Hey Badger fans,
This past weekend was full of firsts for the Badgers. It was our first series at home, Ann Renee Desbiens recorded her first shutout of the season, Maddie Rolfes made her Badger debut, and Baylee Wellhausen and Annie Pankowski both scored their first collegiate goals. And to top that all off we clinched our first home series sweep.
The success started during Thursdays practice when Sydney McKibbon showcased her million dollar hands and won the shootout showdown for the second week in a row. We came off to a strong start on Friday night and continued that momentum through the weekend to play six solid periods of hockey. There was a ton of special teams work and we were able to score on our power plays while stopping all of our oppositions.
This week we're looking to improve and prepare for our border battle against the Gophers this weekend. But first up today is Canadian Thanksgiving, so on behalf of everyone with the UW women's hockey team let me offer a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends and family. I hope everyone enjoys their day and their turkey! Until next time!
If you want my opinion Thursdays are so underrated. How could you possibly not love a Thursday, especially if that said Thursday happens to be the day before our home opener.. Now if that doesn't excite you then I don't know what will!
Although our season officially started two weeks ago in Lindenwood, there's no place like home and we've been buzzing all week in preparation for our games this weekend. We've been putting in work on the ice and in the gym everyday this week so I asked forward Erica Sowchuk to talk about our preparation.
"Practices having been going great," Sowchuk said. "Each week we step on the ice we are looking better than the week before, which is exactly what we want. Having the momentum from our sweep last weekend should give us an edge when we face off against Ohio State!"
I also talked with senior forward Katy Josephs, who's appeared in her fair share of home openers.
"I'm feeling really good about tomorrow night," Josephs said. "We had a great week of practice as a team and everyone has really been putting in extra work and effort for when the puck drops on Friday. I'm so excited to be back playing at home infront of our own fans and experience the energy of LaBahn again! It should be a great weekend."
It's been a great week thus far over here on our end and we're looking forward to keeping the success rolling and ending off the week with a few wins. See you all this weekend!
Happy Monday Badger Fans!
This weekend we traveled up to Minnesota Duluth to play the No. 10 Bulldogs. After our long bus ride we went straight to business and started practice. As per road trip traditions, we finished off practice with a shootout competition. Sydney McKibbon made it look easy (sorry goalies!) as she dangled and sniped and then celebrated as she came out this weekend's shootout winner (watch it here). As per road trip tradition #2, she got to pick who would be serenading the team and staff at pre-game meal on Friday. Lauren Williams turned out to be the chosen one and gave an impressive, tear-jerking performance of "Drops of Jupiter."
Keeping up with great traditions, as I mentioned last week, it's an absolutely amazing feeling to put on the Wisconsin jersey. Last weekend in Duluth, freshman Emily Clark got to experience it for the first time.
"Going into my first weekend of games as a Badger I felt nothing but excitement," Clark said. "I couldn't wait to be able to wear the 'W' with all my teammates. I was very anxious to put the jersey on for the first time. Once I had it on it was hard not to smile"
After a hard fought battle and a great team effort on Friday night we were able to keep the momentum going into Saturday's game and sweep the Bulldogs in their own arena and take six points home. We had stellar performances across the board as Ann-Renee held up between the pipes, our defense didn't let anyone by them and every forward line was firing shift after shift.
The two wins bring us to 4-0 on the season which feels great as we look forward to this weekend when we have our home opener against Ohio State. It's been an incredibly long seven months since the LaBahn was packed and I can't wait until Friday night because I have no doubt it'll be bumping in there. After all, we have the best fans in the nation! Until next time!
Last week I was in Canada with four of my teammates at the Hockey Canada National Women's Fall Team Festival. We were split up onto three teams and we played a few games and had a few practices over the course of the week. We were playing with quite a few Olympians from the 2014 Winter Olympics which was a lot of fun and an incredible experience. However, I'm so excited to be back.
This week has been pretty successful coming off our series sweep in Lindenwood. We had a lot of players put up multi-point games and Jorie Walters recorded her first career shutout. We had Karley Sylvester claim WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors and Annie Pankowski winning WCHA Rookie of the Week award. We had a very productive week of practices and workouts, setting up systems and getting into the flow of things now that we have a full roster.
This weekend were headed to Minnesota Duluth for our first round of conference games. We're on the road right now and will practice at their rink tonight. Then tomorrow and it's finally gameday! There's no feeling like rocking the "W" on your chest. I can't wait to put that jersey on and start my sophomore season! Talk to you soon!
Hey Badger Fans!
Katy Harding here again as the Badgers are off to a great start coming off a weekend sweep against the Lindenwood Lady Lions!
The first goal of the 2014-2015 season came from senior forward Karley Sylvester in her first shift of the game! Goaltender Megan Miller also played her first game as a Badger in Lindenwood, while junior goaltender Jorie Walters earned her first shutout as a Badger during the second game.
Junior defenseman Courtney Burke was able to tell me her thoughts about the series and her thoughts on what she is expecting from the team in Duluth next weekend.
"I think we played really well as a team this weekend even though we were missing a big chunk of our team. Everyone stepped up to the plate, and I'm excited to get back with the whole team on Monday and prepare for Duluth."
Burke also had nothing but nice things to say about Baylee Wellhausen's performance.
"She started the weekend off strong with her vocal performance Friday afternoon before the game," Burke said. "On the ice she was playing very fast and strong. I think she will keep improving over the course of the season and end up being a big asset for our team."
It was a great weekend for all on the team and we are looking forward to this weeks practices and begin preparing for our next series against Minnesota Duluth!
I would also like to thank Sarah Nurse for letting me take over this blog for the week and write to all of you amazing fans! She'll be back this week and will tell us how her trip to Hockey Canada's Fall Festival went!
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: