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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
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.
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
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.
freshman Annie Pankowski, a member of last year's U.S. national team,
recorded two assists while appearing on the team's top-line.
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."
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.
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."
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 has been a long season for the Badgers in Madison, and although it didn't end
on the high we had hoped, I could not be more proud of my teammates. The
determination, hard work, and relentless spirit of my teammates propelled us to
successes many people doubted when we set out on our journey together last
It is a bittersweet ending for many of my teammates, in large part the senior
class. While we are happy with our four years here at Wisconsin and looking
forward to bright futures, it is difficult to leave behind a team that has
meant so much to us over the years. The team this year has been like a family
on and off the ice. The spirit and kindness of every girl in our locker room
made packing our bags together one final time a difficult and emotional moment.
On behalf of my teammates I want to thank all the fans in Wisconsin and beyond
who have supported us throughout the season, and for the seniors throughout our
entire careers. It seems like just yesterday some of us were pulling on that
Badger jersey for the first time, and my hope is that the future Badgers
recognize the honor and pride that comes with bearing the motion W on their
chest--it truly goes by too fast.
While many memories have been created over the years, I will always remember
the pride that accompanies being part of such a rich and historic tradition as
a Badger athlete. The team was disappointed last weekend, but if I know
anything about my teammates, it is that they will never quit. The seniors are
moving on, but there is a fresh group of talent being added to the roster next
year and a solid core returning that will do whatever it takes to continue
bringing hardware back to Madison.
Lastly, I want to thank our families and all the people back home. I have said
it before, and sincerely mean it when I say that none of us would be where we
are today without the love and support of those who first gave us the chance to
chase our dreams. The coaches who pushed us when we were little and the parents
who drove us to the rink and waited for us until it was time to make the drive
back home are the reason we are where we are today. My parents said to me after
the last game, "Thank you for all the memories, it's been a great run." I want
to take this opportunity on behalf of my teammates to thank not only my
parents, but also all the other parents of my teammates who have made this
journey one that I will remember for the rest of my life.
has been a fun ride Badger fans, and while I am sad it is coming to an
I look forward in the coming days or weeks to revealing the next blogger
for the Wisconsin women's hockey team. Until next time, thanks for
reading, and ON
Hey Badger Fans!
A big thank you to all those who came out and supported
us this past weekend as we battled Harvard in the NCAA quarter finals. The team
was blown away when we hit the ice for the start of the game and the crowd
erupted. The atmosphere and energy in the building was amazing and unlike
anything we have experienced yet in our new home and we are very grateful to
all those who helped us from the other side of the glass.
The team was very pleased with our effort Saturday night
and it was a special moment for the seniors to get a win in our final game on
home ice. This week is sure to fly by quickly as we will practice the next few
days and then head out early Wednesday for the Frozen Four. The team plans to
prepare for the upcoming weekend the same way we have all season, and is
excited for the opportunity to face off against Minnesota Friday night.
There are a number of banquets set to take place along
with a few other events, but the sole focus of our team is the game Saturday
night and working harder than we have all season to achieve our ultimate goal.
I am proud of my teammates for all the hard work that has been put in this
season. There were a lot of people who were skeptical about us being placed so
highly along the way, but we battled hard Saturday night, earning the right to
play this weekend and gaining confidence along the way.
The game Friday night is something we have looked forward
too all year, now the time has come to prepare and go to work. We are proud of
ourselves for reaching the tournament, but also recognize simply making the
trip is not the goal we set for ourselves last September.
I encourage all those who cannot make the trip to tune in
to the various outlets that will be available to act the action this weekend.
It is set to be some of the best collegiate hockey this season and will be
something hockey fans do not want to miss.
Again, my teammates and I want to thank all our fans and
the community for being supportive throughout the season, and on behalf of the
senior class, thank you to all those who have come out to cheer us on
throughout our Badger career. We have traveled all across the United States,
and there are no fans louder or more loyal than those who come out in Madison.
Thank you also to our families who have been supportive not only throughout
this season, but since day one, we share this journey with you! Be sure to
check back in throughout the week as I will have a few more posts and some
special interviews with teammates as we head out in search of our ultimate goal
at the 2014 Frozen Four! Until next time, thanks for reading, and ON
Hey Badger Fans!
The time is here! Its playoffs, the best time of the season, and the team is more excited than ever to hit the ice tonight and get one game under our belt. I caught up with a few teammates about the game, getting their thoughts on heading into playoffs, and for freshman forward Sydney McKibbon, what her thoughts were heading into her first set of college playoffs ever.
"I wouldn't say that I'm nervous, but more anxious to get the games going. This is the best time of the year to be playing hockey," McKibbon said. "When you get into playoff time anything can happen and I think that's what makes it so exciting. Every team starts over again and no one is guaranteed anything. I am looking forward to the energy we are going to have in LaBahn this weekend with the band and all the fans."
Sophomore forward Erika Sowchuk also agreed about the exciting games heading into the weekend.
"I am looking forward to the intensity," Sowchuk said, "every game is a nail biter and every team is putting it all on the line. We need to compete for the whole game and show a lot of tenacity."
One final teammate I caught up with was Katy Josephs. A key right-winger on a line with Blayre Turnbull and Brittany Ammerman, who often goes unrecognized, is essential to the teams success this weekend, and she fully recognizes the effort that will be necessary for the team to advance to the WCHA playoffs.
"I am looking forward to seeing our tam give it all we've got," Josephs said. "Everyone knows that now it's do or die and the intensity of every game will go up for our team as well as for other teams. It's always fun to see what happens during playoffs because there will be teams that make it to tournaments that you don't expect. It makes for a fun and exciting couple of weeks."
The team can all agree on two things: the weekend will be full of intensity and nothing is guaranteed. The team knows that we need to bring 100% each night for 60 minutes in order to advance on in playoffs, and we need to focus on playing our game and doing the little things that have helped us to find success up to this point in the season.
"In order to be successful this weekend we need to play the way we've been playing all year," McKibbon said. "We need to come out fast to set the tone for the series this weekend and play a consistent 60 minutes. I think that if everyone plays their role and works hard we will be very successful."
Josephs agrees that we need to stick to our game and not worry ourselves with changing too much heading into the weekend.
"I think as a team we just have to keep doing what we have been all year which is playing and competing as hard as we can but also having fun doing it," Josephs said. "I think one of the biggest reasons we've been successful this year is because everyone looks forward to coming to the rink every day with a positive attitude. This results in a strong work ethic where everyone is pushing themselves to be better."
The team hits the ice tonight at 7 p.m. to face off for the first game of the series against Minnesota State. We hope to see all the fans out and cheering us to victory as we continue on our journey to the ultimate goal. If you like Badger Hockey, this will be a series you don't want to miss!
Until next time, thanks for reading, and On Wisconsin!
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.
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.
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
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!