Jan. 26, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- UWBadgers.com caught up with sophomore defenseman Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) in this week’s segment of “Badger Breakaway,” where the UW women’s hockey players share some of their favorites on and off the ice.
Pacholok and the No. 1-ranked Badgers (23-2-1, 17-2-1-1 WCHA) return to the Kohl Center to host No. 4 Minnesota (18-6-1, 13-6-1-1 WCHA) this weekend. The puck drops at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights, and Saturday marks the Badgers' Fill the Bowl game.
UWBadgers.com: What has this season been like for you so far?
Pacholok: For me, I’ve learned a lot. Obviously, coming into this year, I hadn’t had Coach Johnson as a coach yet, so this year it’s been a great privilege to have him back. For the team, I think we have great chemistry, and that really shows on the ice and with the results of our games. We’re winning a lot, so I think our chemistry is definitely a big part of it.
UWBadgers.com: What is your favorite arena to play in, other than the Kohl Center?
Pacholok: The Kohl Center is definitely my favorite, but if I had to choose another, I’d say Ridder Arena, definitely. Obviously, it’s a smaller rink, and you get a big crowd every time. Minnesota is a big rival of ours, so we always have really good games there.
UWBadgers.com: What’s your pregame routine?
Pacholok: I don’t really have a pregame routine. I guess my routine would be to not think about the game too much, just relax and have some fun. Play ‘keep-up’ if I want, just random stuff, whatever I feel like that day.
UWBadgers.com: What do you love most about Madison?
Pacholok: I love the community. I think the people are all nice here, and very supportive of the Badgers. Not having a professional sports team around close is nice for the student-athletes and the UW sports.
UWBadgers.com: Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Pacholok: I grew up liking Nicklas Lidström and Scott Niedermayer. They were my favorite hockey players. My favorite athlete was Tiger Woods at one point, but not so much anymore.
UWBadgers.com: What is one thing you bring with on every road trip?
Pacholok: A positive attitude. Also, I’m always prepared to play and do whatever I can for my teammates.
UWBadgers.com: What is your favorite memory with the team away from the rink?
Pacholok: Obviously, we have a lot of team gatherings that are a lot of fun, but I’d say I had a lot of fun at the outdoor skate at Vilas Park. I didn’t expect it to be that big at all. I loved being outside. I haven’t been out to the outdoor rink very much since I’ve been in Madison because I haven’t had a lot of time. It was really good to see all the kids out there. I love kids.
UWBadgers.com: Who do you think is the funniest player on the team?
Pacholok: Brittany Ammerman is pretty funny. She makes me laugh a lot.
UWBadgers.com: Who is the best dressed player on the team?
Pacholok: I’d say Lauren Unser. She dresses pretty nifty.
UWBadgers.com: What is your greatest strength on the ice?
Pacholok: Reading and reacting and also finding seams to pass and shoot the puck.
UWBadgers.com: What do you think makes the WCHA so special?
Pacholok: I think it’s a great league because the competition has gotten a lot better throughout the years. Every team can win any given day. I love the excitement and the results of each game.
UWBadgers.com: What is your favorite piece of hockey equipment?
Pacholok: My skates, even though they don’t feel great all of the time, they make me move.