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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: U.S. men's hockey team to face Czechs in quaterfinals

SOCHI, Russia - The U.S. Olympic men's hockey team will play the Czech Republic in tomorrow's quarterfinals at 11 a.m. (CST).  The Czechs eliminated Slovakia 5-3 this afternoon in a qualification game.

Roman Cervenka scored twice for the Czech Republic, while the Americans skipped the qualification round with a bye.  Their quarterfinal match-up will be played late tomorrow morning.  The winner will take on either Canada or Latvia in the semi-finals.  The U.S. is 3-0 in the Sochi Games, earning the No. 2 seed in the medal round.  Madison area native Phil Kessel of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs is the top American scorer with seven points -- including a hat trick in his last game on Sunday.


Wisconsin speed-skater Emery Lehman finished 10th among 14 competitors this morning in the Olympic men's 10,000- meter race.  Lehman, who's part of the group that trains at Milwaukee, had a time of 13-minutes, 28-point-67 seconds.  The Netherlands swept the three medals in the event.  Jorrit Bergsma had an Olympic record time of 12:44.45.  Peter Crook, who lived in Lake Geneva for nine years, failed to qualify in the men's skiing free-style half-pipe.  Crook, competing with the British Virgin Islands' team, had the second-worst score among 28 contestants.  He scored 25.20.  


The U.S. women's hockey team will have a rematch with Canada on Thursday -- this time for the Olympic gold medal.  Both teams won their respective semi-final games today in Sochi.  Team USA had a 70-9 shooting edge in beating Sweden 6-1. Madison area native Amanda Kessel and former Wisconsin Badger Brianna Decker each scored for the Americans.  Team Canada advanced to the title game with a 3-1 victory over Switzerland.  Natalie Spooner scored twice for the Canadians.  Ex-Badger Meaghan Mikkelson-Reid did not figure in the scoring for her native Canada, which is unbeaten in the Olympic tournament.  America's only loss came to the Canadians in last week's preliminary round.  The U.S. has not won the gold since women's hockey became an Olympic sport at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.


The U.S. men's curling squad ended its Olympic competition today with a 6-3 loss to Switzerland in nine ends.  Alternate Craig Brown of Madison went back to the bench, after playing in his only match yesterday with a 79-percent accuracy rate.  The U.S. men finished alone in ninth place at 2-7. 


The Milwaukee Bucks will try again tonight to become the last NBA team to get its 10th victory.  The Bucks expect to get a couple more injured players back, when they host the Orlando Magic.  Forwards Caron Butler and John Henson are both probable, coming off sprained ankles.  The Bucks hope that point guard Brandon Knight will pick up where he left off before the break -- when he averaged 22 points in his last three games.  Milwaukee is 9-43 with the league's worst mark and a four-game losing streak.  Orlando has the NBA's third-worst record at 16-and-38.  Like Knight, the Magic's Aaron Afflalo is having a banner year.  He's averaging a career-high 19-point-four points in his second season with the team.  Both the Bucks and Magic also have a pair of promising rookies who've had a lot more playing time than they expected.  Orlando's Victor Oladipo leads all NBA rookies in scoring with almost 14 per game.  Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has had 13 total points in his last four games.


New Brewers' starter Matt Garza said he was looking for a place where he was wanted -- and Milwaukee turned out to be a good fit.  Garza spoke to reporters today as the Brewers officially opened their Spring Training camp in Phoenix.  The 30-year-old Garza signed a four-year, 50-million-dollar deal with Milwaukee -- and incentives and a vesting clause could bring the total package to $59-million over five years.  Recently, we learned that the Angels of Anaheim had offered Garza couple million dollars more -- and they withdrew it when he didn't respond quickly enough.  Garza said he and his wife were on a vacation for their anniversary.  He said he only had a few hours to respond, and he didn't have the chance.  Garza said he was impressed when he met Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio.  He said the owner was a "down to earth guy" who made it clear he wanted to bring Garza into the Brewers' fold, and not just pawn him off to someplace else. 


Milwaukee Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke said he liked what he saw when pitchers threw their first bullpen sessions at Spring Training.  Some of the Brewers' scouts got their first look at Wei-Chang Wang, whom Milwaukee selected in the Rule-Five Draft in December.  Starters Matt Garza, Yovani Gallardo, and Kyle Lohse also had solid sessions.  The Brewers' position players are not required to report to camp until Friday -- but many are already on the field, including first baseman Lyle Overbay who's in his second stint with the team.  


