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Packer's Perspective: It's Playoff Time

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Hey Badger Fans!

It has been a while since the last post, and a lot has happened for the Badger squad. First, I would like to thank all those who came out and supported the team as we played in front of 13,573 fans at Fill the Bowl. It was a great experience to shatter the attendance record once again, and it was an honor for the senior class to be able to do it in the Kohl Center in front of our home fans where our journey began back four years ago.

Last weekend the team was in Mankato. There was a bad storm that hit up in Minnesota Thursday afternoon, so we loaded the bus up late Wednesday night and got in to Mankato at about 2 in the morning on Thursday. The team was able to sleep in before we headed over as a group to Applebee's to watch the USA and Canada Olympic Women's Hockey Gold Medal Game. There was quite the tension between the Canadians and Americans around the tables, but it was a hard fought game, and we are proud of all our Badger alumni regardless of the outcome. It was a fun atmosphere and a great way to bond as a team. After the game we made our way over to the rink for a practice, before returning back to the hotel for dinner.

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Friday morning the team woke up had a team skate and then watched another battle between USA and Canada, this time it was the men's hockey teams squaring off. Again, the Canadians were the happier group leaving the room, but it was again a fun experience for the team. Our game that night was a hard fought battle, and we came out on top 5-1. The team came out fast and battled from the start and we were happy to get the first win on the road, not to mention the two textbook breakaway goals back to back that were scored by Blayre Turnbull (oh and both were short handed!).

Saturday morning we woke up and watched the men's bronze medal game. After the game we got some coffee as a team, watched film to improve from the night before. The team had one goal in mind, to finish the regular season on a positive note, and we were successful getting a 3-1 victory. After the game we loaded up the bus and headed back to Madison, but not before stopping off to grab some frozen yogurt. It is extremely rare for the bus to stop for any reason, and the team was pumped when we pulled in to the yogurt bar. After getting back to Madison around 10:30 p.m. we headed home to get some much needed rest.

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The team had a recovery day Sunday to get ready for the upcoming stretch and we are excited for the journey that lies ahead. Monday was the first practice of the post season, and the team was full of energy. The post season is when the real excitement begins, and we are looking forward to grinding it out in the hunt for the opportunity to play for a championship. The post season starts this weekend as we host Minnesota State Friday night, and we hope all those who can make it come out to support us. It should be a great atmosphere and the team is feeling good about where we are and the potential we have heading in to playoffs. Crazy things happen when playoffs come around, and we are looking forward to playing our best hockey of the season when it matters most.

Thank you to all those in Madison and back home who have supported us up to this point in the journey! The team is getting ready for a tough couple of weeks, and we are confident in our ability to compete amongst the best teams in the country!

Check back in at the end of the week to get anticipations from players about what to expect heading into playoffs, and how a few of the freshmen plan to prepare for their first college playoff experience!

Until next time, thanks for reading and On Wisconsin!

 - Madison

 

Packer's Perspective: Border Battle Part II

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Hey Badger Fans!

The time is here, and the team has never been more prepared than we are now to step up to the plate and take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The team has worked hard all week to study film, execute plays, and fine tune systems, but more importantly, we have been preparing all season to take on the number one ranked team in front of our home crowd. This is the biggest series of the season so far, and we are excited for the opportunity to play at home and finish the regular season off at home with two great games.

We have had a great week of practice, and everyone is feeling good heading into the weekend. The team is looking forward to the opportunity and know we are prepared to play the best six periods of hockey yet this year Friday and Saturday night.

When talking with junior forward Blayre Turnbull, she was excited, pumped up, but most of all focused heading into the weekend.

"There are a few things I am looking forward to this weekend," Turnbull said. "I always look forward to playing the Gophers, but this weekend is especially special since we will get to play in the Kohl Center (Saturday night) and hopefully break a record. Another thing I am looking forward to is having my family in town. There are few opportunities for them to get here throughout the season so it will be great to have them in the stands this weekend."

Sophomore power house defenseman Courtney Burke had similar emotions about the upcoming series.

"Just playing in a rivalry against Minnesota is always a game we get up for and it's even that the games are in front of all our friends and family," Burke said. "Both players, like most of the team, are looking forward to having friends and family here this weekend, but also recognize that what goes on inside the glass is our primary focus."

This weekend has a great deal of activity, from Senior Night Friday to Fill the Bowl Saturday, but the team knows what is most important is getting the much needed wins to make these moments that much more memorable.

"We need to focus on playing Badger hockey," Burke said. "Play the whole 60 minutes each night and out work the other team. Those are some of our strengths and we need to stick to them all weekend."

Turnbull could not agree more that hard work and sticking to what we have done all season is what will make the difference for us this weekend.

