It’s often said in sports like football and basketball that it’s difficult to defeat the same opponent three times in a season. Well forget about three times, because Wisconsin (31-3-2) will look to knock off the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (20-13-1) Friday for the fifth time in five tries this season.The Badgers fifth attempt at defeating the Bulldogs will likely be their toughest yet, as it comes in the WCHA Final Face-Off. UMD finds itself fighting for survival, as it most likely won’t be participating in next weekend’s NCAA tournament.“[Duluth is] a really good team, and they know how to win,” senior forward Brooke Ammerman said. “I mean, they’ve come on as of late, and they’re playing in their own rink, and they’re playing for more than just the WCHA tournament. They’re playing probably for an NCAA [tournament] bid. So there’s a lot on the line, so it should be a good game.”Only four teams remain – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota – in the WCHA playoffs. Although it’s only a conference tournament, the WCHA playoffs are arguably tougher than many of the lingering NCAA tournament games. For proof of the conference’s superiority, simply take a look at past NCAA women’s hockey champions, as every one has come from the WCHA (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth).“The toughest game to win is the [semifinal] game,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “So if you’re lucky enough to play deep into this weekend, that’s going to help you prepare for the following weekend. And then get yourself in a position where you’re healthy, and got everyone going, playing a high level. And if you look at history, that’s helped all the teams that have had that opportunity.”The Badgers’ semifinal game will take place in Duluth, giving the Bulldogs a clear home ice advantage. The entire Final Face-Off weekend also features single elimination games, making for high intensity matchups between conference rivals.“It sort of gives you this rehearsal of what it’s going to be like next weekend,” Johnson said. “Only next weekend, you lose and your season’s over.”For seniors such as Hilary Knight, the idea of single elimination is accompanied by mixed emotions.“Certain teams are known for their postseason play, and I think Duluth is one of them,” Knight said. “Anything can happen in the playoffs, and I think that’s scary but also exciting at the same time.”Duluth isn’t the only team with much at stake this weekend, as Wisconsin will fight to make its claim for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Badgers were the top-ranked team in the nation through the duration of the season and show no signs of surrendering that title now.Johnson and his players realize the benefits that come with a top seed in the NCAA tournament, including the luxury of playing inside the friendly confines of the Kohl Center – a place where the Badgers lost only twice all season.“You want to host that first quarterfinal [NCAA] game if you can, playing in your surroundings and not having to travel,” Johnson said. “It’s one of the things that can maybe make a difference, and you have control of, and so that’s what makes it important.”Johnson is confident in his team after it reeled off two dominating performances in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Badgers beat Minnesota State by a combined 11-0 score, equipping them with plenty of momentum as they head for Duluth.“We’re in a pretty good position right now,” Johnson said. “So it’s a good opportunity to go up there and be challenged by a quality opponent in their yard and find out what we can do.”
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team has been on a roll lately, and this weekend was no exception as the Badgers defeated MercyHurst in a two game sweep.Wisconsin welcomed their second non-conference team to LaBahn on Thursday night, just four days after their previous series against Lindenwood ended. This short turnaround meant that Wisconsin would have little time to recuperate before heading into what was sure to be another very physical series.Women’s hockey: Wisconsin sweeps Lindenwood during home openerThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team was victorious this weekend against non-conference foe Lindenwood, earning their first two victories Read…Although it was MercyHurst’s first game of the season, the Lady Lakers wanted to start their season off with a bang, and nothing would create more waves than taking down the No.2 team in the nation. However, in order to do this, they would need to find a way to stop Wisconsin at their own game, on their own turf.MercyHurst and Wisconsin have met nine times in the past, and each time the Badgers came away victorious. While UW might have won all nine series, they were usually hard fought, and always kept the Badger women on their toes.This series started off rather aggressively, with four penalties tallied by the end of the first period — three from the Lady Lakers and one from the Badgers. It was clear that if MercyHurst couldn’t manage to out-smart the Badgers, they were going to try to out-muscle them.With 23 penalties between the two games — 11 of which were UW penalties — it was clear that MercyHurst was trying to outdo the Badgers in any way possible. Unfortunately for the Lady Lakers, only one of those 11 powerplays would result in a goal.Wisconsin saw many players light the lamp on Thursday and Friday night, with a majority being underclassmen. This year, the underclassmen have been leading the team in scoring, and are showing signs of promise for the WCHA schedule later in the year.Women’s hockey: While classmates prepare for exams, Pankowksi, Clark chasing Olympic goldAnyone who has taken an economics class knows that every choice you make always has an opportunity cost — losing Read…Another key player for the Badgers was goaltender Kristen Campbell. The new Badger netminder has managed to help her team earn five victories this year, with opponents only able to score a single point against UW. She earned her second career shut out this weekend.Wisconsin heads back to the road next weekend to take on the Syracuse women’s hockey team in what is sure to be an exciting weekend series. The series between the Badgers and the Orange starts Friday at 3 p.m.
Whilst supporters and management of Accra Hearts of Oak were basking in the excitement of their 3-0 victory over Amidaus Professionals in their 20th week First Capital Plus Bank Premiership fixture, thieves were also having a field day at the club’s secretariat, sportscrusaderonline.com exclusively reveal.According to reports the thieves made away with brand new computers, laptops and some office equipments which are used for administrative business at the offices.The thieves, who are believed to be residing around the Hearts Secretariat, are said to have been monitoring activities at the secretariat for some time and as soon as they perceived that there wasn’t any security personnel at post, brilliantly executed their plan.Narrating the incident to sportscrusaderonline.com, a source at the secretariat said “the security man who was supposed to keep watch, was at the stadium enjoying the match and that is how come thieves could break into the secretariat and managed to steal the items from the office.”Meanwhile a team of police men visited the team’s office on Monday afternoon to undertake a forensic audit. No suspect has yet been arrested.
The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will run its diesel engine to the Heisson area, through the tunnel, across the East Fork of the Lewis River for its Memorial Day rides scheduled May 25 and 26, with a stop at Moulton Station to visit Yacolt Falls.The train will depart each day at noon and 2:30 p.m. from the station in Yacolt. Passengers are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before the trip and make reservations, as space is limited.Tickets are $18 per rider, $17 with a military or senior discount, and $12 for children 3 to 12 years old. Children younger than 3 ride free.Visit www.bycx.com to get tickets, and call 360-686-3559 for questions.