Badgers complete sweep of Wolverines with 6-4 victory

MADISON, Wis. Coming off a back-and-forth game on Friday night, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team found themselves in another tough battle on Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

Fortunately for the Badgers (17-10-1, 10-4-0-0 Big Ten), they found themselves on the winning end once again as they defeated Michigan (9-16-3, 2-10-2-2) by a score of 6-4.

Trent Frederic opened the scoring for the Badgers just eight seconds into the first period, the fastest goal to start a game in program history. The freshman potted his 13th tally of the season as he crashed the net and received a feed from Matt Ustaski, who was behind the goal line. Luke Kunin also earned his 13th assist of the year on the play.

“I think the puck was coming to me and guys were making nice plays and I just happened to be there. It was a good weekend and good to get two wins,” Frederic said.

Wisconsin did not lead for long, however, as Michigan tied the game just 35 seconds later on James Sanchez’s fifth goal of the season. The Wolverines then took their first lead of the weekend 4:40 into the period on a goal from Cutler Martin.

Frederic denied Michigan a lead at intermission as he scored his second goal of the period, a short-handed tally after Luke Kunin blocked a shot in the defensive zone. The 19-year-old center then had an incredible effort to spring himself on a breakaway which he calmly finished with just over two minutes left in the frame.

“Little stuff like that with a blocked shot and I get the opportunity like that or the pass like last night, he’s obviously great to play with,” Frederic said. “The first goal, he made a nice play to just get the puck on the net and Ustaski made a nice play to me and it just happened to go in. My line, I thought it was good playing with them and it was a good weekend.”

The game continued to swing both ways over the next two periods as Aidan Cavallini scored his fourth goal of the season and first at the Kohl Center just 2:01 into the second period to give the Badgers a 3-2 lead. Cameron Hughes extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games with an assist on the play.

“He’s been a workhorse for us all year, his role has become more important as we’ve gone along,” head coach Tony Granato said. “I think it’s just his consistency, how he’s played has put us in a position where we want him on the ice. We thought putting him in that spot tonight would be a chance to play him more.”

Just under 11 minutes later, Joseph Cecconi knotted the game at 3-3 with his first goal of the season and the two teams headed into the final period tied.

About seven and a half minutes into the final stanza, Jake Linhart regained the lead for the Badgers as he crashed the net on a Ryan Wagner shot. The puck deflected off of his leg and past goaltender Zach Nagelvoort to put UW up 4-3.

UM responded right away, finding the back of the net just 51 seconds later on a goal from Adam Winborg.

The Cardinal and White finally found the eventual game-winner from Peter Tischke with under nine minutes to go in regulation. The UW defenseman deflected a Will Johnson back-handed shot under Nagelvoort’s legs to give the Badgers a lead they would not surrender.

Cavallini added his second goal of the game into an empty Michigan net to ensure Wisconsin’s 6-4 win.

“Yeah I think it’s pretty cool,” Cavallini said. “People say to play every game like your last and I think now that’s actually starting to hit me hard because when you’re younger you don’t think about it. It’s definitely pretty special but I just really care about winning and having a good finish to this year.”

Goaltender Matt Jurusik finished with 34 saves on 38 shots faced on the evening.

“It was one of those games, it was weird the way the bounces were going around the net. The one that floated in, I think their guy got a piece of it, but it was a floater through,” Granato said. “Jurusik was looking through traffic and it floats in. He looked square, it looked like he was confident and he made some big saves when he had to.”

With the win and six conference games to go, UW can finish no lower than fourth place in the Big Ten standings. The three points also keeps the Badgers in second place and on pace with first-place Minnesota, who swept Penn State over the weekend, making the margin just three points between the two teams.

First place will be on the line for Wisconsin next weekend as it heads to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers in the second Border Battle of the season. The two teams split the first matchup in Madison earlier in the year.

“Next week will be a challenge. We had two great games against Minnesota there a few weeks back. We know the skill that they have, we know we’ll have to be at our best,” Granato said. “Minnesota and Wisconsin, doesn’t matter what the records are, but now you see that one-two in the (Big Ten Conference) standings, it’s only going to be that much more meaningful and exciting.”

(uwbadgers.com)

Bo Ryan among 14 finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame

NEW ORLEANS — Former University of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was announced on Saturday as one of 14 finalists for the 2017 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ryan holds the career wins total record at Wisconsin (364), a full 99 wins more than the No. 2 coach on the list, Bud Foster. The ex-Badgers coach also holds a Big Ten conference record for best win percentage (.717) among coaches with six or more years in the conference.

