Camp Randall game lessens pain of series split

first_imgThe Wisconsin women\’s hockey team was all smiles after a 6-1 over Bemidji St. in Saturday\’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic.[/media-credit]Saturday was simply unforgettable, but Sunday followed with nothing but frustration.Wisconsin played a once-in-a-lifetime game at the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic blowing out the Bemidji State Beavers 6-1. After the thrilling win, however, the Badgers were unable to keep the momentum rolling and suffered a frustrating 2-0 defeat.Despite a frustrating end to the weekend the team feels as if nothing can take away from its first outdoor game.“It’s something I’ll never forget,” forward Jasmine Giles said of the Classic. “It’s just unbelievable, I can’t even describe it to tell you the truth.”Forward Carolyne Prevost shared similar feelings and the need to embrace every moment the game offered.“You don’t know how many times you’re going to get this opportunity so you just have to embrace every moment of this; be excited and positive about it — have fun.”While it certainly was an event the squad was looking forward to all season, it came sooner than any of them really expected.“We’ve been talking about this game since probably the very beginning of the year and it came by so fast,” Prevost said. “I think the warm-up — seeing the crowd, feeling the ice and just feeling the energy of this whole stadium was unbelievable.“Getting the first goal was really crucial in the game, putting them on their heels right away and I think from there we just took off.”The Classic did show a dominant Badger squad.In the 6-1 contest the Badgers outshot the Beavers 42-14, displaying a strong offensive line coupled with solid defense.Yet, the Badgers, despite consistently out-shooting their opponents, have had issues actually finding the back of the net. At the Classic, however, everything was finally coming together.“Today just everything was clicking. We were passing it off to each other… it just hasn’t happened as much for us this year,” Prevost said. “All the hard work has been paying off.“We haven’t had six goals in a while, it was definitely great to see that from our team today. We just came together and passes were just clicking, lines were just clicking and it was unbelievable to see.”Playing outside also brought out more fans for the team, something they fully embraced. Normally playing in front of meager crowds, the 8,263 fan turnout was thrilling for Wisconsin.With the larger-than-normal crowd coupled with the outdoor excitement, the squad thrived in the unique atmosphere.“I think I’m taking the crowd with me,” forward Brianna Decker said. “That was great, having all of them out here, to hear them cheering for us — we don’t really get that in Kohl. It was great to have them.”Although the game was unforgettable, it was more than just an exciting outdoor game; It was part of an important WCHA series for the Badgers.Before the series the Badgers sat ahead of the Beavers by only one point. The Badgers could not let the Beavers walk away with the series.When it was over, Giles was more than thankful for the win.“I think a lot of fans forgot about the fact that it is a league game; if we lose it, then that just puts us in fourth or fifth place in our league, so if we came out with a win today we still stay on top, thank God we came out with it.“We didn’t want to come out today and lose this game — not only for the outdoor game but for statistics as well. We had to win it. We have to win this series. We came out excited but also focused to take the win,” Giles added.With the win Saturday, Wisconsin had the chance to pull farther ahead in the standings, but just could not get the job done on Sunday.“[It’s] very frustrating,” assistant coach Peter Johnson said. “The tone of the game was we needed to score first… the worst thing that could happen to us was for them to score first, and they scored first and got a lead so it was an uphill battle from there. As good as yesterday was, as frustrating as today is, it’s two ends of the spectrum.”Despite the frustration, the Badgers won’t forget the Classic any time soon.“It’s a unique, once in a life time opportunity,” interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser said. “[The Classic] is now is my favorite moment from this season. I give credit to the players for coming out prepared and just finishing strong.”Giles also added how no amount of practice could have prepared the team for the experience the Classic brought.“It’s something that you can never really prepare for,” she said. “Just to be out there with my teammates — we had a really fun time, I guess that’s all that really matters.”last_img read more