Women’s hockey: Distractions run high as senior weekend, last home series approach

first_imgA busy weekend for University of Wisconsin women’s hockey is approaching as they prepare to take on Minnesota State in their last home series, as well as pay tribute to seniors and their achievements during Senior Weekend.The Badgers’ journey does not end there, as they are scheduled to take on No. 3 rivals Minnesota next weekend in Minneapolis. With emotions already running high and the looming presence of next week’s game, the team is likely more susceptible to distractions and even relaxation regarding their series this weekend.With a 16-0-0 record at home, head coach Mark Johnson reiterated in his press conference Monday afternoon that even with the preoccupation of the weekend, the No. 2 Badgers need to remain focused.With senior night approaching, talk of the elders on the team has heightened, but there has been no debate this season regarding their importance, influence and effectiveness.“I would characterize them as persistent, consistent, and from top to bottom having made a huge contribution on the ice, but equally as important, off the ice,” Johnson said.Off the ice, this group of seniors has not only stirred excitement and admiration within each other, but in the community around them.This weekend’s commemoration is going to prove a necessary and earned recognition of their successes this year, and it is imperative those talents are exploited and utilized to their fullest extent for the upcoming games. But, despite the emotional and reflective nature of upcoming days, it is important for the Badgers to remain focused.“The emotional weekend certainly contains some more distractions,” Johnson said. “When we practice, we have to be focused. Now is not the time to let your guard down.”Despite the potential road blocks, Johnson has remained static in his confidence for his players, believing that they can use their emotions as a weapon.The key for the Badgers this weekend is to use that passion and emotion brought to the surface and transforming it into motivation on the ice in hopes of keeping their undefeated home record and overall No. 2 slot.Setting aside the potential outcomes of Saturday and Sunday’s games, the team looks to a promising finish to the regular season and potentially successful post-season.“The biggest thing is to come out Saturday and embrace the weekend,” Johnson said. “Enjoy it, and play free.”last_img

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