Oct. 27, 2010
In preparation for this weekend's series for the No. 1-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team, UWBadgers.com caught up with senior defender Anne Dronen (Chaska, Minn.) to get her take on the Badgers' matchup against conference foe Minnesota State.
Q: Is the team getting more comfortable together on the ice now four weeks into the season?
Dronen: Definitely. I think the freshmen are more comfortable, and the upper classmen are more comfortable with the freshmen. I think that the team as a whole is just gelling really well right now. We've been playing at home for the last three series so that makes things a lot easier, and I think it should go well again this weekend being at home.
Q: How do you think playing at home for the fourth-straight weekend affects the team?
Dronen: I think that playing at home has a lot of benefits. You've got your home crowd, you're used to the facility, you're used to the rink, you're used to the boards, and I definitely think we have the advantage going into our fourth straight home series.
Q: How important is it to win these home games so early in the season?
Dronen: I don't think we realize how important it is now, but come February and March we're going to realize how big these early home wins are.
Q: How is the team preparing for Minnesota State and what types of things do you need to look out for against them?
Dronen: Defensively, we were just talking today about how they're a team that likes to dump and chase, that's their motto. They like to dump the puck in and race after it, trying to beat the defense to the puck. They're good at battling and they're a quick team, so we need to play at their level and at ours as well.
Q: The Badgers have outshot your opponents 239-83, what do you attribute this to?
Dronen: Good defense. We're getting in the shooting lanes and blocking shots. Not allowing them to get as many shots on us and keeping the puck out of the defensive zone will definitely help do that.
Q: With the team's young goaltending group, how do you think it has benefited Alex Rigsby and Becca Ruegsegger to split time so far this season?
Dronen: I haven't talked to them individually about how they feel about it, but I would say if it were me, I would like it because then you get to focus on one day and take it one day at a time. I think they don't mind it, I think it's good for the team and it gets everyone involved, and everyone's on the same page.
Q: Since it is Halloween weekend and fans will be wearing costumes to the games, what will you be sporting this weekend?
Dronen: My costume was going to be a surprise, but I will unveil it early; I'm going to be an American Gladiator.