Eagles fly high in championship game rematch

first_imgThe men’s hockey team may have only been 50 miles away from the Bradley Center, but it was a different world in the Kohl Center this weekend. The Badgers only scored one goal in their two-game series against Boston College in a rematch of last year’s National Championship game.Gone for Wisconsin were key members of last year’s championship squad such as Adam Burish, Joe Pavelski and Robbie Earl, while UW forwards Jack Skille and Ross Carlson were sidelined for the second weekend in a row.The scoring vacancy left by last year’s graduates and injured UW forwards was evident this weekend as the men’s hockey team dropped a pair to the class of the Hockey East Conference, who returned 16 players from last year’s title bout.”Redemption is a great motivator,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “I told the team that they got beat and got beat pretty soundly in terms of the attitude that was played in your own barn.” After a 3-0 loss Friday, the Badgers were dominated by BC who made it clear that sweeping the defending national champs was on their mind, taking the series finale 4-1. After a scoreless and physical first period, the Eagles came out of the intermission flying high scoring four goals in an action-packed second period. “They have 16 guys who played in the championship game last year and we had nine and they had an edge in the way they played,” Eaves said. “They had an attitude and they were here to prove something and clearly that put us right back on our heels.”After a BC power play goal by Boston College centerman Benn Ferriero, the Eagles struck again on a controversial goal that deflected off the foot of a BC forward. “I was right there and I thought he kicked it in and I don’t know what the distinctive kicking motion is but I definitely thought it was kicked in,” Elliott said.”Right away when he signaled it was a goal no one dropped their shoulders,” UW forward Jake Dowell added. “We scored goals like that too … and goals are goals and when they go in like that, it will all come out in the wash later.”Down 2-0, Dowell did what he does best, cleaning up a juicy rebound surrendered by Schneider for the Badgers’ only goal of the weekend, but after that it was all BC who lit the lamp two more times in the final 3:45 of the second period. “I’m not happy with the way I played but the situations that some of times you get put in doesn’t give the best chance to succeed in those situations,” Elliott said. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable out there but a couple of breakdowns in details, line changes in the penalty kill and things like that open up holes that are not usually there and we just got to tighten up those holes.”Friday, Wisconsin was thoroughly outplayed by a fired-up Boston College squad that set the tone early, hoping to avenge last year’s Frozen Four title game loss. Despite out shooting the Eagles 28-20, the Badgers failed to generate any offensive rhythm and quality scoring chances were hard to come by. Two Boston College penalties early in the first period gave the Badgers a five-on-three advantage, but it was the Eagles who made the most of that opportunity. BC forward Nathan Gerbe had the first of his two goals when he beat Elliott with a stick side shot right where mama keeps the peanut butter.”Boy, I would have to check the archives for [the last five-on-three goals] but nothing comes to my mind,” Eaves said. “It was a goal scorer’s goal … the guy took a shot that went through Klubertanz, and I think Brian (Elliott) would like to have that shot back because it kind of went through him and that’s a great way for [BC] to start on the road.”Gerbe netted his second of the night with just more than two minutes remaining in the game, and an empty netter sealed the victory for the Eagles.Prior to this weekend, the Badgers had been relying on grit and toughness to overcome the lack of scoring — but against an offensive juggernaut of Boston College’s caliber, UW’s offensive inadequacies were apparent.”We knew this year that our firepower would be tough to get,” Eaves said. “We have to manufacture goals … we lost some guys early and we’re dealing with a metamorphosis right now and part of that is dealing with injured players.”last_img read more

Read More »

Preview: South Africa v Ghana

first_imgSouth Africa head into Tuesday’s final Group C fixture against Ghana knowing only a victory will leave them with a chance of making the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.Bafana Bafana currently sits bottom of the standings after managing just one point from their first two group-stage matches, having slumped to a 3-1 loss against Algeria before playing to a 1-1 draw with Senegal.The continued presence of Shakes Mashaba’s men in Equatorial Guinea will now depend on them beating the Black Stars, while also hoping the Lions of Teranga can dispatch the Fennec Foxes in a simultaneous kick-off on Tuesday night.However, Ghana will prove an extremely tough nut to crack, and, unlike South Africa, the team have already tasted victory at this year’s showpiece after seeing off Algeria 1-0 on Friday, which followed on from their 2-1 loss to Senegal in the opening round.On the team front, Mashaba is set to have teenage defender Rivaldo Coetzee back after he missed the draw against the Lions with a knee injury, although Thulani Hlatshwayo is a major doubt after suffering a concussion at the weekend.Ghana, meanwhile, will be looking to inspirational captain Asamoah Gyan to again lead them to victory, with the forward having netted the winner against Senegal deep into injury time.  The Black Stars have, otherwise, reported no fresh injury concerns, leaving coach Avram Grant with a full squad to pick from.last_img read more

Read More »