UW out for revenge against SCS

September 17, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoAfter starting the season ranked No. 1, the Wisconsinwomen?s hockey team had nowhere to go but down. For the entire month ofNovember, it seemed like all the Badgers did was fall further and furtherbehind. During an eight-game stretch in November the women?s hockey team went2-5-1 and looked nothing like back-to-back national champions.One reason for the team?s early struggles is theirdependence on five freshmen ? who have never had to balance college classes andcollege hockey before ? to play major minutes for the team.?It is always difficult to play your first semester and toplay hockey while you are preparing for your first exams,? junior goaltenderJessie Vetter said of the freshmen. ?So once school ended, and we just focusedon playing hockey and having fun, our team started to do a lot better.?Since the rough skid in November, however, UW (16-6-2,12-4-2 WCHA) is riding a six-game win streak in which almost all members of theteam have contributed. One major reason for the team?s turnaround is theoffense?s rejuvenation and ability to find the back of the net. In the past sixgames the team has averaged 3.5 goals per game.?The biggest reason that we are winning is our ability toscore three or more goals in a game,? head coach Mark Johnson said. ?In thegames that we weren?t successful, we only scored one or two goals. Our defensehas remained pretty good all season, so when we score three or more there is agood chance that we are going to win.?Despite their recent offensive success, however, someplayers still think the team could be scoring more goals.?To tell you the truth, I think that we should have scoredsix goals in all of those games,? senior Jinelle Zaugg said. ?We had a lot ofchances to score more goals, and we need to work on finishing thoseopportunities.?This weekend, the No. 5 Badgers will face No. 9 St. CloudState (15-5-4, 10-5-3 WCHA) at the Kohl Center. The Huskies ? who split a two-gameseries earlier this year against the Badgers ? are a scrappy team that has wona lot of close games this year and will present a strong challenge for UW?srevitalized offense.?Their goaltender can play exceptionally well,? Johnsonsaid. ?We out-chanced them and out-shot them last time, but she came up big,and we couldn?t find the back of the net in the first game.?Along with the usual motivation for winning the game, theBadgers have placed a little extra emphasis on sweeping the Huskies thisweekend. Back when these two teams met in September, UW was on an NCAA-record,32-game undefeated streak, which ended at St. Cloud in a 2-1 loss.?We want to win every game, but there is a little extramotivation because they did break our streak,? Vetter said. ?But in the end itis just another WCHA weekend, and we have to get four points out of it.?Along with the pressure to win this weekend, the Badgers arefacing mounting pressure to catch up in the WCHA race. With only ten more gamesto play, UW trails University of Minnesota-Duluth by eight points in theconference and probably needs to win out to have a shot at the WCHA title.?We have got ten games left, and we are trying to win themall,? Johnson said. ?With that said, however, you can only take the games oneday at a time, and right now we are focused on St. Cloud State.??We like the pressure,? Vetter added. ?Ourteam has made it a goal to win out, and we will work hard and see whathappens.?last_img read more