first_imgWith just eight regular season games remaining, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team finds itself perched at No. 3 in the rankings and No. 2 in the WCHA standings, hoping to ride out the season on a hot streak.This weekend’s away series against Minnesota State comes after the Badgers’ convincing series win against defending national champions Clarkson University. Sophomore forward Sydney McKibbon said the team is now looking to win the eight games left in the season.“In-conference or out-of-conference, we want to get eight wins,” McKibbon said. “We want to move into the playoffs on a high note.”Regardless of their opponent, the Badgers are expressing confidence in their abilities, despite a recent stretch of goal-scoring troubles. However, if the team continues the form they exhibited in a 4-0 thumping of seventh-ranked Clarkson on Sunday, this should be no problem.“What we’re doing right now has been working pretty well,” sophomore forward Sarah Nurse said. “With our team, I think it’s pretty deep. Anybody can score.”Granted, freshman forward Annie Pankowski scored three of Wisconsin’s four goals on Sunday, but the principle remains that the Badgers are quite capable of tallying goals. After their last game, the team hopes the rough patch the team hit coming out of the winter break might finally be over.“On Sunday, we were finally able to put the puck in the net,” McKibbon said. “We want to continue to do that, continue to pepper the goalies. It gets frustrating when you’re getting 50 shots on net and you’re not scoring … but it makes us want to score even more and get pucks to the net.”In its last five games before the Clarkson series, Wisconsin had netted only six goals.From the Jan. 10th game vs. Minnesota through Sunday’s game vs. Clarkson, the Badgers’ offense was subpar. Through the six games, the Badgers shot, on average, 11.84 in the first period of games, 14.84 in the second and 11.5 in the third. Those shots translated into, on average, 0.17 goals in the first period, one in the second and 0.4 in the third.However, in Sunday’s game vs. Clarkson alone, the Badgers shot 14 first period shots, 15 second period shots and fell to only nine third period shots. This resulted in zero first period goals, two second period goals and two third period goals.Finding their stride again could not have come at a more convenient time, as the Badgers will face some key matchups in determining their final place for the upcoming WCHA and NCAA tournaments.  The WCHA begins in about one month.Among the teams contesting Wisconsin on their march toward the finish are Minnesota-Duluth, who will look to spoil the Badgers’ plans. The Bulldogs find themselves four points behind the Badgers in the WCHA conference standings. Two wins against Wisconsin next week would put the Bulldogs even with the Badgers.Yet the Badgers only concern themselves with the tasks at hand in preparation for this weekend’s series. Minnesota State currently sits at the bottom of the WCHA standings without a single win in conference play at 0-17-1. Regardless, the Badgers are aware that the Mavericks will look to end their campaign on a high note by taking down the third-ranked team in the nation.“I think whenever a team plays us, they get excited,” Nurse said. “So finishing out this last half of the season, we’re looking to not give any teams hope against us.”No player denies the challenges ahead, but all seem to be exhibiting the classic phrase, “cool, calm and collected,” and rightfully so. Despite recent goal troubles, the Badgers are still in excellent position to make a run at what would be head coach Mark Johnson’s fifth national title.Rebounding after their recent string of troubles has given the team the hunger and energy it needs in order to keep the momentum going. In fact, some players believe it was actually beneficial. It showed what can happen in moments of complacency and, in turn, reignited the fire that led them to a 17-2-1 record going into the winter break.“You need to stay humble,” freshman defender Maddie Rolfes said. “You need to make sure your main goals are working hard and winning instead of going out complacent and getting into bad habits.”With two series at home, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State, and two away series at Minnesota State and Ohio State, the Badgers will play in a variety of environments that will prepare them for the upcoming postseason tournaments.  The team also hopes to bring home a coveted fifth national title for Johnson, the newest member of the 350-win club.last_img read more

first_imgSANTA FE SPRINGS — Incumbent Santa Fe Springs City Councilman Gus Velasco says he’s putting his support behind challenger Michael Madrigal over incumbent Betty Putnam in next month’s council elections, because he believes it is time to reverse decades-old inequalities on the council. “For 35 years or so, there’s been a majority Hispanic population in Santa Fe Springs, but we’ve always had minority representation on the council,’ said Velasco, one of four candidates vying for three seats in the Nov. 8 City Council elections. “We’ve had a 4-1 ratio in favor of Caucasians, usually.’ Putnam, however, said qualifications, not ethnicity, should be voters’ primary concern. Putnam said she is more interested in enhancing community services, after the council cut some senior and children’s services during recent budget reductions. “There really aren’t any huge issues,’ Putnam said. “Everyone seems to think policing is doing real well and safety is under control. We had to cut back on services a little bit in the last three years. Bringing them back up to par is the main issue.’ Velasco says the city needs to be better prepared for terrorism and large-scale emergencies. “We want to make sure the staff is working with our local, state and federal agencies to make sure we’re well-connected to Homeland Security,’ he said. Madrigal, too, wants to make the city safer. “We need more Police Services officers, and to reinstate our ambulance service,’ said Madrigal. “My super heavy concerns are maintenance of residential areas – potholes, drains and gutters.’ @tagline: Sandy Mazza may be reached by calling (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “(Latinos) have a majority on the council now, but I don’t think ethnicity should be an issue,’ she said. “I think a person should be selected to serve the community because of qualifications.’ She does believe, however, that it is important to have a woman represented on the council. Putnam now is the only woman serving on the council. “There should be a woman on the council because women have a different viewpoint,’ she said. “A woman has a softer heart, and is more interested in social issues.’ In addition to helping one another with their campaigns, Gonzalez, Velasco and Madrigal have similar platforms. Safety is key for them, they said. “I’m concerned about safety issues in the city,’ Gonzalez said. “Because we now have a healthy budget, I’m looking at beefing up our police services.’ last_img read more