The full list of finalists is below:

Finalists
Tracy McGrady player)
Chris Webber (player)
Tim Hardaway (player)
Sidney Moncrief (player)
Rudy Tomjanovich (coach)
Bill Self (coach)
Bo Ryan (coach)
Kim Mulkey (coach)
Rollie Massimino (coach)
Muffet McGraw (coach)
Rebecca Lobo (player)
Robert Hughes (coach)
Hugh Evans (referee)
1954-58 Wayland Baptist Univ. (team)

2017 class inductees will be announced on Apr. 3, prior to the NCAA championship game.

Badgers open series against Wolverines with 5-2 win

MADISON, Wis. —  Riding behind three goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation, 20th-ranked Wisconsin (16-10-1, 9-4-0-0 Big Ten) defeated Michigan (9-15-3, 2-9-2-2) by a score of 5-2 at the Kohl Center on Friday night.

Heading into the final stanza, UW held a slim 2-1 lead, but Michigan tied the game at 2-2, eight minutes into the period on Evan Allan’s third goal of the season.

Wisconsin did not let the game remain a tie for very long, as they responded with Trent Frederic’s second goal of the game just 1:35 later to take back the lead for good. Frederic tapped in a laser-like pass from Luke Kunin, who found the freshman through bodies and sticks. Corbin McGuire was given a secondary helper on the play.

“When they tied it 2-2 was when I thought our team stepped up,” head coach Tony Granato said. “Luke Kunin made a great pass to Trent Frederic and (Aidan Cavallini’s) pass to (Jarod) Zirbel. I thought those were big moments and big for our team. They still had plenty of time to get another one but we got back after it and made a couple plays that were huge.”

The Cardinal and White sealed their victory with 2:17 to go in regulation as Aidan Cavallini fed a behind-the-back pass to Jarod Zirbel who roofed the puck to make it a two-goal game. JD Greenway earned an assist on the play.

Seamus Malone then added an insurance goal 18 seconds later to make it 5-2 Badgers.

“They became a little more aggressive trying to get the puck out of their end,” Granato said. “I don’t think we did anything different after we got the 3-2 lead, I just thought they were a little more desperate to try to make plays. We took advantage of it and made some plays on their end. We outnumbered them at the net.”

Earlier in the game, Frederic opened the scoring halfway into the first period for his 11th marker of his freshman campaign. He collected the puck off of a shot that had went wide and deposited it into the net. Jake Linhart and Peter Tischke earned assists on the goal.

The Badgers held the 1-0 lead until the opening minute of the second period, when Michigan tied the game for the first time on Cooper Marody’s fifth goal of the year.

UW regained the lead on the power play after Cameron Hughes finished off a nifty give-and-go between him and Kunin. The nice passing play led to the junior’s seventh goal of the year and extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games.

“I think any time a team scores, you want a good response. We were lucky enough to get a power play and get a chance to get right back into it,” Hughes said. “I think we executed pretty well. We’ve been working on that in practice, so that payoff was the goal and the momentum.”

The last time a Wisconsin player had a point-scoring streak of 11 games was Tyler Barnes during the 2011-12 season. That streak lasted from Oct. 8-Nov. 12, 2011.

Michigan-native Jack Berry defeated the Wolverines for the second time this season, making 25 saves on 27 shots faced.

“Our team is confident around him. He’s been the same pretty much every game he’s played. Obviously we need him and he was rock solid,” Granato said.

(uwbadgers.com)

Another Badger bummer as Koenig sits out, Wisconsin loses at Michigan

ANN ARBOR | Wisconsin senior guard Bronson Koenig sat out with his nagging calf injury and the #11 Wisconsin men’s basketball team lost at Michigan 64-58.  It was the first time in 25 games Koenig did not start for the Badgers.. and it showed.

Ethan Happ scored 18 first half points hitting 8 of 9 shots. But Happ was help to just four points in the second half.  The Badgers (21-5, 10-3) have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, dropping them into a three-way tie atop the Big Ten standings with No. 16 Purdue and No. 23 Maryland with five games remaining in the regular season.

 

Wisconsin freshman D’Mitrik Trice, getting the start for Koenig, had nine points on 2-of-15 shooting. Trice also had five rebounds and four assists in his first start.

Wisconsin hosts Maryland in a pivotal game in the race for the Big Ten’s regular season championship Sunday at noon. Michigan plays at Minnesota Sunday

Six Badgers to appear at NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — According to an NFL release, six University of Wisconsin football players have accepted invites to appear at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Invitees
OLB Vince Biegel
RB Corey Clement
RB Dare Ogunbowale
T Ryan Ramczyk
CB Sojourn Shelton
LB T.J. Watt

Noteworthy is the appearance of left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who told reporters in December that he’d be undergoing hip surgery following the Cotton Bowl to repair a torn labrum. Initial reports indicated that it was an injury that would require a four-month recovery window. Ramczyk isn’t expected to take part in any on-field work while at the combine.

