Three Badgers earn USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp invite

Three Badgers earn USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp invite          

Frederic, Dhooghe and Inamoto look to earn a spot on U.S. National Junior Team


MADISON, Wis. –  A Wisconsin men’s hockey player may have the opportunity to don the Stars and Stripes at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, as three Badgers have been invited to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, on July 29 – Aug. 5.

Among the 42 invited players are Wisconsin sophomore Trent Frederic, as well as incoming freshmen Tyler Inamoto and Sean Dhooghe.

The event features 12 games between the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden, serving as an evaluation tool to select the roster to participate in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 6, 2017 – Jan. 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York.

Frederic, the 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has plenty of experience playing for his country, most recently scoring four goals and seven points to help the U.S. win bronze at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He competed at the 2015 U-18 Five Nations Tournament, winning a gold medal, and also participated in the 2014 U-17 World Hockey Challenge. In his first year as a Badger, the St. Louis native scored 33 points off of 15 goals and 18 assists, earning a spot on the All-Big Ten second team.

Dhooghe, hailing from Aurora, Illinois, played the past two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program, putting up 14 goals and 13 assists during his 2015-16 season with the Under-18 National Team. He scored three goals and four points at the 2015 U-17 Four Nations Tournament and competed at the 2015 U-17 World Hockey Challenge, potting three goals.

Inamoto played alongside Dhooghe on the Under-18 National Team, scoring two goals and adding nine helpers from the blue line. The Barrington, Illinois, native won gold at both the 2016 and 2017 Under-18 Five Nations Tournaments, as well as playing in the 2016 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.

Dhooghe, Frederic and Inamoto aim to help the United States medal in its third-straight IIHF World Junior Championship after Team USA won bronze in 2016 and earned gold behind captain and former Badger Luke Kunin in 2017.


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Happy New Year: Badgers begin 2017 with a win

Coming off of a break that spanned nearly a month with the determination to start the year on the right foot, Wisconsin secured its first win of 2017 with a 5-1 victory over Michigan State at the Kohl Center on Friday.

“I thought we were good,” UW head coach Tony Granato said. “I thought after the 26-day break we were all nervous as coaches because you never know. I thought we were a little sloppy at times and a little bit rusty trying to get into the game, but fortunately we were able to get a couple goals.”

With Wisconsin (9-7-1, 2-1-0-0) sophomore captain Luke Kunin taking a rest after captaining Team USA to the gold medal at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, the rest of the Badgers stepped up for a balanced team effort as five different players tallied a goal.

I think without Luke (Kunin) we changed the lines a little bit,” Granato said. “We created some offense, as always we made some nice plays in the offensive zone that were big plays to get us some nice goals.”

The Badgers quickly put a 2-0 lead on the board, as junior forward Jason Ford picked up his third goal of the season just 2:21 into play. Sliding through the slot, Ford fired a loose puck past Michigan State (4-12-1, 0-3-0-0) goaltender Ed Minney to give UW the 1-0 advantage.

Exactly four minutes later, junior forward Cameron Hughes split the Spartan defense and sent a rocket in under Minney’s pad to secure the 2-0 lead.

Michigan State would respond a minute later, when Villiam Haag snuck a shot off the post and in to cut the Wisconsin lead to 2-1.

Will Johnson would help Wisconsin regain a two-goal lead early in the second frame, picking up his sixth goal of the season during a Badger power play. With a 5-on-3 advantage, the sophomore forward found space in front of the Spartan crease and fired a wrister past a diving Minney.

“When it is a 5-on-3, it’s not the end of the world if the eight seconds go up,” sophomore Seamus Malone said of his pass to Johnson late on the advantage. “You need to look for that right opportunity. Will (Johnson) got open and I saw him, so I just gave him the puck right away. He did a good job so it made it pretty easy on my part.”

Defenseman Jake Linhart would add a goal of his own in the period, striking on the penalty kill for the junior’s first career short-handed goal. Linhart crashed in on a loose puck sitting in the slot, beating the MSU defensemen and sending a backhand shot past Minney.

“I saw we had a little bit of an odd man rush,” Linhart said. “I jumped in the play and (Trent Frederic) threw it to the net and luckily it popped out to me. It was kind of a flukey goal, but I’ll take it.”

Rookie forward Max Zimmer notched the final goal of the game for Wisconsin at the 10:52 mark of the third period, finishing off a textbook play set up by senior Grant Besse and Malone. Malone skated deep into the Spartan zone, then dished the puck to the slot for Zimmer’s one-timer into the wide open net.

