Last week, the University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s hockey teams hosted Team USA teams.
On Tuesday, January 5, the women played the US Olympic Team as part of Team USA’s Qwest Tour, a round of warm-up games heading into the Olympics.
The following Saturday, the men hosted the U-18 team.
I was lucky enough to be at both games.
The women’s game was especially cool as the US Olympic Tea m is being coached by Badger coach Mark Johnson, who took a year hiatus. The team also features five current and former Badgers. current players Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight along with former Badgers Erika Lawler, Jessie Vetter, Molly Engstrom, Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej and Kerry Weiland.
And the Olympic Badgers really put on a show for the home crowd. On the second goal of the game, at 10:06, Lawler recorded the secondary assist. Lawler scored again near the end of the game.At the 12:22 mark, it was UW’s Knight who gave USA the 3-0 lead and Zaugg-Siergiej madethe score 4-0 with Duggan recorded the secondary assist.
Team USA’s final goal was an all-Badger affair as Engstrom passed to Lawler to Zaugg-Siergiej and Lawler finished the give-and-go to make it 9-0.
The game set a Badger women’s attendance record as just over 6,000 folks took in the game.
I was pretty psyched for the game ahead of time, though I was a little disappointed that the Badgers got so thoroughly handled, it was also very cool to see Team USA come together. They have no showed well in their exhibition games against Team Canada. I have a little more faith in how Team USA will show at the Olympics.
The tickets to this game (and all Badger women’s games) were just $5 – to see world-class hockey. My boyfriend and I drove to Madison and home on Tuesday night. As far as I’m concerned, that place should have been sold-out. Where else can you see that caliber of action and give your kids the kind of experience that Tuesday’s game provided?
It was awesome to see so many little girls, both with their families and there with their hockey teams seeing some amazing women and role models. It was very, very cool.
The next weekend the men’s team took on Team USAs U-18 team -though the best part came before the game as three Badgers that were part of the Team USA U-20 team that won the World Juniors were in attendance with their medals and the trophy. They didn’t play in the game, but there was an on ice intro before the game.
Badgers Derek Stepan, Jake Gardiner and John Ramage were all a part of the gold medal-winning team.
The Badgers beat the U-18s 7-1, which again was really secondary to the atmosphere and pride that was part of watching Team USA play and talking about the World Juniors win.
Make sure you scroll down for some pictures I took at each of the games. I apologize for any and all errors and formatting in this post – I finished it at work and WordPress’ template is apparently too much for our ancient computers!
Of course I will watch it in the Olympics, but I just can’t get into women’s hockey any more than that (My local team would be Princeton’s women’s team). It’s a different game. I usually don’t feel that way about watching men and women play the same sport. But hockey is different. That “2:00 for bodychecking” penalty drives me crazy. It’s hockey! Let them hit eachother!