Women’s hockey puts seven game win streak on line as they travel to Ohio State this weekend

first_imgA seven-game winning streak will be on the line when the Wisconsin women’s hockey team travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State this weekend.The Badgers have not lost in almost a month — their second-longest streak of the season.Wisconsin last faced Ohio State at LaBahn Arena in early October, defeating them 6-0 and 3-0 for the series sweep.Now, with just two weekends left in the regular season, both teams will have to focus on keeping players energized, as they have been skating competitively since September.“The big thing now is to manage their energy and manage themselves mentally,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said. “There are four games left, and we have been going since September. You want to make sure practices are fun and enjoyable and kids are laughing and having a good time, but at the same time, you’re getting your work done.”Ohio State uses a smaller ice sheet, something that could take away the speed of this Wisconsin squad.“There’s really no time and no space, so it makes for a different game,” Johnson said. “Skills like our ability to control the puck and manage the puck are vital, because when you turn the puck over, it doesn’t take long for the other team to get down to the other end or create a scoring opportunity.”The Badgers are preparing for that, though, using their practice time to work on controlling the puck and positioning on the ice.“We’ve been doing a lot of small area games and working toward that,” Johnson said. “And we just want to finish strong with the last four games of the season.”Wisconsin is guaranteed at least a second place finish in the WCHA, while Ohio State is fighting for fourth place in the conference, which would give them home ice in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.Ohio State is four points behind North Dakota, but only two points ahead of Bemidji State in sixth place.“They’re going to be playing with almost a lot of urgency,” Wisconsin defenseman Katarina Zgraja said. “They need points in order to stay in the standings, so they are going to be gritty and battling hard. I think they are going to put in a lot of effort this weekend.”Both teams are looking to move up in the conference standings, so both teams should come out with high energy.The puck will drop in game one of the series at 5 p.m. Friday. The series finale will take place Saturday at 3 p.m.Quick FactsWho: Wisconsin (22-4-4 overall, 17-4-3 WCHA) at Ohio State (16-11-3, 11-10-3)Where: Columbus, OhioGame 1: Friday, Feb. 13, 5 p.m.Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 14, 3 p.m.Wisconsin Players to Watch:Blayre Turnbull – 22 points, 8 G, 14 AAnnie Pankowski – 31 points, 14 G, 17 AKarley Sylvester – 32 points, 12 G, 20 AOhio State Players to Watch:Claudia Kepler – 20 points, 10 G, 10 A.Taylor Kuehl – 19 points, 9 G, 10 A.Sara Schmitt – 17 points, 4 G, 13 A.Wisconsin Projected Starters:LW- Karley SylvesterC – Blayre TurnbullRW- Katy JosephsLD – Courtney BurkeRD – Maddie RolfesG – Ann-Renée DesbiensOhio State Projected Starters:LW – Claudia KeplerC – Lauren SpringRW – Julia McKinnonLD – Sara SchmittRD – Cara ZubkoG – Stacy Danczaklast_img