“I think that line has been good for us,” Granato said of Zimmer, Malone and Besse. “I think Max (Zimmer) is going to continue to gain confidence playing with those guys. I thought his jump in practice this week, he just looks like he’s a confident player now.”

Wisconsin outshot Michigan State 36-26 in the game with freshman goalie Jack Berry collecting 25 saves in the win.

The defeat of Michigan State marks Wisconsin’s 199th win at the Kohl Center, where the team began playing its games in 1998.

“I think we have a lot more to bring tomorrow,” Frederic said. “I don’t know if that was our best, obviously we haven’t played in a long time. We have a lot more to bring. They hit a lot of posts so it could’ve been a close game. The bounces went our way, but I think tomorrow we have to come out a little bit better.”

The Badgers and Spartans meet for the series finale tomorrow night at the Kohl Center, with puck drop set for 7 p.m. The game airs live on BTN.

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Wisconsin hockey makes three additions for 2016-17

Head coach Tony Granato has announced the addition of three signees to the Wisconsin men’s hockey program. Jack Berry, Johan Blomquist and James Greenway will join the Badgers for the 2016-17 season.

Berry, a native of Holly, Michigan, played between the pipes for the New Jersey Junior Titans during the 2015-16 season, starting 22 of his 23 appearances. The left-hander racked up a 12-8-2 record, finishing the regular season with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage, as well as four shutouts.

The 6-2 and 185-pound netminder played the 2014-15 season with the NAHL’s Soo Eagles, appearing in 30 games. Berry totaled a 2.87 goals-against average and .908 save percentage, as well as a 14-10-0 record with the Eagles. He tallied one assist and one shutout on the season.

Blomquist, 5-11 and 190 pounds, is also a goaltender. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Blomquist spent the 2015-16 season with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, appearing in 47 games. He finished the season with an 11-17-1 record, as well as a 3.79 goals-against average and .894 save percentage. In 92 playoff minutes, he allowed only one goal on 50 shots.

The previous season, Blomquist played 13 games for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, holding a 1.94 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. In 2013-14, Blomquist began his stint playing in the United States, competing for Northwoods School in Lake Placid, New York.

“They will both add goaltending depth and they will both push Matt Jurusik,” Granato said. “We’ve got three competitive guys who will help pick up our practice intensity. Not only are they good goaltenders, but their habits are good. Their work ethic is good. We like their drive and their compete level.”

Greenway’s signing marks the fifth Badger ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, checking in at number 121. A 6-4 and 205-pound defenseman, “JD” has played the past two season with the U.S. National Team Development Program. With the under-18 team, Greenway saw time in 64 games, tallying five goals and 23 assists from the blue line in 2015-16. The previous year, he notched 6 points in 53 games for the U-17 team.

Greenway played with fellow UW signee Trent Frederic at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Men’s World Championships in April, assisting the United States to a bronze medal with one goal and six assists. Greenway also competed at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with Team USA, in addition to two 5 Nations Cups (2015, 2016) and two Four Nations Cups (2014, 2015). Coming from a hockey family, his brother Jordan is a standout at Boston University.

“We are fortunate to get him late in the recruiting season with him coming off a great U-18 tournament,” Granato stated. “Like all players coming out of the NTDP, he’s got a very strong base. He’s going to grow as we grow because of that base.”


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Koch recognized as AHCA Assistant Coach of the Year

Wisconsin women’s hockey associate head coach Dan Koch was named the American Hockey Coaches Association Women’s Hockey Assistant Coach of the Year, as announced by the group on Thursday.

A Madison native, Koch is in his fifth season as the Badgers’ associate head coach after serving eight years as an assistant coach, amassing a 365-81-35 (.795) record behind the bench. Koch has assisted the Badgers to seven NCAA Frozen Fours and saw the team win three of their four national titles.

“I’m excited for him and his family,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “It is an honor that is well deserved. He has put a lot of time in and committed himself to help grow our Wisconsin women’s hockey program from the early days. He has a footprint in it and he has been a big reason why we have had success. It is nice for him to get recognized by his peers in coaching and his body of work has been good. It is exciting for him, his family and for our program.”

“I’m honored to receive this prestigious award from the AHCA,” Koch said. “This award would not have been possible without the support from my wife, Jody, and my sons Connor, Jacob and Malik. I would like to also thank the University of Wisconsin, the athletic department, Coach Barry Alvarez (UW Director of Athletics), Jason King (administrator) and the UW women’s hockey support staff for their backing and the resources which allow me to do what I love to do every day.

