Saturday State Sports Briefs: UW women's hockey team survives upset bidWisconsin Sports
-- RPI almost pulled off the shocking upset in Troy, New York, but two goals in the final period helped the No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin women's hockey team pull out the 4-3 win.
TROY, N.Y. - RPI almost pulled off the shocking upset at home but two goals in the final period helped the No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin women's hockey team pull out the 4-3 win.
The Badger women’s hockey team won for the 12th time in 13 games, but not by the lopsided margin seen earlier this season. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute scored in the first six minutes of the game and even led 3-2 after two period. The Engineers weren’t looking like a team with only three victories on the season. A goal by Carolyne Prevost tied the score at 1-1 in the first period. It was the senior’s 100th career point. Brooke Ammerman put the Badgers ahead midway through the second period, but two goals by RPI put the Wisconsin women in a position they haven’t experienced much in recent years – they trailed entering the third period. Brianna Decker tied the score at 3-3, then Blayre Turnbull scored the game-winner at 5:20 of the third. Alex Rigsby had 23 saves for Wisconsin. Two of the three goals she surrendered came on power plays.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team fell two games below .500 with a 4-2 loss at Colorado College Friday night. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead and never trailed the rest of the way. Wisconsin’s record falls to 5-7-1, including 4-6-1 in WCHA play. Joel Rumpel had 26 saves for the Badgers. Brendan Woods and Keegan Meuer had the goals. An assist by Mark Zengerle gives him points scored in a dozen straight games. The two teams play again tonight at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. Face-off is at 8:30 p.m.
Now that Dale Sveum has made the move to Chicago, will Prince Fielder follow him? Sveum was asked that question at a news conference Friday when he was introduced as the new manager of the Cubs. Sveum said it would be nice to have Fielder at first base in a Cubs uniform – but Sveum doesn’t nearly have the influence to bring up the idea with his new bosses yet. He said he and the free agent Fielder have a great relationship – and if the Cubs’ management and ownership thought it was the right fit for the organization, Sveum’s presence there would help the signing process. Also, Sveum said he doubted that he could get Brewers’ Hall-of-Famer Robin Yount to be his bench coach – like he did in 2008 when he managed the final 12 games of the regular season plus the playoffs. Sveum said he and Yount are best friends – but he said Yount is doing things with the Brewers, and he remains the face of that franchise. Sveum said he and Yount did talk yesterday – and Yount was quote, “fired up” about Sveum being named as a big league manager.
The Green Bay Packers are still letting their top two running backs share the ball. But second-year pro James Starks is emerging as the most dominant ball carrier. Ryan Grant is still the starter, and he’ll play on Sunday against Tampa Bay after getting a major cut to one of his knees in Monday’s night win over Minnesota. But Starks has had 13 carries in each of his last three games, while Grant has averaged seven carries. Starks is getting just over five yards per carry, while Grant is at two-point-four. Running backs coach Jerry Fontenot says Grant has been playing at a high level, despite his smaller rushing average. Fontenot says the most productive player gets most of the carries. And even though Starks has emerged as the most productive, Fontenot says the Packers will continue that policy.
For the first time this season, Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Mike Neal has at least a chance to get in a game. Neal is listed as questionable for Sunday’s home contest against Tampa Bay. The second-year pro hurt his left knee at training camp, and he had surgery in mid-September to remove torn cartilage. Coach Mike McCarthy said Neal practiced more Friday than he did on Thursday – and the coach says he’ll consult with his assistants before making a final decision on whether he’ll go against the Bucs. Linebacker Frank Zombo is ruled out for Sunday’s contest with a bad hamstring – his third injury this year in which he has missed playing time. And tackle Chad Clifton remains out with the hamstring he hurt a few weeks ago. Running back Ryan Grant is listed as probable after he suffered a large cut on one of his knees Monday night against Minnesota. Linebacker Clay Matthews, safety Morgan Burnett, and guard Josh Sitton are also listed as probable. The Packers take a 9-0 record into their match-up with Tampa, which is 4-5.