"For our team to be successful it is going to be super important to stick to our game," Turnbull said. "If we play well defensively like we have been lately, things will fall into place offensively." It is no secret that the Gophers have a number of threats offensively, but sticking to our game and taking care of our end will lead to opportunities for us to capitalize in the offensive zone.

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This weekend is set to be the best series of the season. With both teams coming off long winning streaks, and the competitive nature of both squads, the games are sure to be a fast pace battle from start to finish. We are looking forward to the puck drop Friday night, and going to work as we battle the number one team in our own barn.

The puck drops Friday night at 7 p.m. and we hope to see all our fans out to cheer us on. For those who can't make the game Friday, be sure to clear your calendar for Saturday night 7 p.m. as we will play for the first time in two years in the Kohl Center, looking to break the NCAA attendance record for a third time! Come on out and cheer us to victory as we continue on our journey to the finish line this season!

Until next time, thanks for reading, and ON WISCONSIN!!

-Madison Packer

Packer's Perspective: Back From the Buckeye State

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Packer's Perspective: Back to battle the Buckeyes

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Packer's Perspective: Help us Fill the Bowl

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Packer's Perspective: Heading into the bye week

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Hey Badger Fans!

It was another successful weekend for the team, as we swept the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs for the first time in quite a while for a number of the upperclassmen on our team. It was a great feeling, and the team overcame a lot of adversity over the weekend. The games consisted of a number of power play opportunities for both sides as it was a physical series, but the team executed special teams well and play a consistent 60 minutes both nights to walk away on the weekend with six out of six points. It was a big weekend for the team, and puts us in a great position heading into an off weekend. 

Although we do not have games this upcoming weekend, the team is taking no time off, but rather using the extra time to hit it a little harder in order to prepare ourselves as best as possible for the final six regular season games. The team has an off weekend and then we will head to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Buckeyes, before returning home to play in our final regular season home series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The team is ready for a weekend off and is excited to use the extra time to push a little harder and spend some extra time on skills and other areas of the game that we can fine tune while we have a few days to spend. An exciting moment for everyone came with the announcement of no classes! We were given a "college snow day" because of the cold weather, which isn't something that happens very often, so the team will get to enjoy a morning free of classes. The team will practice throughout the week, before having a few days off on the weekend to rest up and recover. The team is looking forward to what will come after the break, and is ready to go to work this week to get the most out of our extra efforts as possible.

Check back later in the week to hear all about the training sessions and what the Badgers have been up to in the cold weather! Until next time, thanks for reading and On Wisconsin!

-Madison Packer

Packer's Perspective: Bring on the 'Dogs

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Hey Badger Fans!

It's been a good week of hard work the the team, both on and off the ice. Classes resumed Tuesday, so the days of only having practice are over. The team has a wide variety of majors and class schedules, and it has been a frigid week of getting to and from class all across campus. The team has managed the transition back to classes well, as our schedules have changed a great deal from first semester. 

The team is practicing later in the evening, with most of us having early/mid-afternoon classes. The team practiced all week, while also heading to the weight room twice to improve off the ice. The team was also busy Wednesday night as a few ladies made their way over to the UW Children's Hospital to visit with some local Badger kids. Despite having class, the team has been focused on the upcoming games. We anticipate two high paced, high intensity battles this weekend as it is always a dogfight when we play Duluth. 

The team is looking forward to playing at home in front of our own crowd, and have spent time looking over film to improve from last week and put ourselves in a good position to be successful this weekend. The team did a good job last weekend of putting together six periods of hockey, and that is the same intensity and consistency that we are looking to build on this weekend. We hope all the fans can bundle up and make their way out to the games this weekend, as we play at 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m, on Sunday, and create some energy in the building as we look to go to work and get two big wins at home this weekend. 

Until next time, thanks for reading and On Wisconsin! 

- Madison

Packer's Perspective: Back to Business

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Hope all those in Madison are staying warm as the weather has been sunny but freezing these last few days, or at least that has been the experience for myself and most of my teammates. 

The weather Sunday afternoon however was surprisingly nice and turned out to be perfect for our outdoor skate in the community. The team returned Saturday night around 7 p.m. after enjoying a quick flying following a series sweep up in Bemidji. Sunday was a nice relaxing day off where we were able to get out and be active in the community with some of the fans who come out to support us throughout the year.

Monday we went back to work on and off the ice. We had practice Monday morning and then hit the gym as a team to get in a good workout to start the week off right. The team knows there is a great deal riding on the games this weekend and we are doing everything we can to properly prepare for the upcoming series at home. Tuesday will be the first day of class for myself and fellow teammates, and it will be a sure change of pace after having a month of doing nothing but hockey around campus.