“I’m extremely grateful for the coaches I’ve worked with, including head coach Mark Johnson, who’s shared with me his knowledge and passion for the game of hockey. I’m also grateful to work with assistant coaches Jackie Friesen and Tracey DeKeyser, who have taught me so many things over the years and have made every day at the rink an enjoyable day.”

Koch oversees the stingy UW defense, which has ranked among the top-three teams nationally for scoring defense in 11 of his 12 seasons with the Badgers. That includes the 2006-07 squad that set the NCAA record with a 0.88 goals-against average. His defensemen have led the NCAA in scoring defense in three different seasons.

This season, Koch helped the Badgers set the NCAA men’s and women’s shutout record, tallying nine-consecutive shutouts that spanned over 624 minutes between Oct. 3 and Nov. 14. The Badgers have recorded shutouts in 12 of their 22 games this season and have a goals-against average of 0.64 to pace the country.

Koch also plays a part in the team’s penalty kill, which has led the NCAA four of his 12 seasons. Last year, the UW penalty kill set the NCAA record with a .958 clip.

Koch has coached four UW blue-liners that have earned All-America honors in Molly Engstrom, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bobbi-Jo Slusar and Kerry Weiland. In addition, UW blue-liners Engstrom, Carla MacLeod, Mikkelson and Weiland have gone on to play in the Olympics, with MacLeod and Mikkelson each winning a pair of gold medals.

Koch served as an assistant coach for the Badgers from 2001-2009, including a stint as co-head coach during the second half of the 2001-02 season, before stepping down to become the head coach for the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Girl’s Under-16 team. In his two seasons with the Sabres, the team had an 80-30-12 record and claimed the Tier I 16-U National title in 2010.

Prior to his first stretch at Wisconsin, Koch worked with the St. Mary’s University (Minnesota) women’s hockey program from 1999-01,
helping the team win the 2000 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. The following season, he helped the team to a third-place national finish.

Before his time at St. Mary’s, Koch was the head coach for the La Crosse Logan/Central High School boy’s hockey team from 1996-1999, coaching numerous all-conference and all-state players.

Koch earned his bachelor of science in elementary education in 1991 from Wisconsin, then went on to earn his master’s degree in education, teaching, and learning in 2001 from St. Mary’s University.

Koch will be recognized on April 29 during the 2016 AHCA Convention in Naples, Florida.


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Six Badgers to partake in USA Hockey camp

Six current and former Wisconsin women’s hockey players earned invites to the 2015 USA Hockey Winter Women’s Training Camp that will be used to select the United States’ roster for the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships next March.

Current Wisconsin standout Annie Pankowski will join former Badgers Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Alex Rigsby and Jessie Vetter for the camp that started Sunday and lasts until Friday in Blaine, Minnesota.

A Laguna Hills, California native, Pankowski was a member of the gold-medal winning International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship team in 2015, as well as participating in the 2013 and 2014 Four Nations Cups. She has skated in two Under-22 Series vs. Canada (2014, 2015), as well as two U-18 Series vs. Canada (2010, 2011). Pankowski also won silver with Team USA at the U-18 IIHF World Championships in 2012. Pankwoski is a four-time August Festival participant and a four-time USA Player Development Camp attendee.

Pankowski has made an impressive impact during her two seasons at Wisconsin. The sophomore leads the team with 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points during the first half of the Badgers’ season, and finished the 2014-15 season with a team-high 21 goals and 43 points, while adding 22 assists. She has received WCHA Offensive Player of the Week nods twice this season after being named the WCHA Rookie of the Week three times during her freshman campaign, as well as finishing that season as the USCHO Rookie of the Year, the National Rookie of the Year, and the WCHA Rookie of the Year.

Decker played on the silver-medal winning 2014 Olympic team, where she notched two goals and four assists in the tournament. She has participated in four IIHF World Championships, serving as alternate captain in 2015, and seven Four Nations Cups. Decker currently co-captains the Boston Pride with Knight, notching five goals and seven assists so far this season.

A native of Dousman, Decker suited up for the Badgers from 2009-2013, tallying 244 points to hold the second-most career points in program history. In 2011, she was named WCHA Playoff Championship MVP and earned Academic All-WCHA accolades en route to winning a NCAA title with the Badgers. In 2012, Decker became the fourth in program history to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and was named the 2012 WCHA Player of the Year.

Duggan, the captain of Team USA, suited up for United States to win silver in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, captaining the 2014 squad. She has played in eight Four Nations Cups and won gold five of the six times she has participated in the IIHF World Championships, including the 2015 team she captained. Duggan is a five-time National Festival participant and a three-time Player Development Camp attendee. Duggan plays with the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL, notching eight points in the team’s first eight games.