Running back Corey Clement will also be worth watching, having returned for his senior year but not hitting the 2,000-yard mark he was hoping to reach when he became a starter in 2015. Instead, Clement’s efforts in 2016 were spread out across more roles than just running the football. He finished the year with 1,507 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns.

Koenig misses Tuesday practice with leg injury, expected to play vs Michigan

MADISON, Wis. — Following Sunday’s 66-59 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard noted that the left calf injury to senior guard Bronson Koenig was affecting his performance. That’s why he was given the night off from Tuesday’s practice.

This season, Koenig is averaging career highs in field goal percentage (.418) and points (13.4), not including his freshman year. But after suffering the leg injury Jan. 24 against Penn State, Koenig is just 14-of-55 (.254) from the field and averaging 8.8 points per game.

University of Wisconsin officials say the injury won’t keep him from playing in Thursday night’s contest at Michigan, however. But freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice is ready to step up if necessary.

“I’m preparing for that, definitely,” Trice said following Tuesday’s practice. “You never know with Bronson [Koenig] and whatever’s going on with him. I know I’m praying for him and things like that, but I’m definitely preparing with that mindset.”

Trice has been a source of confidence for coach Greg Gard this season, averaging 17.1 minutes per game, hitting 42.6 percent of his field goal attempts.

Koenig has not been available to speak with reporters this week to discuss the injury.

Penn State completes sweep of Wisconsin with 5-2 win

MADISON, Wis. — Although the Wisconsin men’s hockey team (15-10-1, 8-4-0-0 Big Ten) made several comeback efforts in Saturday’s game, they ultimately fell short against ninth-ranked Penn State (18-6-2, 7-4-1-0) by a score of 5-2 at the Kohl Center.

The weekend sweep marked the first time the Badgers have lost consecutive games all season.

“It’s a weekend to learn from. It’s a weekend to say Penn State was a better team this weekend,” head coach Tony Granato said. “We can’t say, ‘well we had our chances and coulda, woulda, shoulda.’ We didn’t have our chances to win games this series. They were good. We weren’t good enough. This is the first weekend all year that at the end of it you say we got beat by a better team.”

The first period started with chances on both ends of the ice, creating a lively atmosphere to the first few minutes. Penn State struck first 13:33 into the frame on Nate Sucese’s ninth goal of the season.

Wisconsin denied PSU a lead at the first intermission on Matt Ustaski‘s third goal of the year with 23 seconds to play in the period. The junior was left all alone in front and Grant Besse made a smooth backhanded pass from behind the goal-line to find Ustaski for the finish. The secondary assist went to Tim Davison on the play.

Goaltender Matt Jurusik made 10 saves in the stanza.

Penn State began to show their offensive prowess in the second period, gaining a 2-1 lead on Sucese’s second goal of the game. Denis Smirnov extended PSU’s lead to two about three and a half minutes later for his 13th goal of the year.

“I think it’s pretty much the whole series they played smart, they played a better road game than we were able to handle. I think they really did,” head coach Tony Granato said. “They were that good pretty much the whole series. Like I said there hasn’t been a team come in this building or anywhere we’ve played on the road that at the end of two games you say well they were the better team. This weekend they were.”

The Cardinal and White clawed a goal back on the power play with 3:33 to go in the period when Luke Kunin scored for the fourth consecutive game, nothing the
19th goal of his sophomore campaign. The power-play tally was assisted by Cameron Hughes and Trent Frederic.

Hughes extended his team’s longest point streak of the season to 10 games with the assist.

For the second night in a row, the Badgers looked to carry momentum over into the beginning of the third period, but Penn State promptly deflated the Badgers with a goal just 2:53 into the final frame. Smirnov scored on a breakaway, slipping the puck under Jurusik to make it 4-2.

“Yeah, we were definitely hoping we could carry some momentum in there and come out strong in the third, but it didn’t happen so like I said, we just need to learn from it and be better,” Kunin said.

Trevor Hamilton put extra salt in UW’s wounds, as he made it a three-goal game with 5:21 left in regulation, sealing the Badgers’ 5-2 defeat.

Jurusik wound up making 39 saves on 44 shots faced on the evening.

“I think we just need to reset a little bit mentally,” Jurusik said. “We need to realize some weekends aren’t going to go our way and, me personally, I just got to reset my mind and get back to playing the game I was and I think that’s going to be a big help for the team as we go into next weekend.”

Wisconsin will look to bounce back from their first sweep of the year next weekend as they host Michigan. The two-game series will be part of UW’s annual white-out, so all fans are encouraged to wear white on both Friday and Saturday.

(uwbadgers.com)

Badgers left off initial NCAA Tournament Top 16

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin Badgers basketball team will have some work to do from now until the official unveiling of the NCAA tournament field after failing to make the selection committee’s Top 16 list announced Saturday morning.

Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis unveiled the list, noting the first four teams left out were Creighton, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Cincinnati.