This is just a quick recap post of the weekend, but tune in Thursday for reactions from teammates on their first few days back at class, and what to expect in the upcoming series against rival Minnesota Duluth!

Thanks for reading and On Wisconsin!

- Madison

 

Packer's Perspective: Badgers take on Bemidji

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Hey Badger Fans!

The team has arrived in Bemidji after a short day of travel, and a very cold welcome. We left Madison this afternoon at 3 p.m., and headed to the airport where we flew straight into Bemidji, headed to the rink for a quick practice, and then checked in at the hotel. The team had our usual evening meal, before turning in to get some rest to prepare for the upcoming games. The team is looking forward to the series and hopes to build of last game's momentum and move forward.

'"We are expecting a good battle this weekend," freshman forward Sydney McKibbon said. "They will be fired up to play us at their home rink with their home fans to cheer them on, especially considering we beat them both games in Madison. I think we need to come out strong in the first period in order to set the tone for the weekend. Last weekend we learned that you can't take any team lightly and that we need to play a complete 60 minutes in order to win. We came out on Sunday against North Dakota and did the little things to be successful so we need to carry that on in Bemidji. This weekend is going to be all about compete level and who is willing to work the hardest and win the battles. We are well prepared and had a great week of practice and I think we are all excited to play some games."

Fellow Badger forward, Rachel Jones, had similar emotions heading into the weekend and realizes the weight this weekend holds in the standings.

"Heading into this weekend, I think our team realizes how important these games are with the understanding that Bemidji didn't like being swept when they came to Madison," Jones said. "They are going to come out hard and play for the whole 60 minutes, this is a team that won't go down without a battle. Some of the things our team needs to build off of from last weekend is we need to play 100% every time we hit the ice, winning every one on one battle. After last weekend our team knows that we have to play for the whole game in order to be successful."

The team is well aware of the importance of the upcoming weekend, as well as the importance of competing for the full 60 minutes. Bemidji is a team that is always difficult to play on the road, and in order to be successful in their barn we have to give it everything we have every time we hit the ice.

The games take place Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and we hope those back home can follow our games and cheer us on as we look to walk away this weekend with a few road wins in our back pocket.

Until next time, thanks for reading, and On Wisconsin!

-Madison 

Packer's Perspective: Back to Work

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Hey Badger Fans,

Thank you to all who came out and supported us this weekend! The atmosphere was great, and the team thrives when the home crowd gets involved. Saturdays game was a tough loss, but the team used our mistakes from the game to learn and build for Sunday. It was tough when North Dakota came out and got a quick goal again, but the team rallied together as one and played our hearts out, taking 3 points away from the weekend and finishing on a high note. There was a lot to learn from overall after the weekend, but we also did a number of things very well as a team. Monday was a much needed day off after the grueling weekend and physical series, and all the ladies took full advantage of the extra recovery.

Monday night we gathered as a team at LaBahn, and had a little 101 clinic. There were about 100 kids that showed up for the clinic, and it was a great way to give back to a community that supports us throughout the season. We spent an hour on the ice, teaching and playing around with the little kids, and then we headed up to the concourse of the arena to sign some autographs and eat some pizza with the skaters. The whole event lasted a little over two hours, and it was a huge success. We are grateful to all those who showed up to support our organization and hope all the participants enjoyed being little Badgers for the day.

Tuesday was back to work, as we had film, practice, and lift. We reviewed the game from Sunday, looking at times when we had a few breakdowns, and also focusing on the things we did well and need to continue to execute in order to find success this season. We then hit the ice for a quick practice to work on skill and focus on what we need to do this weekend, and then headed down to the weight room for a quick workout to keep in shape. After workout, the team enjoyed a nice meal, and a few of us headed to a local middle school to visit with a fourth grade classroom.

While visiting with the fourth graders, we talked about our experiences as young athletes, our journey to the University of Wisconsin, and then answered a number of varying questions from our favorite NHL team to our favorite movie or color. The kids were awesome, and certainly came prepared with a number of questions to ask. The visit with the fourth graders was finished with a quick autograph session, before we headed home. The visit to the elementary school was extra special for senior goaltender Ilana Friedman, who attended that middle school when she was younger. Later tonight, a number of ladies will be heading to the local senior home to visit with some elderly members of the community. I am always amazed at the willingness of my teammates to give back in the community whenever they get a chance, especially with the highly demanding lifestyle they live.

The journey for our team continues this weekend as we head up to Bemidji to play on the road. Check back in later this week for emotions from players about the upcoming games, and a recap of our journey to Northern Minnesota. Until next time, thanks for reading, and On Wisconsin!!

ON WISCONSIN