former UW goaltender Alex Rigsby stood out in the series, as she won both games she started and earned a 6-0 shutout win over Canada in the second game of the series. Rigsby had a goals-against average of 0.50, a save percentage of .971 and had a shutout in Team USA's 6-0 win on Saturday night.
The lone goal that Rigsby gave up in the series came thanks to Canada's Blayre Turnbull, as the Badgers' captain beat her former teammate on a 2-on-1 rush to score her first goal as a member of the national team.
"It was great to get my first goal but it would have been better to get a win," Turnbull said.
Incoming freshman Annie Pankowski, a member of last year's U.S. national team, recorded two assists while appearing on the team's top-line.
"With the start of the new four-year cycle, we had a fresh start to really set the tone on how USA Hockey was going to play," Pankowski said. "As a team, I think we had an awesome weekend and it really showed what an extremely talented pool of players the United States has."
Despite giving up four goals in the first period to the U.S. in Game 2, Ann-Renee Desbiens bounced back in the final game, as the UW sophomore had a shut out until the final few minutes and made several acrobatic saves to keep Canada in the contest.
Fellow sophomores Sarah Nurse and Mellissa Channell also suited up Canada during the series. Nurse played alongside Turnbull on Canada's top forward line, while Channell looked solid on Canada's blue line.
Emily Clark rounded out the UW quintet on Team Canada, as the freshman appeared on Canada's second line.
Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson attended the series in Calgary, Alberta, and was pleased how his Wisconsin players performed.
"They all played pretty well," Johnson said. "To me, one of the positives is the exposure to the training camp and the things that they take away that can help them in their development. The biggest thing is the confidence factor, as they made it through camp, through the cuts, and were able to play in a highly-competitive series.
"It should be a big confidence booster for the kids as they make their way back to Madison and get ready for our season."
"Overall it was a great experience," Turnbull said. "I learned a lot from the coaches and other players that hopefully I will be able to bring back to school and share with my Badger teammates."
I hope all are enjoying the sunshine of summer, and excited for the upcoming hockey season. With the off-season winding down and coming to an end, it is time to unveil the next blogger for the Badger women's hockey team. It is my honor to pass the torch to the one and only, witty yet serious, top-shelf seeking phenom, commonly known as Sarah Nurse.
Thank you to all fans and family who followed the blog and helped make it a success, now it is up to Nurse to fill the void...I am a tough act to follow folks so cut her some slack!
Best of luck to the Badgers in this upcoming season, and be sure to follow Sarah Nurse as she records and reports all that takes place on the ice and behind the scenes with the team!
One final time, thanks for reading and On Wisconsin!
Thursday night's U.S./Canada U-22 game had a Badger flair, as former UW netminder Alex Rigsby stopped 26 of the 27 shots she faced to help the U.S. to a 2-1 win in Calgary, Alberta.
The lone goal that Rigsby gave up came from current UW senior Blayre Turnbull, who scored on a 2-on-1 rush. The tally marked Turnbull's first goal in a Canadian jersey.
Annie Pankowski assisted on Team USA's first goal as Dana Trivigno lit the lamp to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Shlann Darkangelo added a goal in the second period for the U.S. before Turnbull cut the U.S. lead in half midway through the final period.
Canada's Emerance Maschmeyer took the loss in net as she saved 22 of the 24 shots she faced.
The two teams meet again on Friday in a 4 p.m. (CT) contest that can be seen on FastHockey.com.
It's still camping season for the Badgers, as eight members of the Wisconsin women's hockey team are participating at U.S. and Canadian camps as the two countries prepare to meet in a three-game series later this month.
Canadians Mellissa Channell, Emily Clark, Ann-Renee Desbiens, Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull have been in Calgary, Alberta, for a few days now at Canada's National Women's Development Team selection camp. The quintet is among a group of 42 athletes competing for 22 spots on the team that will face the U.S. U-22 team on Aug. 21-24.
In the first intrasquad scrimmage, Nurse tallied the game-winning goal to give Team Yellow a 3-1 win over Team Blue. Nurse's goal game early in the second period as she beat Team Blue netminder Ali Binnington from the top of the circle.
Clark assisted on Team Blue's lone goal, which came five minutes into the second period.
Desbiens made 14 saves while allowing only one goal in 28 minutes, 31 seconds played. Her save percentage of .933 was second among the four goaltenders that suited up in the game.
The two teams will meet on Friday and Saturday before the camp ends on Sunday.
In Lake Placid, New York, Badgers Courtney Burke and Annie Pankowski, along with former UW netminder Alex Rigsby, arrived at the Olympic Center for the 2014 U.S. Women's National Festival. The event features 69 players and staff, and will be used to select the U.S. U-18 team and the U-22 team that will face Canada.
During the first day of camp, the players conducted on-and off-ice strength and conditioning tests and met with Reagan Carey, director of women's hockey for USA hockey.
After morning practices on Wednesday, Team Blue, which features Burke and Pankowski, will face Team White in the afternoon. Rigsby and the rest of the invited goaltenders will rotate between the two teams.