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While we were all watching basketball...

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While we were all watching basketball...

Postby pjbogart » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Wisconsin won the Broadmoor Trophy in their final season in the WCHA. I have to admit that I haven't been paying as much attention to the hockey team as I have in years past, but they turned a very mediocre start into a pretty impressive finish. No more nailbiting and staring at the pairwise rankings... they punched their ticket in style by winning the WCHA tournament.

The inaugural Big Ten Hockey season starts next fall, and it will be fun to add the Wolverines to our "most hated" column, but I'll always have a special black spot in my heart for the Fighting Sioux. I'm going to miss you fuckers. Really.

And Penn State is getting a brand spankin' new hockey team. Heh. Good luck with that, chumps.
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby MPMay » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:00 am

A "mediocre" start? How about an "atrocious" start? They were 1-7-2 in the first ten games. They scored as many goals in the semifinal Friday night (7) as they scored in the month of November. The team was dead in the water on December 1.

Since then, Wisconsin went 21-5-5, and no team in the nation has more wins in that time span. Nobody wants to draw the Badgers in the NCAA tourney.

My hats off to Coach Eaves, the assistants, and all the players for persevering and making it into the NCAA. Regardless of what happens from here, they have shown immense intensity and talent to grab the final Broadmoor Trophy (first time UW has won it since 1998).

I just hope I can see them play when I am at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh in April!
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby Igor » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:54 am

pjbogart wrote:The inaugural Big Ten Hockey season starts next fall, and it will be fun to add the Wolverines to our "most hated" column, but I'll always have a special black spot in my heart for the Fighting Sioux. I'm going to miss you fuckers. Really.


I thought they were making an effort to schedule a non-con series annually. Souvenir water bottles given out to the first 1000 patrons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jXsmGTQz-I
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby bdog » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:46 am

Peej let us know how that women's BB tourney goes too.
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby david cohen » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:18 pm

As a Badger Hockey season ticket holder, I have to say I was quite surprised by how this club rallied! My question for all of you native Badgers: Has there ever been this big a turnaround by ANY UW sports team over the course of a single season? I've only been into hockey for 7 years, and I am aware of how awful the UW's football and basketball programs once were, but those programs flipped the switch over the course of time. This year's hockey team has truly gone from abysmal to dominating!
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby MPMay » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:43 pm

I've been attending UW football and hockey games for about 4 decades, and I cannot think of any season that has started so poorly and ended up so well. I can't speak to the UW squeakyball team, since I don't follow them that closely.

One difference is that in both football and basketball, the schedules are set up to play the weak teams at the start of the season. This allows the team to build up some wins and break in new players before they hit the Big Ten schedule. If you have a poor start to your season in those sports, it likely means you are not a good team.

In WCHA hockey, you can play good teams right from the start. But in looking at hockey results, seasons that started poorly also tended to end poorly. Even the famous "Back Door Badgers" of 1981 started the season ok and had a decent record before being eliminated in the WCHA playoffs on Black Saturday (courtesy of Jeff Sauer's CC team at the time!), and then backing their way into the NCAA tourney. That team went on to beat the champions of the ECAC, CCHA, and WCHA in the tourney, and won the NCAA title.

I only made a cursory look, but I could not find any season remotely like this one in any major sport for the UW.
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby pjbogart » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:43 pm

bdog wrote:Peej let us know how that women's BB tourney goes too.



I don't get it, Dave. Are you suggesting that no one pays any attention to Badger hockey? Or are you complaining that I'm not giving the same love to women's sports?
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby bdog » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:27 am

pjbogart wrote:Are you suggesting that no one pays any attention to Badger hockey?

You did.
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby wallrock » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:09 am

This really has been an amazing season full of ups and downs. It's hard to overstate how poorly things started. I went up to Green Bay to see the Badgers play Northern Michigan at the Resch Center and they were really struggling. November was rough, first with a heartbreaking OT loss to CC followed by an uninspired sweep at the hands of Mankato. Taking three points at Denver is usually credited as the turning point but the Badgers still went halfway into December without a win in state. The turnaround is even more impressive taking into account disjointed scheduling (my Friday night tickets included games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) and sparse attendance at the Kohl Center and the Coliseum.

They really are playing their best hockey at the right time. U-Mass Lowell is in for a tough draw facing the Badgers.
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Re: While we were all watching basketball...

Postby MPMay » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:46 pm

OK, here are my picks in the hockey bracket.

I think UW is in the strongest regional, and the lower bracket (NE + West) is much stronger than the upper bracket (E + Midwest). Always tough to call these, but here goes.

In the East, #1 Quinnipiac dispatches Canisius with relative ease, by at least two goals. Boston College, who always plays its best hockey in the NCAA tourney, defeats Union. Then I think BC ousts the Q in a tight game, perhaps OT, to get to the Frozen Four.

In the Midwest, I think the two WCHA teams have been faltering and falter some more, with Miami taking out Mankato, and a hot Notre Dame team eliminating St. Cloud. I see the Irish downing Miami to also make it to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four.

In the Northeast, where the UW was dispatched due to its low PWR ranking, the best game of the tourney will likely be at 3:30 on Friday when hot Wisconsin takes on a hotter U. Mass- Lowell. With ghosts of Jack Kerouac around, I think the hot Badgers dispatch the hot River Hawks in a tight game, perhaps in OT(s?). In the other game, New Hampshire is close to home in Manchester and will beat a lagging Denver team. But Wisconsin will handle New Hampshire on Sunday and Bucky makes it to the Frozen Four in the Steel City.

In the West, the WCHA teams win both of the first round games, NoDaks over Niagara and the Goofies over Yale. I think Minnesota has too much for the Suzies and the Jaundiced Gerbils make it to the Frozen Four.

In Pittsburgh (where I shall be April 11-13), I see BC beating Notre Dame in the smaller school, Catholic semifinals, and (much as I hate to say it) Minnesota edging our beloved Badgers in the big school, Big Ten, WCHA semifinals.

And I say Minnesota will finally win another NCAA title by edging BC on April 13.

Take that advice and $4 and get a cuppa decent joe. Or $10 and some decent scotch whisky. I give it to you at cost.
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