Tuesday Morning Sports Briefs: Big Ten discusses hockey plansWisconsin Sports
-- The Big Ten Conference will not begin its men’s hockey program until the fall of 2013. But the schools are already being asked by the end of the week to state their preferences for a league tournament. And Wisconsin will recommend a single-elimination format at a neutral site.
CHICAGO - The Big Ten Conference will not begin its men’s hockey program until the fall of 2013. But the schools are already being asked by the end of the week to state their preferences for a league tournament. And Wisconsin will recommend a single-elimination format at a neutral site.
Badger officials say coach Mike Eaves prefers the format – which is similar to the current “Final Five” single-elimination showdown in the WCHA. The six teams in the Big Ten would be seeded according to their regular season records. And the four lowest seeds would play for the chance to take on the top two seeds in the semi-finals. Deputy Athletic Director Sean Frazier says Eaves would also like a permanent site for the league tournament – the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, where the WCHA Final Five is staged now. But the location issue remains up in the air. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says other coaches would prefer that the tournament move around each other – and include other NHL arenas like those in Chicago and Pittsburgh.
Three small college softball players from Wisconsin have been named to the national coaches’ All-American teams for the NCAA’s Division-Three. Senior left-hander Jessica Stang from UW-Whitewater made the All-American first team. First baseman Jessica Freagon of Eau Claire was named to the second squad. And Whitewater catcher Emily Epifanio made the third team. Stang went 24-7 in her final year for the Warhawks, with nine shutouts and a 1.15 ERA. Opponents batted .187 against Stang. She struck out 216 batters and walked 63. She holds the Whitewater career records for victories, innings pitched, complete games, strikeouts, saves, shutouts, and total appearances.
A roller derby team is looking for a new place to practice in La Crosse, after yesterday’s tornado damaged its facility. The Mississippi Valley Mayhem was competing in Milwaukee late yesterday, when the twister damaged the Green Island Ice Arena. Had the team been home, spokeswoman Amanda Boucher said a few players might have been inside the structure when the storm hit. The Ice Arena was among 200 buildings damaged or destroyed when a storm hit. A preliminary finding from the National Weather Service confirmed it was a tornado. Boucher says the roller derby team will try to practice at a La Crosse roller rink this week, to get ready for events on Saturday in nearby Onalaska.