Feb. 16, 2011
MADISON, Wis.-- In preparation for this weekend's games, UWBadgers.com caught up with freshman forward Madison Packer (Birmingham, Mich.) to get her take on the Badgers' series against Minnesota State at All Seasons Arena in Mankato, Minn., this weekend.
Q: Is the team focused on this weekend’s matchup or are you thinking about the playoffs more?
Packer: I think we’re taking it one game at a time. We’re being careful not to get complacent. Obviously we won the WCHA regular season title, but the other teams are still fighting for spots and where they will fall in the playoffs. We just can’t get complacent and have to stay focused so we don’t lose any games thinking ahead.
Q: Is it hard to do that and not look ahead to the playoffs?
Packer: We have pretty good leadership in the locker room, and they’re keeping people in check and letting us know not to get ahead of ourselves. We have to play it game by game.
Q: As a freshman, how excited are you to be playing in the playoffs? Are you nervous at all?
Packer: I’m really excited. It’s a cool opportunity. Obviously playing college hockey is a lot of fun, but to be in the playoffs and have a good chance of winning is a pretty special thing and it’s really exciting. I’m kind of antsy. I’m ready to get out there. I’m not really nervous.
Q: How exciting is it that you won the WCHA regular season title your freshman year, knowing that you could have the opportunity to do it again over the next three?
Packer: I think that the WCHA is the hardest division to win. We have a pretty special team here, and it was a pretty big deal to win it this year. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again.
Q: How is the team preparing for Minnesota State? What types of things do you need to watch out for against them?
Packer: They’re a hardworking team. They don’t let up. They grind. They have a good goaltender and they have players that can score, so we have to be sure to not overlook anyone and be prepared for them to play hard.
Q: How important is it for the team to play hard this weekend and get two more wins before you start the playoffs?
Packer: I think that it would be best for our confidence if we play well and come out with two wins this weekend. We have to go in there and stay focused, work hard, take it one game at a time and hopefully come out with two wins to keep things going.
Q: One last question; what is so appealing about beating up on Carla Pentimone during practice?
Packer: I don’t beat up on Carla. Carla beats up on me.
The top-ranked Badgers wrap up their regular season schedule this weekend as the team travels to Mankato, Minn., to take on Minnesota State. The puck drop for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. CT, while the teams close out the regular season on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. Fans can follow the action live with the Gameday blog.