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The weekend was an overall success for the Badger squad, as we swept the Bemidji State Beavers, and finished the 2013 year on a solid note. Now, a much needed and anticipated break is in the wave for the team. We will prepare for finals coming up next week, and then head home for some down time with our families. The team is happy with where we sit heading into the second half of the year, and looking forward to getting some down time to reenergize and come back from break ready to go right back to work. Most of us will head home for the holiday, and return a few days after Christmas to begin preparing for the first series back against St. Cloud.
This is a short post, as it is mainly just to keep followers up to speed on what is to be expected. Stay tuned for another post later this week that may reveal some different twists in the blog format, and may give a sneak peak of some other voices that may appear on the blog over Christmas break.
Thanks for all the support you have provided our team up until this point, we look forward to a second half of the year that is just as action packed and successful as the first! Thanks for reading, On Wisconsin!
This week has been business as usual for the Badgers. Practices, lifts, and video sessions have helped us to prepare as we gear up for one final weekend of games against Bemidji State. The team is ready to go and looking forward to finishing off the first half of the season in front of our home crowd.
When asked about the upcoming weekend, how it feels to be home, and what the future holds, junior forward Karley Sylvester was happy to be back.
"It's great to be back home," Sylvester said. "It will be fun to play in front of our home crowd. They bring a lot of energy that we don't get on the road. It will be great to play in our own rink and also sleep in our own beds. After this week the upcoming break will be nice. We have had a great start and it will be important we all come back from break re-energized and excited to finish strong."
Sophomore defenseman Courtney Burke had similar emotions, but was also a little star struck. When asked to comment she first said, "OMG! Paparazzi!" After taking a few moments to gather herself, Court expressed her excitement about playing at home.
"It will be exciting to finally play at home again since we have been on the road for the past three weeks," Burke said. "We get to play the last two games hopefully coming up with some points for our league and head into the break in great shape. It will make finishing up finals and spending the holiday with our families much more enjoyable."
Being at home is a huge advantage as we get the perks of having our own fans, and also sleeping at home in our own beds. This weekend is different with the day off Saturday in between Friday and Sunday games, but that is to our advantage as we will be able to utilize our home facilities and resources to ensure we are fully recovered and ready to go Sunday for game two.
Three members of the women's team, senior captains Kelly Jaminski, Alex Rigsby, and myself will be heading the Toys for Tots drive at the men's hockey game on Saturday night at 7 p.m. We will be collecting toys and donations to help military families this holiday season. I encourage all those who can to get out and make a contribution to this great cause Saturday night, and help cheer the men on in their Big Ten home opener.
The puck drops Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the Badger women's team, and we look forward to seeing you all out as we finish off 2013 in LaBahn Arena. Until next time, thanks for reading, On Wisconsin!
It was a big weekend for the Badgers with not much excitement but the games themselves. It was frigid cold in Grand Forks (the wind chill was -27 when we woke up Saturday), and the cold weather outside helped us stay focused in to the task at hand. We had a lot of down time with two late night games, but it was good to get extra recovery time, and also have consistency in our schedule over the weekend with games being at the same time each night.
Friday night was a good, tough battle, and Alex Rigsby stood tough for us between the pipes all the way through the end, shutting UND out not only in the game and overtime, but also during the three player shootout. Junior forward Blayre Turnbull executed an awesome move as the final shooter to capture the shootout win and allow us to skate through the first night winning an extra point. The first game was good, and it was nice to walk away with an extra point, but after the game we agreed as a team we could come out stronger.
We rallied together after Friday's game and came out flying Saturday night. We played as a team, executed well and took advantage of the chances that came our way. Junior forward Karley Sylvester scored a huge shorthanded goal to put us ahead, and capitalizing in the third period on a few power play opportunities allowed for us to end the night on top 3-1. We played great as a team overall in Grand Forks, and walking away with 5 out of 6 points on the road, especially in a place like North Dakota is something we are very happy with as a team.
We enjoyed the victory on the plane, and also celebrated a bit with the women's volleyball team (who swept over the weekend vs. Michigan State and Michigan) as we picked them up at the airport after their bus broke down.
It was a great weekend, and it was nice to spend the off day Sunday relaxing, and also catching up on the release of the hot new Hunger Games film. Most of the team made their way over to the theater at some point Sunday to see the movie, and all were in agreement that it was worth the price of admission. Following the Hunger Games, a number of us relaxed while doing homework and also watching the American Music Awards.
The weekend was a success, but the work is not done yet. The team hits the ice again Monday to go to work in preparation for the upcoming games in Duluth. It is a tough stretch of games on the road, with each and every point weighing heavily on our status heading into the holiday break. The team looks forward to preparing this week to take care of business in Duluth, and we hope to keep the train rolling as we continue on to our ultimate goal. Until next time, thanks for reading, On Wisconsin!
Time to hit the ice again, as we have arrived in Grand Forks, N.D., and are ready to go to work this weekend. We left early Thursday morning, loaded up the bus and headed to the airport, taking a quick charter flight to Grand Forks. The ground was covered in snow and the bitter cold was a rude awakening early this morning. Practice went well, and the team had a good jump despite spending time on the plane and being carted around by various buses.
