Much has been made of Wisconsin's recent propensity to rely on long-distance shooting. Entering Sunday's game against a much smaller Northwestern team, along with junior forward Jon Leuer playing his first home game since his injury, the Badgers had an opportunity to return to a more balanced offense, and they did that with enough success to hold off the Wildcats yesterday.
It was a big weekend for men's hockey coach Mike Eaves, as his third-ranked Badgers (14-7-3 WCHA, 19-8-4) faced off against the fourth-ranked St. Cloud State Huskies, splitting the weekend series at the Kohl Center.
MINNEAPOLIS—Wisconsin was supposed to have an added lift entering Thursday's game against hated Minnesota. With UW getting junior forward Jon Leuer back from his broken wrist and with the Gophers being losers of seven of their past 10 games, this contest had a Badger win written all over it.
Facing Big Ten champion and No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes, the Wisconsin women's basketball team fought hard on both ends of the court for 40 minutes. It was an offensive shootout in which the Badgers (8-7 Big Ten, 18-8 overall) came up just short in the end, falling to the Buckeyes (14-2, 26-3), 83-78. That score marks both the most points scored by Wisconsin this season as well as the most points surrendered on defense.
With the emphasis on tradition in college football, the rumors that the flagship school of the Lone Star State could be joining the only BCS conference with a mathematically incorrect name seem just a bit out of place. Such a move would disrupt geographic harmony, cut off rivalries and possibly begin the death of a top conference.
In college sports, a matchup of teams ranked in the top five nationally usually brings hoopla, hype and the sense of a special occasion. For Wisconsin this weekend, its just another week in the thick of the WCHA title race.
Like a lot of Canadians, sophomore forward Carolyne Prevost and junior forward Mallory Deluce feel a great sense of national pride during the Vancouver Olympics and want to see their country do well. Unlike a lot of their countrymen, however, Prevost and Deluce have some close ties to players on the other side of a border that divides two countries and creates one of the best rivalries in hockey.
The Wisconsin women's basketball team is ready to step out onto the court for possibly the most important game of their season so far. At the Kohl Center Thursday evening, the Badgers (8-6 Big Ten, 18-7 overall), who currently sit tied for third place in the Big Ten, face off against the conference-leading Ohio State Buckeyes (13-2, 25-3).
Now that a couple weeks have passed since Super Bowl XLIV and the Saints' victory is beginning to wear off around most of the country, much of the discussion around the NFL has revolved around a likely uncapped season in 2010, resulting in a lockout during the 2011 season.
After scoring six goals with a man advantage against Minnesota State last weekend, the Wisconsin power play unit is flying high. Add to that a pair of shorthanded goals during that series and two power play goals against Michigan Feb. 6, and the Badger special teams are playing as well as they have at any point all year.
It's time for me to level with you, dear reader: I really don't know a damn thing about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
When you are a WHCA hockey team chasing the McNaughton Cup, like this year's Badger squad, four-point weekends are supremely beneficial, even necessary at times. Usually, in order to sweep a conference opponent, one team must out play the other for a vast majority of the 120 minutes of action in a series. At the Kohl Center this weekend, Wisconsin separated itself from Minnesota State by controlling play during penalty minutes, of which the two teams racked up a combined 109. Put another way: The Badgers' special teams units throttled the Mavericks this weekend, and UW is still in the race for a league title because of it.