Reigning national champions Villanova take the top overall spot with a record of 23-2.

Top 16 teams by rank
1. Villanova
2. Kansas
3. Baylor
4. Gonzaga
5. North Carolina
6. Florida State
7. Louisville
8. Oregon
9. Arizona
10. Virginia
11. Florida
12. Kentucky
13. Butler
14. West Virginia
15. UCLA
16. Duke

First four out
1. Creighton
2. Purdue
3. Wisconsin
4. Cincinnati

Top 16 teams by region
East
1. Villanova (1)
2. Louisville (7)
3. Kentucky (12)
4. UCLA (15)

Midwest
1. Kansas (2)
2. Florida State (6)
3. Arizona (9)
4. Duke (16)

West
1. Baylor (3)
2. North Carolina (5)
3. Florida (11)
4. Butler (13)

South
1. Gonzaga (4)
2. Oregon (8)
3. Virginia (10)
4. West Virginia (14)

Another ugly win as Badgers pull it out in OT over Nebraska

LINCOLN, NE | Once again it wasn’t pretty. But in the end the Wisconsin men’s basketball team pulled out the victory. The #7 Badgers (21-3, 10-1 Big Ten) beat Nebraska in Lincoln 70-69 in overtime on Thursday night.

UW senior Nigel Hayes hit the go-ahead three-point basket with 18.4 seconds to go in the extra period to put the Badgers up by one. The Cornhuskers had a chance to win it, but Ethan Happ blocked Tai Webster’s lay-up attempt. Happ then pulled in the rebound and called timeout with 3 seconds to go. Nigel Hayes, who was fouled on the ensuing possession, missed both free throws but Cornhusker Michael Jacobson turned it over and the Badgers ran out the clock for a hard-fought win in Lincoln.

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said his team didn’t do much right, but gave them credit for finding a way. “We couldn’t shoot the ball. We couldn’t finish around the rim. We turned it over too much. We couldn’t keep them off the glass,” said Gard. “With the exception of our fortitude we didn’t do much right.”

Regardless of their struggles, it was 17th win in the last 18 games for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team.

Nebraska’s Michael Jacobson forced overtime with his 3 just ahead of the buzzer, tying the game at 58-all.

Nigel Hayes scored 18 of his 20 points after halftime for the Badgers who won their eighth straight..

UW senior Zak Showalter also made 4 of 6 three pointers and finished with 15 points. Bronson Koenig added 12 for Wisconsin.

 

Wisconsin shot just 36.5 percent and were outrebounded 50-37, but they were able to win for the eighth time in 11 games away from Madison and stay 1 1/2 games ahead of Purdue.

Nebraska turned the ball over 22 times and hit just 15 of 24 free throws.

Wisconsin hosts Northwestern at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kohl Center.

UW spring game set for April 21 at 6:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin football team’s annual Spring Game will be held on Friday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badger Sports Kids’ Fair will start at 5 p.m. in the McClain Center, adjacent to Camp Randall.

The UW Athletic Department is pleased to partner once again with a campus department on the Spring Game. This year’s partner is the UW’s Waisman Center, which is dedicated to advancing knowledge about human development, developmental disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases.

Tickets for the Wisconsin Football Spring Game are $5 and are on sale now at UWBadgers.com/Tickets. The proceeds from the game will go toward a scholarship fund for children in the Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP), an inclusive preschool program with a developmentally diverse enrollment. One third of the children in this program have special health care needs.

The WECP focuses on optimizing each child’s unique abilities. The scholarship fund provides vital tuition assistance to families with children enrolled in the program.

“We are very grateful and excited to partner with the Athletic Department on the spring football game” said Albee Messing, VMD, PhD, Director of the Waisman Center. “The proceeds from the game will have a direct and immediate impact on children in our preschool program, many of whom have disabilities. The scholarship fund will give more families access to assistance for tuition and therapy, urgent needs many currently cannot afford.”

“The Waisman Center does tremendous work and helps a large number of families,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “We are extremely proud to partner with them on this year’s Spring Game and excited to help specifically with their Early Childhood Program that positively affects so many kids.”

Preceding the Spring Game, be sure to check out the Badger Sports Kids Fair. Fans young and old will enjoy interactive games and activities, the chance to meet Badger student-athletes and much more. The Badger Sports Kids Fair will be held in the McClain Center from 5-6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Badgers, who are ranked No. 12 in ESPN.com’s “Way-Too-Early 2017 Top 25,” return 15 starters from last year’s team that went 11-3 and won the Cotton Bowl. UW finished the season ranked ninth in the country in both the Associated Press and coaches polls after beating four teams ranked among the top 12 during the season.

In his two seasons in Madison, head coach Paul Chryst has led Wisconsin to a 21-6 record.

(uwbadgers.com)