The road to a state championship begins tonight for Wisconsin high school hockey teams.  Defending champion Eau Claire Memorial is one of 90 boys' teams in the post-season.  There are also 33 girls' programs, including last year's champion Hayward.  Both the boys' and girls' tournaments have one division.  There are 26 boys' contests this evening.  Thirty-eight teams have first-round byes, and will play either Thursday or Friday night in Round-Two.  All of the Number-One seeds have byes.  For the boys, those teams are Eau Claire Memorial, Hudson, Wausau West, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, Green Bay Notre Dame, Verona, Waukesha North, and Mequon Homestead.  The girls' No. 1 seeds are Hudson, Onalaska, and Green Bay East.  Sectionals are set for next week, and the state tournaments will be played the week after.


Leonard Gomez Islinger of UW-Green Bay has been named the Horizon League men's tennis player-of-the-week.  Gomez Islinger, a sophomore, won three matches in straight sets this past week.  He won his only Number-Three singles' match of the week, 6-4, 6-1 over Ruben Greiner of Western Michigan.  Gomez Islinger's other victories were in the Number-two singles' slot.  He topped Jonathan Raa of Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne 6-4, 6-1.  He also beat Stjepan Sisko of Toledo 6-4, 6-4.  Gomez Islinger also won a Number-three doubles' match with partner Rowan Isaaks.


K.J. Evans and Kaitlyn Thill, both of UW-Whitewater, have been named the WIAC men's-and-women's basketball players of the week.  Evans, a junior guard, averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds in a pair of Warhawk victories over La Crosse and Oshkosh.  Thill, a senior guard, surpassed 100 steals for the third time in four seasons -- a WIAC record.  She also averaged 12 points and seven boards in wins over La Crosse and Oshkosh. The WIAC also recognized Christian George of River Falls and Shanley Peters of Superior in men's-and-women's hockey -- Patrick Jenkins of Stout and Lexie Sondgeroth in indoor track -- Grant Havard of La Crosse and Shelby Mahr of Whitewater in indoor field events -- and Kelly Jondahl of Stout and Kari Willett of La Crosse in gymnastics.


The Marquette University women's basketball team will host DePaul tonight.  The Golden Eagles are coming off a home victory over Xavier last Saturday, in which the Marquette defense only allowed 22 second-half points in a 75-54 rout.  The Eagles are 8-5 in the Big East, and 17-7 overall.  DePaul has a nine-game winning streak, after beating Seton Hall by 16 last weekend.  Megan Rogowski scored 27 points in that game, hitting 7-of-9 from three-point range.  She leads the Big East with a 44-percent shooting average from downtown.  DePaul is 11-2 in the conference, and 20-5 overall.  The Blue Demons beat Marquette 91-85 on January 29th in Chicago.


The Wisconsin Lutheran women will go for their 20th straight victory tonight, when they play at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Lutheran has clinched the regular season title in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference with a league mark of 18-1.  Second-place Concordia-Wisconsin is two games back at 16-3.  They'll play at Marian of Fond du Lac this evening.  Also, Alverno entertains Aurora.  And Lakeland is at Edgewood.  The NACC women's tournament begins on Saturday with the quarter-finals.  Elsewhere, the Mount Mary women play at Moody Bible.  And in men's basketball, Maranatha Baptist of Watertown travels to Illinois Tech.


UW-Stevens Point Athletic Director Daron Montgomery is staying put for a while.  Montgomery was a finalist for the AD's post at Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne -- but that job has gone to interim director Kelley Hartley-Hutton, who has been Fort Wayne's volleyball coach since 1999.  Montgomery is in his third year at Stevens Point, after serving on the staff at the University of Detroit for 13 years.  The other finalists for the Fort Wayne post were Oregon State associate athletic director Mark Spencer, and California associate AD Nona Richardson.


A four-game winning streak has the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team moving back up in the polls.  The Badgers rose five spots to No. 16 in the Associated Press media poll.  They also jumped three spots to 18th in the USA Today coaches' poll. Wisconsin is 8-5 in the Big Ten, and 21-5 overall.  Their next game is on Saturday at Iowa -- which is ranked 15th in both polls.  The Badgers also jumped five places to Number-six in the new RPI rankings, which often determine seeds in the NCAA Tournament. UW-Green Bay is 66th in the new RPI's, and Marquette 72nd.


