Lady Ice Badgers are historic powerhouse

first_imgDriven by destiny, leadership and prowess on both the offensive and defensive end, this team stands alone.No, I’m not talking about the ’85 Bears who finished 15-1 and went on to dismantle the competition in the playoffs, cruising to victory in Super Bowl XX. Nor am I referring to Michael Jordan and his Bulls’ wondrous 1995-96 team that went 72-10. And I’m certainly not citing any of the Celtics teams back in the 60s, the Montreal Canadiens during the 50s through 70s, or even the UCLA teams that won seven straight NCAA titles between 1967 and 1973.In fact, I’m not talking about a team or season that is even on the national radar. What I’m talking about is the Wisconsin women’s hockey team.Look at it. What you’ll find is downright absurd. And outside of Madison, practically nobody knows it. Just like those teams, the Badgers are in a league of their own.Chew on these numbers. Last season, the Badgers capped a 36-4-1 finish with their first national championship. This year, it has been more of the same.Now, there is still plenty of hockey left to be played. They have more talent than some NCAA men’s teams, and they certainly have more heart than Ricky Bobby.There have been some ridiculous streaks in sports lore, including the 1971-72 Lakers’ 33-game winning streak, Oklahoma football’s 47-game winning streak from ’53 to ’57, the 1916 New York Giants’ 26-gamer on the diamond and the 1993 Pittsburgh Penguins’ 17-gamer. These are the streaks of the best there ever were.Sports are difficult to compare across one another, no doubt, but the women’s hockey team won — not tied — 18 straight games, and put together a string of 26 games where they skated to just one tie, going 25-0-1, before being blanked by the Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth. For basically three-fourths of a season, the hockey team didn’t lose. To put the duration of that streak in perspective, it would be like the Bulls winning 60 consecutive games that historic season. In football, 26 consecutive games would have assured Matt Leinart’s Trojans two consecutive undefeated seasons. And he still would have gone home with a doggy bag for the remainder.But this UW team isn’t just about one streak. No, after Wisconsin lost 2-0 to Minnesota-Duluth, it has begun another streak. Currently, it is riding a 13-game unbeaten streak. So in the past 40 games, the Badgers have gone 36-1-3 (.938). Although it isn’t perfect, it’s pretty darn close.To me, I find it borderline absurd that when Johnson talked with me a few weeks back about their “slip-ups” to St. Cloud State, we were talking about ties. Not losses, but ties. This team is that good: a tie, not a loss, means the Badgers didn’t play to their utmost potential.And what potential they have. Entering the weekend where Wisconsin outscored Minnesota State 5-0 and 8-0, it ranked No. 4 in the country in goals scored and No. 1 in goals allowed at 1.08. On the power play, the Badgers score at a 32 percent rate (best in the nation) while holding their opponents to a 9 percent conversion rate.During the month of January, the Cardinal and White has outscored its opponents 42-2 over eight games. At one point the Badgers pitched four-straight shutouts and out-shot their opponents by a three-to-one margin. Now if Bobby Boucher were a real athlete, I could put this team’s dominance in perspective, but since he’s not, I feel that there isn’t anyone or any team right now that would do them justice.Sure, Wisconsin is just 1-1-1 when trailing after the second period. But it’s never in that position, so there isn’t much cause for concern. The fact that they have had the lead after two periods in 24 of 28 games says it all.Of course this season would all go to waste if they didn’t win the NCAA Championship, which, according to Johnson, could very well happen.”Once playoff time comes around, Coach always says you can blink your eyes and it can be done,” said freshman forward Meghan Duggan, who is tied for second among rookies with 37 points. “So we’re just going to stay on track and keep playing the way we’ve been playing.”But let’s be realistic. On any given night this squad is going to win 94 percent of the time. Odds are in their favor.And with players and leadership who have been there before and played in the big games, as well as the almost gut-wrenching talent they have up and down their roster, there isn’t a team in the country who will beat them.I know it’s a long way to the eight consecutive championships that the Celtics won during the 60s, but the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team is well on its way.Kevin is double majoring in journalism and economics. If you would like to discuss the women’s hockey team’s success or possibly your list of the best teams ever, he can be reached at khagstrom@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Davis bruises lower back in Lakers’ 117-87 win over Knicks

