Oct. 14, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – For many incoming freshmen, the move to college marks the first time they have been away from home and their families. The transition is often complicated and intimidating, but it is always easier if you have a friend, as is the case with women’s hockey freshmen Madison Packer and Kelly Jaminski.
The two played together during their senior year of high school on the U19 AAA Little Caesars hockey team in Detroit, Mich. Jaminski, who hails from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., played on the team for two years, while Packer, a Birmingham, Mich., native, played for Little Caesars her senior year.
“It’s a long way from home,” Packer said of living in Madison. “But it’s nice having Kelly because she’s kind of from around here and knows the area pretty well.”
Upon arriving in Madison, the two were happy to discover that they were roommates.
“We know each other’s backgrounds,” Jaminski said. “We’re very comfortable around other. We kind of back each other up.”
“It’s really fun, she’s a great kid,” Packer said of Jaminski. “We get along really well. It has made the transition a little easier.”
Despite playing for the same team before coming to the University of Wisconsin, Jaminski and Packer didn’t actively decide to head to UW together. That they’ve continued playing together happened by chance.
“I think I decided on Wisconsin a little bit before Kelly,” Packer said of her decision to commit to UW. Sophomore forward Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) played on the Little Caesars team a year before Packer but lived with her while in Michigan, which helped Packer decide to become a Badger.
Jaminski also came to UW with ties to another current teammate. As a sophomore in high school, Jaminski played for the Madison Capitola AAA hockey team, the same team that sophomore Lauren Unser (West Salem, Wis.) played for throughout high school.
Even if it weren’t for these prior connections to the Badgers, Jaminski expressed how welcoming the entire team has been to the new players this season.
“The girls help the transition a lot,” Jaminski said. “They’re really welcoming here, and they help make it as easy as it can be.”
Both Packer and Jaminski are very excited to be playing alongside one another again.
“It helps a lot because you know their playing style and you know what they’re going to do with the puck,” Jaminski said. “It helps you play, too, because you know how to react to certain situations when you know how they’ll handle it.”
UW Athletic Communications