Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Despite battling injuries, Badgers eager for playoffs

The Wisconsin women’s hockey team celebrated on the ice repeatedly this sesaon, finishing with a 30-2-2 (24-2-2-2 WCHA) record.[/media-credit]

It’s playoff time.

This weekend, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team hosts St. Cloud State at the Eagle’s Nest in Verona. Once a player himself, UW head coach Mark Johnson noted in his press conference Monday that it’s certainly an exciting time of the year.

Finishing the regular season with a 30-2-2, 24-2-2-2 WCHA record and a No. 1 ranking, the Badgers undoubtedly had an impressive season.


“I told the team Saturday afternoon that it was a special year, especially for our seniors,” Johnson said. “To win 30 games – not a lot of teams whether on the men’s side or women’s side can go through a season and win 30 games – so it was a special year. Everybody made a contribution.”

Yet, regardless of what transpired over the last five months, Johnson asserted the next two weeks are what count the most.

“The one thing you have to understand is everybody is at zero right now,” Johnson said. “You can take the regular season either as a successful one or maybe one that hasn’t gone the way you want it to go.”

Injuries jumble lines

With one of the longest seasons in sports, injuries in hockey are almost inevitable.

In the final series of the regular season, the Badgers were without a full line of forwards, as they were missing freshman Brittany Ammerman, junior Brooke Ammerman and senior Kelly Nash.

Johnson hopes to have Nash back for this weekend’s series, but remains uncertain about the Ammerman sisters.

“I anticipate in the next couple days, hopefully getting [Nash] back on the ice,” Johnson said. “The other two, it’s day to day. I’m not sure if they’re going to be available this weekend. It’s the next player in… you still have to play. You try to insert people in and do things from a chemistry standpoint. Then you have to go out and see what’s going to happen.”

While obstacles will manifest throughout a season, heading into the playoffs isn’t the most ideal time to have three players out.

“You’re going to have obstacles, you’re going to have hurdles you have to step over and you don’t know when they’re going to come,” Johnson said. “You certainly don’t want them late in the season, but you still have to deal with them.”

Duggan, Decker dynamic duo

Playing on a line together almost all season, it’s difficult not to notice the chemistry between sophomore forward Brianna Decker and senior forward Meghan Duggan.

Duggan and Decker are two of Wisconsin’s top three forwards with 73 and 65 points respectively. They have also developed a friendship off the ice.

“I think with [Duggan], she still continues to grow as a player,” Johnson said. “She works extremely hard at practice. So for [Decker] coming back and having a good summer of conditioning and watching how [Duggan] conducts herself on a daily basis and the friendship they’ve developed not only off the ice, but on the ice, has certainly helped [Decker] blossom into a big time player for us.”

As a senior, Duggan’s presence will certainly be missed next year, but her legacy will live in what she has taught other players like Decker.

“Now, she’s a senior and we’re certainly going to miss her when we get done with this run, but her legacy and what she’s been able to do on the ice is going to be in our record books,” Johnson said. “More importantly, what she’s done away from the game, impacting the players that are still here and certainly for the future is probably a bigger statement for her.”

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