Badgers shoot for repeat

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWhen the Wisconsin women’s hockey team won the national championship last season, it marked one of the finest seasons that the program had ever seen. It was the first time a team outside of Minnesota’s borders had won the national championship, in addition to head coach Mark Johnson receiving Coach of the Year honors and Sara Bauer being named Player of the Year. All of that happened in just one season. And now the Badgers have the opportunity to do it all again.The Badgers are just two victories away from another national title this weekend, as Wisconsin will take on St. Lawrence Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y. The winner will then take on either Minnesota-Duluth or Boston College in the national championship game Sunday.Sandwiched in the middle of the two games is the Patty Kazmaier Award presentation, which recognizes the best player in the country. UW senior forward Bauer, the reigning Kazmaier winner, is one of three finalists. Bauer, who has 66 points on the season, would become the first player to win the award in back-to-back seasons.While Wisconsin (34-1-4) has plenty going in its favor this weekend, the Badgers come off a tiring quadruple-overtime 1-0 victory over Harvard in the quarterfinals.”It was very difficult to stay in the game,” sophomore goalie Jessie Vetter said after last weekend’s game, which lasted 120 minutes. “It was hard for both teams to stay in it, but it was a really fun game, and we’re just glad that we came out with the win.”Whether Vetter or senior Christine Dufour starts, Wisconsin will have to look out for St. Lawrence’s leading scorer, junior forward Sabrina Harbec. She has racked up 70 points so far this season, good for second most in the nation. On top of that, the Saints are coming off a big upset from last weekend when they topped New Hampshire 6-2, and the team will certainly be playing with some confidence. “Right now, I don’t think there are really any concerns about St. Lawrence,” team captain Bobbi-Jo Slusar said. “Playing our game and recognizing situations on the ice and doing things [are what] we need to do.”However, history hasn’t exactly been on the SLU’s side. This will be the fourth consecutive year St. Lawrence has made it to the Frozen Four, but the Saints haven’t been able to make it past the semifinal game.”Their defense is very strong, and their forwards on the powerplay can do a lot of good things,” Slusar said. “But five-on-five is going to be important for us.”While many are looking for the UW women’s hockey team to defend its national title this weekend, the Badgers aren’t looking past the first game one bit.”I don’t think [we’ve thought about the second game],” Slusar said. “Right now, we’re concentrating on the first game against St. Lawrence.”It’s going to be a tough battle.”last_img

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