Senior Knight leads final charge into postseason

first_imgMegan McCormick / The Badger HeraldWinning back-to-back championships is an incredibly tough feat in any sport. It takes players with extraordinary skill and leadership to accomplish such a achievement.The Wisconsin women’s hockey team eagerly awaits that very challenge this postseason. The team will play just two more regular season series before seeking its second straight National Championship, which would mark an unprecedented five championships in seven seasons for the Badgers.If the Badgers hope to have success this postseason the team will look to lean on the leadership and play of senior forward Hilary Knight, who boasts incredible amounts of extremely valuable hockey experience at the collegiate and international level. Knight has been through it all during her career at Wisconsin, especially her freshman year when she was second on the team with 20 goals but endured the devastation of losing the NCAA championship game to Minnesota-Duluth.“I had that [loss] as a motivation coming in my sophomore year, knowing I need to work harder and bring more to the table than my freshman year,” Knight said. “I think looking back on my freshman year, it was a good learning experience, but I kind of feel like I let myself down.”Knight recalled the season as “exciting” but a “heartbreaker” at the same time. Nevertheless, she played a vital role in UW’s championship season the following year, leading the nation with 45 goals.“We were an unstoppable team that year and it was just a lot of fun playing with Angie Keseley (2005-09) and Erika Lawler (2005-09),” Knight said. “Those two really guided me through my collegiate career.”Knight played for the U.S. Senior National Team in high school and the annual Four Nations Cup, but she added to her international experience the following year by representing the U.S. in the Olympics. She took an entire year off from school to train and perform in the Olympics, assuring herself another two years of eligibility at Wisconsin.“It was a huge learning experience; definitely a lot of those girls took me under their wing and the Wisconsin combination [of players] over there definitely helped bring [my play] back to the collegiate level,” Knight said.“The Olympic year where she got to train and practice with the best players certainly elevated her game to a new height,” head coach Mark Johnson said.Johnson has seen vast growth and improvement in Knight’s game through the duration of her career.“She’ll be the first to tell you she’s gotten better,” Johnson said. “You got to give her credit. She’s been very dedicated to conditioning and off-ice training, working hard in practices. The nice thing for her is she’s gotten opportunities to play in the international level whether the Four Nations [Cup], the Olympics, those type of things.”Knight joked that returning to academics at Wisconsin was more difficult than returning to collegiate play from the Olympics. She certainly didn’t show any jetlag from her year away, leading the nation with 47 goals on her way to her second national title just one year ago.“Her preparation has been very, very strong for a long time and when she’s gotten opportunities she’s made the most of them,” Johnson said. “We’ve certainly enjoyed the four years she’s played at Wisconsin.”Knight now closes in on the end of her long career as a Badger, one marked with consistent dominance and development into a team leader. As the team captain, Knight will utilize her experiences to teach her younger teammates how to prepare for the high-pressure situations that come with the playoffs.“When it gets to playoff time, people try doing more than they’ve been doing all year,” Knight said. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can definitely take away from the steady play that we’ve been expecting from each player throughout the year. So [we] just make sure each of our players is calm and ready to go.”Even though Knight is the all-time leading goal scorer at Wisconsin and has national championships to call her own, the senior continues to eye the ultimate prize in college hockey with even more desire then her previous two.“I want to win a national championship, and I don’t think anyone in our room will tell you that they don’t,” Knight said. “As a senior, I think it’s even more memorable because it’s my last run at it and we definitely want to go out with a win in our last game because that’s important to us. Whatever we have to do, we’re going to do it in order to win.”last_img read more

How To Keep Pets Safe In the Cold

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisHere in Alpena we’ve been experiencing freezing cold temperatures and negative wind chills. This weather is chilling our bones, but imagine how it’s making our pets feel? Many pet owners think their pets are safe from the cold especially with their big coats of fur, but with temperatures hitting below freezing pets are still at risk!Take into consideration how dangerous it is for your pets to be outside, small dogs can even get hypothermia and frostbite on their little paws. Simple ways to prevent your animals from frostbite is to wipe the salt off their feet, and consider using products that protect your pets paws. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s probably too cold for your pets. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious New Years Baby Finally Arrives in Alpena: Stella Mae JanisNext ‘Who’s qualified?’ Committee seek designers for new jaillast_img read more