Hailing from Danvers, Massachusetts, Duggan scored 238 points for the Badgers, which ranks third in program history. Additionally, her 130 career assists hold the number two spot in program records. Duggan also holds the record for all-time postseason points (NCAA and WCHA) with 20 goals and 26 assists. Duggan won three national championships with the Badgers (2007, 2009, and 2011), earning NCAA Co-Most Outstanding Player accolades alongside Knight in 2011. Duggan was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2011 and was named a first-team All-American during her final season in Madison.

Knight was the youngest player on the silver-medal 2010 United States Olympic team. The Sun Valley, Idaho native suited up again for the United States at the 2014 Olympics, helping the team to silver as their leading scorer. Knight has skated in seven IIHF World Championships and nine Four Nations Cups, most recently scoring the overtime goal that won Team USA the 2015 Four Nations Cup. She has amassed a total of 150 points in her career with Team USA. Knight currently plays for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, acting as co-captain and leading the team with seven goals and seven assists.

At Wisconsin, Knight holds records for career points (262) and career goals (143), as well as being one of two UW players to record a power-play hat trick, and holding the only five-goal game in program history. She is one of three players to receive first-team All-American accolades twice, recognized in both 2009 and 2011. Knight won two NCAA titles while playing for the Badgers.

A Delafield native, Rigsby has won a gold medal in two IIHF World Championships as well as a silver and a gold medal in two U-18 IIHF World Championships. She skated in the 2012 U-22 series and in three Four Nations Cups. Rigsby became the first goaltender is history to participate with the United States U-18, U-22, and national teams. Rigsby also became the first female to be drafted into the USHL when she was chosen by the Chicago Steel.

Rigsby led the Badgers to the 2011 National Championship title with a 27-1-1 record. A 2014 All-American, Rigsby became the first UW goaltender to be named a captain during the 2013-14 season. A 12-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, her program leading 100 wins is the second-most in the NCAA. A 2012 Patty Kazmaier nominee, Rigsby is tied for the program-best save percentage at .941 as well as holding the second-most career goaltender points and the second-most career shutouts.

Vetter, a Cottage Grove native, participated in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, earning silver both years. She has played for Team USA in seven IIHF World Championships, as well as eight Four Nations Cups, where she most recently won gold at the 2015 Four Nations Cup, earning a shutout and Player of the Game accolades against Canada. The 2009 Bob Allen Women’s Hockey Player of the Year, Vetter was the first ice hockey player to receive the Sportswoman of the Year Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation.

An All-American in 2007 and 2009, Vetter broke a then-NCAA record of 91 wins during her time at UW and recorded 39 shutouts. In the 2006-07 season, Vetter became the first goaltender in NCAA women’s hockey history to put up a goals-against average below 1.00. The 2009 Patty Kazmaier winner also held a shutout streak that spanned 448 minutes and 32 seconds, a men’s and women’s NCAA hockey record only just recently broken by Wisconsin netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens.


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McDonagh, Pavelski all-star selections highlight Badgers in the NHL

Wisconsin has 18 former players currently suiting up for NHL teams, tied with Boston College for the second-most represented university and behind only Michigan (20). Two former Badgers, Joe Pavelski and Ryan McDonagh, will be playing in their first NHL All-Star Game and Skill Competition Jan. 30-31 while Michael Mersch has played just a handful of games since being called up earlier this season. The list of 18 includes six first-round draft picks, five Wisconsin natives, four olympians, and a collective 193 points and 355 saves this season. Undeniably, the Badgers’ impact is felt.

Pavelski is in his first season captaining the San Jose Sharks, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2003. The Plover, Wisconsin, native leads the NHL in game-winning goals with seven, ranks sixth in the league with 20 goals, and ninthin total points with 38. Recently named the Sharks’ December Player of the Month, the forward leads San Jose in game-winners, goals and points as well. The 2014-15 Sharks Player of the Year, Pavelski ended last season second overall in the NHL with 19 power-play goals. Pavelski was a part of both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics with Team USA.

McDonagh was drafted 12th overall by Montreal, but has played his entire six-year NHL career with the Rangers, serving as the team’s captain for the second year. The only Ranger to be included in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, McDonagh has tallied five goals and 12 assists so far this season, tied for the lead in goals among Rangers defensemen. He also leads the current team in +/- (+96) and is second in assists with 114 for his career. During the 2014-15 Stanley Cup Playoffs McDonagh scored three goals, two of which were game-winners, and six assists in the team’s playoff run. McDonagh was named to his first Olympic roster for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Mersch, the most recent former Badger to make an NHL debut when he was called up to the LA Kings in early December, tallied his first NHL goal on Dec. 29 during the Kings’ 5-2 win over Edmonton. Last season, Mersch posted 22 goals and 23 assists with Manchester (AHL) to help the team capture the Calder Cup, and was one of two players on the team to play in all 76 regular-season games.