You hear the words repeated around the Madison campus a lot these days – the University of Wisconsin controls its own fate in the Big Ten Conference race. If the Badgers beat two-touchdown underdog Illinois today, the take care of Penn State next weekend, they are in the conference title game with a chance at the Rose Bowl. The No. 15 ranked Badgers are looking for their third straight win at Champaign this afternoon. They face a Fighting Illini squad that has already lost four in a row after an impressive start. The Badgers bring a couple of record-setters into the game, in quarterback Russell Wilson, who has 25 touchdown passes, and running back Montee Ball, who has scored 27 touchdowns himself. The make it tougher, Illinois will be trying to stop the Badger offense minus starting linebacker Trulon Henry, who was shot in the hand while trying to break up a fight. Wisconsin is 8-2, including 4-2 in conference. Illinois comes in 6-4, including a 2-4 record in Big Ten games.
It’s another busy three-game weekend for the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. They’ll hosted the Chicago Wolves Friday before heading to Grand Rapids for a game tonight. And they’re back home Sunday afternoon to face San Antonio. The Admirals are 8-3-0-1 with 17 points. They’re in third place in the Midwest Division, two points behind Charlotte and three in back of first-place Peoria. Tonight, the Admirals will face a Chicago team that has won three straight. The Wolves are coming off a 6-3 win at Milwaukee last Saturday. Grand Rapids and San Antonio are both last in their respective divisions.
In indoor pro soccer, the Milwaukee Wave will host the Norfolk Sharx tonight. The Wave is unbeaten after three games in the Major Indoor Soccer League, with a record of 2-0-1. The Wave played to a scoreless tie against Cincinnati on Tuesday.
UW-Whitewater will begin its seventh straight NCAA Division III playoff run tomorrow. The two-time defending national champion Warhawks will host Albion of Michigan, and the winner will advance to the Sweet-16 round next week. Whitewater is 10-0 this season, with a 40-game overall winning streak – the longest in all of college football, and the fifth-longest in NCAA history. The Warhawks have also won 26 straight on their home-field at Perkins Stadium, and 10 straight in the Division III playoffs. Albion is 6-4 overall, and went undefeated in conference play in winning the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crown. Junior running back Clinton Orr ran for 200 yards last week in a 41-14 victory over Trine. Whitewater senior Levell Coppage is averaging over 140 yards a game, and was named the WIAC’s player-of-the-year this week for the second straight season.
WISCONSIN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS, Finals
--Division 3 Championship
West De Pere 39, Wisconsin Lutheran 24
--Division 2 Championship
Waunakee 45, Waterford 0
--Division 1 Championship
Kenosha Bradford 7, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 0
--Division I Men
UW-Milwaukee 62, IUPU-Indianapolis 49
--Division I Women
Drake 63, UW-Milwaukee 51
UW-Green Bay 84, Eastern Michigan 53
Washington State 69, Wisconsin 51
--Division II Men
UW-Parkside 83, Saginaw Valley State 68
--Division III Women
(21) UW-River Falls 70, Loras 60
(24) UW-Stevens Point 86, Richard Stockton 77
(25) Wheaton 81, Beloit 44
Augsburg 76, Northland 46
Carroll 88, Marian 65
Carthage 82, Martin Luther 51
Concordia-Mequon 76, UW-Platteville 66
Edgewood 78, Lake Superior State 77 (OT)
Lawrence 72, Wisconsin Lutheran 64
Nebraska Wesleyan 51, Milwaukee School of Engineering 42
North Park 54, UW-Eau Claire 52
UW-Stout 56, Macalester 35
UW-Superior 88, Finlandia 75
UW-Whitewater 56, Concordia-Chicago 37
--Division III Women
(7) Washington-St. Louis 65, Northland 45
(11) UW-Stevens Point 72, Finlandia 39
Beloit 71, Lakeland 68
Buena Vista 71, Milwaukee Engineering 58
Carthage 71, Nebraska Wesleyan 45
Lake Forest 85, Mount Mary 35
Mount Mercy 66, Carroll 58
St. Norbert 58, Martin Luther 47
UW-Eau Claire 64, Ripon 62
UW-La Crosse 67, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 48
UW-Oshkosh 56, Alverno 37
UW-River Falls 79, Simpson 73
UW-Superior 83, Dominican 67
Wartburg 59, UW-Stout 54
Wisconsin Lutheran 57, Bethel 43
--NCAA Division I Women Second Round
Penn State 4, Marquette 1
Ohio State 2, UW-Milwaukee 1
--NCAA Division III Women Sweet 16 Round
Wheaton 4, UW-Whitewater 1
--NCAA Division III Elite Eight Round
Carthage 3, Springfield 2
--Horizon League Tournament
Butler 3, UW-Green Bay 1