UW sweeps UAA in weekend series

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald file photoEntering the month of November, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team was still looking for its first win at 0-6-1 on the season.Now, in true worst-to-first fashion, the Badgers find themselves atop the WCHA standings following a weekend sweep of the No. 15 Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, winning 3-2 Friday and 7-2 Saturday at the Kohl Center.“It’s quite the accomplishment for this group from where we were,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “We talked about that after the game. The thing that we, as a staff, were the proudest of was the fact that they stayed together through tough times. We persevered. The lessons that we learned through those first seven games until we got our first win are going to pay dividends.”The lessons learned from overcoming adversity were evident Saturday night for the Badgers, who were without junior Blake Geoffrion, the team’s captain. Geoffrion suffered an ankle injury in Friday night’s victory and was not in the lineup the next night.In Geoffrion’s absence, Wisconsin used a balanced attack to overpower Alaska Anchorage, as six different players found the net.Michael Davies kicked off the scoring Saturday with a goal late in the first period. Davies was able to take a nice centering pass from freshman Jordy Murray and buried the puck past UAA goaltender Jon Olthuis for a 1-0 lead.Three more Badgers would get on the score sheet in the second period as Wisconsin built a 4-0 lead. Podge Turnbull and Matt Thurber worked a give-and-go to perfection on a breakaway for the team’s second goal of the night.The breakaway was set up by some confusion at the Anchorage bench, as the Seawolves were caught in the middle of a line change and were unable to get back on defense as Turnbull and Thurber rushed the zone.“It was a bad change,” UAA head coach Dave Shyiak said. “Lack of awareness.”Defenseman Cody Goloubef and forward Andy Bohmbach also scored in the second. It was Goloubef’s second goal in as many nights, as Tom Gorowsky sent him a pass through the crease for the assist.Brendan Smith and Sean Dolan beat UAA’s Bryce Christianson — who replaced Olthuis in the third period — to make it a 6-0 Badger lead.Anchorage’s Tyler Moir and Tommy Grant added goals late for the Seawolves, but Davies’ second goal of the night sealed the 7-2 win for UW.For Davies, his two-goal performance was a bit of a statement. He had been benched earlier for six straight games after Eaves and the coaching staff had wanted him to improve his play five-on-five.After two even strength goals on the weekend, it appears the message was received by Davies.“I think he’s made a concerted effort to make sure that his five-on-five play has been better, and he was rewarded tonight for that,” Eaves said. “What great growth for Michael.”“Five-on-five, it’s great to chip in; I haven’t been doing well lately with that,” Davies said. “It feels like the hard work paid off, not just for me, but the entire team.”His teammates have taken note of the hard work as well.“It’s huge, especially for the team, just to see a guy like that that we know we need to be in the lineup and need to be effective for us,” junior defenseman Jamie McBain said. “His perseverance kind of sums up our team. He just never quit and he just kept going through it. Obviously, he’s reaping the rewards now.”Davies had two points in Friday’s 3-2 victory, including an assist on the first goal of the game by Geoffrion. Camping out near the side of the net, Davies was able to sneak a pass through the slot to Geoffrion, who fired it past Christianson for a 1-0 lead early in the second period.Anchorage had a chance to tie things up midway through the second, as two Wisconsin penalties gave the Seawolves an extended 5-on-3. But the Badgers — who are third in the WCHA in killing penalties — were able to hold off a barrage of UAA shots and maintain a one-goal lead.“That was clearly a major turning point in the battle of the game,” Eaves said of the power play.The Badgers’ next two goals came just 21 seconds apart late in the second frame. Derek Stepan was able to score a power play goal on a wraparound to Christianson’s right at 17:22. Goloubef then sniped a shot from the blue line that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net at 17:43.Heading into the final period, a 3-0 lead appeared to be a comfortable margin for the Badgers. The Seawolves weren’t about to go down easily, however.Beloit native Sean Wiles got UAA on the board midway through the third as he beat UW netminder Shane Connelly over Connelly’s left shoulder. Trevor Hunt later scored on the power play, nine seconds after McBain was whistled for roughing.But Connelly and the Badgers were able to hold on for the 3-2 victory without their team captain and defenseman Jake Gardiner, who left the game in the first period after taking a hard open-ice hit.“We knew we had to change some things, but we knew we had 20 minutes to go out and do it,” freshman forward Derek Stepan said. “Losing Blake, that was just another thing we had to get over. And Jake, too. It was something we had to worry about, but at the same time we knew we had 20 minutes to step up and make something happen.”Wisconsin will now have a few weeks off — which will allow a banged-up team to finally get healthy again — before returning to action Dec. 27 for the Badger Hockey Showcase.“Obviously, we want to keep playing — everyone does,” Dolan said. “But a part of me also thinks maybe it’s good for our bodies to get rested up and come back the second half and just keep climbing this mountain and put our foot on the gas pedal even harder.”last_img read more

Softball: Badgers sweep Purdue in final road trip of season

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin softball team (36-10, 13-7 Big Ten) left their last road trip of the season with a clean sweep this past weekend over the Purdue Boilermakers (30-23, 6-14) with scores of 4–2, 12–6 and 4–1.The opening game of this Big Ten series consisted of dominant pitching from junior Kaitlyn Menz, who threw all seven innings for the Badgers, only allowing four hits, two runs and four walks while striking out four.This dominant pitching performance helped to counter the below average hitting performance from Wisconsin.While some Badgers didn’t hit terribly — Jordan Little smashed a home run in the fourth and Kayla Konwent and Taylor Johnson both singled for RBIs — the Badger offense lacked a form of fluidity that we have seen all year.This changed in game two of the series.Softball: Young Badger core look to leave lasting impact on Wisconsin programThe 2019 University of Wisconsin softball team (31-8, 8-5 Big Ten) has already had an outstanding, record-breaking season that’s put Read…With three Badgers recording multiple hits, along with four other players contributing to the offense, Wisconsin tallied ten hits and twelve runs in their second game versus the Boilermakers.This time in the circle for the Badgers was Haley Hestekin. Coming off of a game in which she allowed three home runs against Minnesota, Hestekin redeemed herself in her performance Saturday.Hestekin totaled five innings, only allowing six hits, three earned runs, four walks and struck out six. Freshman Maddie Schwartz closed out the final two innings for the Badgers, sealing at least a series win.Jordan Little stayed hot in the batter’s box with an RBI double in the third to put the Badgers up 3–0 and it was Lauren Foster who did the same with two RBIs afterward.But, senior Kelly Welsh was the story of the game — she smashed two home runs in back-to-back innings, including a grand slam in the fifth. Welsh had only gone yard one other time this season and was responsible for almost half of the Badger’s RBIs.Softball: Badgers struggle against Minnesota pitching, look to bounce back versus PurdueThe University of Wisconsin softball team hosted the No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers in a doubleheader Wednesday at Goodman Diamond. Read…In the final game of the series, Kaitlyn Menz returned to the circle for the Badgers and pitched another beauty. In another seven-inning game, Menz tossed four strikeouts while only allowing four hits, one run and three walks.Kayla Konwent — hitting the nation’s second-best batting average at .482 — was walked three times in this game and six times all weekend.Nonetheless, the Badger offense was ready behind her with Johnson going two-for-four — including a home run in the seventh — and freshman Tyra Turner also going two-for-four. Foster sent her second out of the park Sunday afternoon as well.With momentum heading into their final Big Ten series of the season, Wisconsin will host Nebraska this weekend at Goodman Diamond at 5 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Watch on BTN+ or follow live stats at uwbadgers.com.last_img read more