Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Davis continues to battle despite pain

The most popular stories in sports are about the toughest players who play through unimaginable pain, for the love of the game. Brett Favre, Allen Iverson and now Terrell Owens are just some of the athletes that are profiled in such a way.

Sophomore Vicki Davis of the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team is as tough as any of the aforementioned athletes, if not tougher.

One of the top prep players in Alberta, Davis, a native of Edmonton, was a member of the Northern Alberta All-Stars for four years, as well as being a top player for Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minn.). Once out of high school, Davis took her game to the University of New Hampshire, where she enjoyed immediate success.


Davis collected 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists to help the Wildcats to a 27-7-2 record and a second-place finish in the Hockey East tournament. Davis was named to the Women’s Hockey East All-Rookie Team and was named Rookie of the Month for the month of November.

Things were looking promising for the young Canadian who had a scoring touch and strong work ethic.

“I had decided on UNH and my freshman year was okay,” Davis said. “Then there was a coaching change and I got injured.”

The injury that has plagued the hockey career and even to an extent the daily life of Vicki Davis really began to manifest itself after her freshman season. Davis suffers from an illness called osteitis pubis, a degenerative condition in the hips that is characterized by potentially severe inflammation of the pubic bone. Not much is known about the illness and even less is known about how to treat it.

Davis played only six games her sophomore season at New Hampshire, hampered by her injury and coaching issues, before returning home after the fall semester to try and recuperate.

“I was injured [at New Hampshire] and I wasn’t getting the right care because they didn’t have the resources. I was just sort of getting worse and on top of that the coach and I weren’t clicking well,” Davis said.

Wisconsin assistant coach Dan Koch caught wind that the talented forward was transferring and inquired if Davis was interested in Wisconsin. Davis had already sat out almost an entire calendar year and had not really improved, so she decided it was time to go back to the ice.

“I liked how big it was because it gave me different options, whereas at UNH [the options] were limited, being a small area,” Davis said. “There are a lot of opportunities that I could capitalize on. I also liked the team a lot, liked the coaches and it just seemed like the right place. The doctors just told me to rest and I did, but nothing happened. So I decided if I am going to be in pain, I might as well try and do something.”

Since coming to UW, Davis has continued to fight her injury, which still holds her back from being the type of player she knows she used to be.

“That is probably the hardest part of it all. It’s hard to be excited sometimes for hockey when no matter what I do, the results don’t come,” Davis said of not meeting her own standards on the rink. “It’s not a matter of effort.”

Davis does not deal with her injury only when playing hockey, however. Her condition is a hindrance and a burden with everything she does in day-to-day activities.

“It affects me pretty much in everything, just walking and day-to-day stuff. I don’t think it will really go away, but hopefully I can do more than I am now,” Davis said. “It’s not fun, but I don’t know, it could be worse.”

Last weekend, however, Davis had a breakthrough on the ice against North Dakota. In impressive performances both nights, Davis scored her first two goals as a Badger and added her fifth assist of the season, looking every bit like the scoring threat she was recruited to be. Davis still takes the weekend with a grain of salt, trying not to get too high on any one performance.

“I don’t want to put too much emphasis on it,” Davis said. “Especially because we weren’t exactly playing Minnesota. Every series is a big series, but it wasn’t the kind of game where it was really going to matter for me to make that contribution.”

She did admit that scoring the goals made her feel like her old self again, if only for a moment. “I had little [flashes] that I can do what I used to and it was good, I guess. It felt good.”

Davis used to think about whether or not her injury would allow her to continue with hockey but has decided now to just take things day by day and focus only on the task at hand.

“Recently I decided that I just can’t think about it anymore and just put all of my effort and emotions into the practice and games, instead of wondering what I will do next year and if I will be playing. Those are questions I can’t really answer right now.”

Even though Davis has had her fair share of bad luck and hard knocks, she does not feel cheated or unfortunate in the least. Instead she does the most with her body that she can and gives thanks for having the opportunity to even do that.

“Every day it’s hard to go out on the ice, but at the same time I feel lucky,” Davis said. “Every day that I wake up and I don’t feel too bad and my hips don’t really hurt that bad and I feel like I might be able to skate without pain; those are the days that I try to concentrate on. I just feel lucky that I can still play sometimes.”

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