The highlight of the trip thus far has been the bowling tournament, although there was a fun crafts show set up in the lobby of the hotel where a few players bought some goodies. The bowling tournament was comprised of our team broken up into six smaller teams. It was friendly competition, and the Johnson family proved to be the best bowlers as Coach Johnson and Mikayla were unstoppable on the alley.
The tournament was a fun change of pace, a great team bonding activity, and a good way to keep busying during the long block of free time. The team will have a pregame skate before Friday's game to go over systems and get our legs moving. We are looking forward to the first game as series with North Dakota are always high tempo and intense. These games are of utmost importance regarding to not only national ranking, but also the battle for the top three spots in the WCHA.
We have prepared well all week for the series and are looking forward to working for a few road wins this weekend. The games begin tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and hope all those back home can take some time to tune in and watch us battle for bragging rights. Check back in at the end of the weekend for an overview and hopefully some positive feedback regarding the games this weekend.
Thanks for reading, On Wisconsin!
This weekend was quite the trip for the Badger squad. We started off Friday morning with a pregame skate, followed by meal and some down time before the game.
The game against Northeastern was a battle, one of the toughest fights we have had yet this season, but we came together as a group, worked hard until the end and pulled out a victory over NU, with a congratulations to freshman Jenny Ryan for both the game winner and her first goal as a Badger.
Friday night was spent in our rooms for the most part. It was late by the time we got back to the hotel and most girls ate and then went up to relax and get to bed.
Saturday we woke up and went for a nice team walk through the village to get our legs warmed up, followed by a team stretch before meal and watching at little film to prepare for the game against Boston University. We had some downtime after the meal before loading up the bus and heading to the rink. The game was very different from the night before, and we came out strong. Friday night we were still having difficulty adjusting to the altitude, but Saturday was a whole different story as our high conditioning level played to our advantage in our 5-0 victory over BU.
After the game, we headed back to the hotel and met with our families. The team and families went out to a small restaurant in Vail to hang out with one another and enjoy some food before heading back to the hotel and taking advantage of one last night in the Rockies.
We stayed at a remarkable hotel that had a beautiful spa consisting of four hot tubs and a heated pool so naturally we all threw on our hotel robes, and headed down to relax after a hard fought weekend. We hung out as a group in the hot tub before turning in for the night.
Sunday morning we got up and had some breakfast (breakfast sandwiches were amongst the favorite item on the menu) before heading over to the rink to run a clinic and meet some young, hopeful future Badgers. The team was tired, but we enjoyed giving back to the crowd that supported us over the weekend, and the turnout was much more than we had anticipated. After the clinic we hung around and mingled with the young skaters for a bit, signing autographs and taking pictures, then loaded up the bus and headed back to the hotel. We packed up our rooms and fully loaded the bus, as we had to be out of the hotel by noon, after which we had three hours to kill around town, so most of us went shopping and saw a little more of the town that we missed out on while restricted by our game schedule. We gathered up at about 3:30, got on the bus and are headed to Denver. We are very lucky as we had a charter airplane waiting for us that took us right back to Madison.
Our games resume this weekend as we head up to North Dakota to take them on in their home arena. The UND series will be a hard fought battle, considering they just ended the 62 game unbeaten streak by the Gophers, but we are looking to put the same game together that we did for BU and work hard again as a group.
The team returns to the ice today to begin preparing for UND, continuing on our journey to our ultimate goal. Thanks for reading, On Wisconsin!
Practice was short and to the point. Coach did a great job of keeping it simple, knowing the legs would be a little tired after the long trip.
Another weekend down, and many more to come for the Wisconsin team as we return to this ice for practice in preparation for the upcoming games in Vail. The weekend was a much needed break for the entire group and was a great chance to catch up on 'life as a normal kid'. The entire team had a variety of activities going on, but the highlight from what I heard was a team gathering at a local restaurant in town. I was home for the weekend, watching with my parents and sister as Michigan got their bums kicked by the Nebraska football team.
While I was home however; many of my teammates hung around town. The team (minus a few of us) went to Samba, and enjoyed a nice variety of foods. Samba is a restaurant that is usually a pretty heavy meal and is a favorite among many in our locker room. Along with Samba, a few girls headed to Chicago to relax and have some fun. The weekend was a nice break, a great time to catch up with friends, get some work done, and most importantly get packed, as it meant fewer days between us and the trip to Vail.
As they hype from the weekend calms down a bit, practice will be daily as usual this week Monday-Wednesday, with two lifts sprinkled in, then we pack up early Thursday morning and head to Vail at about 6 a.m. The team is excited. Coach told us that we are a small part in history making as we prepare to play for the first time in the Rocky Mountains. As excited and prepared as we all are for the games, the girls are also looking forward to the experience. The uniforms we have planned and the atmosphere itself is a unique treat for women's hockey. This group has worked hard to hopefully make this trip both memorable and successful. We hope all fans can follow through the various outlets that will be covering our games this weekend, and I encourage you to tune in when you can as this is sure to be a weekend to remember.
The team heads off Thursday morning. Check back in later this week for reactions from players after landing in Vail and taking the ice for the first time in the mountains!
Until next time, thanks for reading and On Wisconsin!