first_imgPistons 115, Cavaliers 113Cleveland (AP) — Derrick Rose hit a 15-footer with 27 seconds left and Detroit rallied past Cleveland.Rose, who scored 24 points, scored on a runner in the lane to give Detroit a 114-113 lead and cap a comeback that began with the Pistons trailing 110-91 early in the fourth quarter.Cleveland set up for a go-ahead shot, but Collin Sexton was called for stepping out of bounds with seven seconds left. The ruling was overturned, but Sexton’s shot in the lane didn’t hit the rim and Detroit was awarded possession on a shot-clock violation.Andre Drummond finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds, the 38th time in his career he has hit the 20-mark in both categories.Kevin Love matched a season high with 30 points, but Cleveland lost its fifth straight and went winless on its four-game homestand. The six-time All-Star pounded the court in pain and stayed down for roughly two minutes, but eventually rose with his teammates’ help and then slowly walked off unaided.X-rays were negative, but Davis didn’t return to the game. His agent, Rich Paul, said his client felt extremely sore.LeBron James scored 31 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 15, but the Lakers (30-7) didn’t exactly celebrate becoming the second team to win 30 games this season.R.J. Barrett scored 19 points for the Knicks, and Randle had 15 points and 10 rebounds against his former team. New York dropped to 0-3 on its four-game West Coast trip. Loading…Sponsored Content6 Best 90’s Action Movies From Your Childhood9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World? Kings 114, Suns 103Phoenix (AP) — De’Aaron Fox scored 27 points, Nemanja Bjelica added 19 and Sacramento rallied from a 21-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Phoenix.The Kings — who have won three of their last four — got big contributions from bench players Dewayne Dedmon and Trevor Ariza. Dedmon finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Ariza — who played for Phoenix part of last season — added 15 points.The Suns were led by Devin Booker, who scored 34 points and had seven assists. It was Booker’s seventh straight game with at least 30 points, which extends his franchise record.Deandre Ayton added 21 points and nine rebounds. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 17 points. Grizzlies 119, Timberwolves 112Memphis, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 28 points, Ja Morant added 25 and Memphis rallied in the fourth quarter for a victory over Minnesota.Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 21 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in fourth. Jae Crowder finished with 14 points and eight rebounds as Memphis won its third straight.Rookie Jarrett Culver led the Timberwolves with a career-high 24 points, converting 8 of 11 shots, including 3 of 5 from outside the arc. Jeff Teague scored 18 points and handed out six assists for Minnesota, while Robert Covington scored 17 points. Andrew Wiggins had 15 points. Thunder 111, Nets 103, OTNew York (AP) — Chris Paul scored 20 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, leading Oklahoma City past Brooklyn.The game was tied at 103 before Paul made consecutive jumpers and the Nets never scored again. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander closed out the scoring with four free throws, after making a jumper to open OT.Gilgeous-Alexander added 22 points for the Thunder, who bounced back from a loss Monday in Philadelphia to win for the sixth time in seven games. Steven Adams had 10 points and 18 rebounds as Oklahoma City won without Danilo Gallinari, who rested a calf injury.Taurean Prince scored 21 points and Caris LeVert had 20 in his second game back from right thumb surgery, but the Nets dropped their seventh straight. Spencer Dinwiddie had 14 points, but he struggled early and late in a 6 for 21 night. Trail Blazers 101, Raptors 99Toronto (AP) — Carmelo Anthony made the winning basket with four seconds remaining and Portland rallied to beat Toronto.Anthony scored 28 points, Damian Lillard had 20 and Hassan Whiteside added 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who snapped a four-game losing streak in Toronto and won for the second time in 10 meetings with the Raptors.Anfernee Simons scored 12 points and C.J. McCollum had 10.Kyle Lowry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds as the injury-ravaged Raptors lost for just the second time in 16 games against opponents with losing records.Oshae Brisett scored a career-high 12 points for Toronto and Chris Boucher also had 12, including 10 straight Raptors points in the fourth. Davis bruised his sacrum — the bottom part of his spine above the tailbone — when he attempted to block Julius Randle’s driving shot. He got knocked off balance and fell awkwardly to the court, landing hard on his back with 2:45 left in the third. New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis, left, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis reach for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles (AP) — Anthony Davis left in the third quarter after bruising his lower back on a painful fall during the Los Angeles Lakers’ sixth straight victory, 117-87 over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.last_img read more