Derek Stepan plays in New York, serving as alternate captain for his second season, posting eight goals and seven assists so far in 2015-16. His 170 assists and 265 points since joining the team lead all Rangers, while his nine short-handed goals since 2012-13 leads the NHL. Stepan tallied 12 post-season points during the 2014-15 playoffs, including a game-winner in Game 7 against Washington. A second-round Rangers’ draft pick, Stepan made his presence known from the start, scoring a hat trick in his NHL debut in 2010.

Kyle Turris serves as an alternate captain for the Ottawa Senators. Drafted 3rd overall, Ottawa’s starting center established career highs in assists (40) and points (64) last season, while playing in all 82 games, marking the third-consecutive season Turris has not missed a game. He tallied 6 game-winning goals last year, along with two post-season points. This season, Turris has racked up 13 goals and 16 assists in 41 games.

Ryan Suter, in his 11th year of NHL play, has tallied five goals and 22 assists for the Minnesota Wild this season. Tied for the team lead in both assists and plus/minus rating (+9), Suter is secpmd in the NHL for time-on-ice, averaging 28:16 minutes each game. The Madison native was a part of Team USA for the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, serving as an alternate captain in 2010 and collecting four assists. He was named to the 2013 NHL First All-Star Team, and received the THN Bobby Orr Award for the Best Defenseman in the same year.

Jack Skille, probably most well known for his triple-overtime goal to lift the Badgers over Cornell during their 2006 National Championship run, is in his first season with the Colorado Avalanche, tabbing six goals and four assists so far. Picked seventh overall in the first round by Chicago, the Madison native played six games for the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks, notching a goal and an assist.

Craig Smith has played for Nashville since 2011, tallying 164 career points since. The Madison native was one of four Predators to play in all 82 games last season, while notching five points (including a game-winning goal against Chicago) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season, Smith has scored nine goals and five assists.

Brendan Smith was drafted in the first round by Detroit and has played with the Red Wings since the 2011-12 season. A 2010 Hobey Baker finalist, Smith tabbed his 50th NHL point on Nov. 21, 2015, bringing his 2015-16 season total to 10 points on three goals and seven assists.

Justin Schultz, in his fourth season defending for Edmonton, has tallied a goal and three assists in 27 games this season. He scored 27 points during his first professional season and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2012-13. Last season he led the team in on-ice time, averaging 22:36 minutes per contest.

Jake Gardiner was a first-round draft pick in 2008, playing for Wisconsin for two years before making his way to Toronto, where he made the NHL All-Rookie Team during his 2011-12 debut season. The Minnetonka, Minn. native has 13 points on three goals and 10 assists this season.

Brian Elliott has been playing goaltender for the St. Louis Blues since 2011, where Elliott became the second Blues player to win the Jennings Trophy in his rookie season. He also collected the franchise career shutout record when he notched his 21st shutout against Columbus last season. A 2005-06 Hobey Baker finalist, he has played in 15 games this season, with a .915 save percentage.

Rene Borque racked up 97 points during his four years at Wisconsin before signing as a free agent with Chicago in 2004. In the years since, he’s accumulated 294 career points with various NHL teams, most recently the Columbus Blue Jackets. So far this season, the left-handed winger has tallied two goals and two assists.

Jake McCabe, a Buffalo Sabres second-round pick, tallied his first NHL goal Oct. 15 at Florida. The Eau Claire native has scored three goals and added four assists so far this season.

Jamie McBain is in his second season with the LA Kings, scoring two goals and four assists. He appeared in his 300th career NHL game on Feb. 24, 2015.

Tom Gilbert is in his second season with Montreal, tallying a single assist. Last year, Gilbert scored five points in the Canadians’ 12-game playoff run.

Cody Goulebef was drafted in the 2nd round by Columbus, whom he has played for since 2011. He has notched a goal and five assists this season, recovering from a jaw fracture for most of the last month.

Ben Street signed with Colorado during the 2014-15 season, playing three games with the Avalanche before finishing the season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, where he tabbed 39 points in 44 games. He has suited up for the Avalanche in seven games this season, but is currently on injured reserve due to a chest injury.


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