Things are heating up on the ice for both the men's and women's hockey team and a lot of news is coming out, so as a result we're putting it all together in one area for your viewing pleasure in a piece we like to call "Badger Hockey Update."
First things first is the news that with the move of the men's team out of the Bob Johnson practice facility the Athletic Department will name the ice sheet at the Kohl Center after "Badger Bob" Johnson.
His son Mark is the women's hockey head coach and on Monday he spoke about the honor saying, "I think as a family we're equally as excited from the standpoint that it's a great tribute to him, certainly, what he did for the men's hockey program, and, certainly, the other things that go along with who he was and what his makeup way, whether it was in the NHL or international game. He did a lot for hockey not only in Madison, but, certainly, in the state of Wisconsin."
Those words are so true. The Badgers hockey program isn't where it's at today without Bob Johnson and it's certainly an honor that he's very deserving of and I can't wait to see his name down on that sheet of ice at the Kohl Center.
Sticking with the women's game, it was also announced yesterday that 3 Badgers were named as part of the 30 nominees for the Patty Kazmaier Award. It's the award given annually to the top Division I women's hockey player in the country. The 3 Badgers were Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, and Alex Rigsby.
Knight, a forward, has had one of the all-time best careers in terms of production in history, ranking first in points in UW history and fourth in points in NCAA history. This season she 28 goals and 26 assists.
Decker, also a forward, enters the playoffs 2nd in the nation in goals (32) and has 72 points on the year which is also good for 2nd nationally.
Goalie Alex Rigsby is only a sophomore but has already put herself on the map as she currently leads the nation in save percentage at .950 and also leads the country with a goals against average of just 1.42.
The award will be announced as part of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Duluth, MN.
Finally on the women's side they will be taking to the Kohl Center Ice this weekend as they open up the WCHA playoffs hosting last place Minnesota State in a best of three series beginning on Friday, so get your tickets and support the ladies on their way to another Frozen Four.
Over on the men's side of the rink it's countdown time for Justin Schultz and Mark Zengerle as there are just three weeks until the Hobey Baker Award Top 10 list is announced. Us Badger fans can help there cause by going here and voting for them in the fan vote, so vote early and vote often!
The men have just two regular season series' left on the year and you can be sure to find a full preview of both as the day draws near. Additionally you'll see full previews and recaps of the Women's drive to the Frozen Four here as well. I hope you've enjoyed the news and notes around the Badger Hockey program and ON WISCONSIN!