University of Wisconsin men's basketball forward Frank Kaminsky was named today as a Big Ten co-men's player-of-the-week.  He shares the honor with Terran Petteway of Nebraska.  Also, Badgers' newcomer Nigel Hayes is the league's freshman-of-the-week for the fourth time this season.  Kaminsky, a junior, had his first career double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds in a Badgers' victory at Michigan yesterday.  He also had 17 points and made all nine of his free throws last Wednesday in a win at Minnesota. Hayes averaged nine-and-a-half points -- including 15 against Minnesota with four rebounds and a pair of steals. 


Alec Brown of UW-Green Bay is the Horizon League men's basketball player-of-the-week.  The senior center averaged 21 points and six-and-a-half rebounds in a pair of Phoenix victories over Youngstown State and Cleveland State.  Brown also broke Green Bay's school record for career rebounds with 777.  And he's 11 blocked shots away from a new UWGB record in that department.  Kahlil Felder of Oakland is the Horizon men's freshman-of-the-week.


The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team is still at No. 8 in its new Division I poll from U.S. College Hockey Online.  The Badgers split a weekend series at Ohio State.  Wisconsin is now 17-9-2 overall and hosts Michigan State this weekend in its final home series.  Boston College remains at No. 1, and Minnesota is still second. The Badger women are still second in their poll, after losing a pair to top-ranked Minnesota over the weekend.  Wisconsin is 23-5-2 overall, as it closes out its regular season this coming weekend at Minnesota State. In Division III, the Saint Norbert men remain atop their College Online poll.  The Green Knights are 21-3-1 overall.  UW-Stevens Point jumped one spot to third.  Eau Claire fell three places to sixth.  River Falls rose one spot to No. 10. In the D-III women's poll, River Falls remains fifth and Stevens Point sixth.  UW-Superior is now tied with Gustavus Adolphus for the seventh spot.  Superior was seventh by itself a week ago.  Plattsburgh of New York remains the women's No. 1.


Andrew Multerer of Carroll University in Waukesha has been named the Midwest Conference women's swimming-and-diving coach of the year.  He received the honor after Carroll placed third in the conference swim during the weekend in Grinnell Iowa.  The Carroll women took first in the 200-yard freestyle and medley relay events, and Alyssa Szczepaniak of Carroll won the 100-yard backstroke.  Taylor Winter of Lawrence won both the 500 and 1500-meter freestyle races.  Lawrence finished fourth among the women.  The Grinnell women won their second straight league title, and Lake Forest was second.  On the men's side, Lake Forest ended Grinnell's 12-year streak of first-place finishes.  Carroll was fourth, and Ripon fifth.  None of the men's Wisconsin entries won an individual event.


While the rest of us are trudging through snow, the Wisconsin Badger softball team has already played nine games in its spring season.  The Badgers competed in the FIU Classic in Miami this past weekend.  They closed out with a 9-1 romp of Florida Gulf Coast yesterday.  Wisconsin had season highs in runs, hits with 14, and stolen bases with 10.  Maria Van Abel went 5-for-5 at the plate with two RBI's and a run scored.  Cassandra Darrah picked up her third win of the season, giving up no earned runs in six innings. The Badgers are now 4-5 this month.



In women's college basketball...

Illinois-Chicago 79, UW-Milwaukee 54

In Wisconsin boys' high school basketball...

Athens 77, Chequamegon 66

Auburndale 35, Stratford 18

Bowler 61, Tigerton 46

Colby 52, Loyal 38

Hurley 70, Bayfield 66

Marshfield Columbus 66, Spencer 34

Mellen 70, Butternut 50

Milwaukee Hamilton 95, Milwaukee Madison 65

Milwaukee Marshall 59, Milwaukee Pulaski 48

Owen-Withee 57, Neillsville 55

Prentice 52, Rib Lake 47

Siren 37, Shell Lake 36

South Shore 46, Bessemer, Mich. 44

Spring Valley 78, Clear Lake 45

Unity 61, Prairie Farm 42

In girls' high school basketball...

Cameron 56, Boyceville 39

Colfax 62, Spring Valley 18

Elcho 59, White Lake 16

Mellen 62, Butternut 23

Plum City 62, Elmwood 35

Prairie Farm 58, Unity 30

Rhinelander 45, Lakeland 33

Sheboygan Falls 63, Kewaskum 38

Siren 61, Pine City, Minn. 33

Somerset 71, Ellsworth 57

South Shore 46, Ashland 39