The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team experienced their first loss this weekend against the University of Minnesota-Duluth — a dismal start to the weekend.Wisconsin (12-1-1-0, 10-1-1-0 WCHA) ended an eight-game winning streak Friday night against the Bulldogs (8-3-3, 7-3-2 WCHA), who defeated the Badgers 4-1. The match highlighted key areas that the Badgers need to fix in their play, especially with their special teams.Friday began what was an especially challenging weekend for one Badger, Nikki Cece. Cece, a freshman goaltender, took the spot of Wisconsin’s usual netminder, Ann-Renée Desbiens, this weekend, against the No. 3 ranked Bulldogs.Women’s hockey: No. 1 Badgers face toughest test to-date with No. 3 Minnesota-DuluthAfter a much-needed weekend off to relax and recover from an intense month of competition, the University of Wisconsin women’s Read…Even though they fell to a challenging team Friday night, Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson knows that the challenge of having a freshman in net and realizes that mistakes will be made early on. Johnson told UW Athletics that this loss did not mean that the team was performing poorly, but that they needed to make sure that some minor issues were fine-tuned as soon as possible.“Overall, we didn’t play poorly,” Johnson said. “We’ve just got to figure out how to get the puck to the net Saturday. That’s the big thing because the first period was good as we had a lot of scoring opportunities and their goaltender met the challenge. We had almost 50 shots in the game and had one crazy deflection go in for us, but we need more of that.”Once Cece and the rest of the Badger team got their footing Saturday night, they began to resemble the same team fans saw two weeks prior. More shots were successfully finding the back of the net and Wisconsin’s top line was proving to be a dominant force.One of the primary keys to the top line’s success was junior Annie Pankowski, who managed to record a natural hat trick Saturday. Pankowski, who had yet to previously score a single goal this season before this weekend’s contest, helped the Badgers shut the Bulldogs out Saturday night. This natural hat trick would be the first in Wisconsin history since Brooke Ammerman’s in 2012.With Pankowski and the rest of her linemates leading the way, and Cece now feeling more confident in her goaltending abilities, the Badgers reciprocated the Bulldogs’ Friday night performance, ending the game with a 4-1 victory.The Badgers come home Friday and Saturday to face Clarkson University. Fans should note that Saturday’s game has been changed to 8 p.m. to accommodate the Wisconsin football game at 2:30 p.m.
DeAndre Jordan’s value to the Clippers has always been a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous. His towering presence in the paint opened things up for his teammates, an easy-to-miss aspect of their high-energy offense, and his brute strength wreaked havoc on opposing defenses.It’s been a lethal combination in good times and bad, but mostly good.Jordan was at his impactful best during the Clippers’ 23-point rout Friday of the New York Knicks, when he came within one point of his ninth career 20-point and 20-rebound game. He made 9 of 11 shots en route to 19 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.His offensive aggression helped to open the perimeter for his teammates, including Lou Williams, who scored 21 points on 6-for-16 shooting, and Austin Rivers, who scored 19 on 7-for-13 shooting. He only played 28 minutes, 22 seconds, sitting out the fourth quarter with the game in hand. The Clippers will need all the 10-year veteran can deliver down the stretch, if the hope to rally for a playoff berth in the chaotic Western Conference. As of Saturday morning, they were in ninth place and a half-game out of eighth and 2 1 /2 games out of third.Crazy, right?Almost as crazy as the thought of Jordan playing elsewhere next season. Jordan, the Clippers’ all-time leader in games played for the franchise, can opt out of the final year and $24 million of his contract at season’s end and sign with another NBA team when the free-agent window opens in July.However, Jordan said recently that there are at least 21 regular-season games to be played before a decision can be made about his future. After all, it’s possible he and the Clippers agree to an extension that they could not before 2017-18 begins.As he said in an interview with Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports, “I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on. I’m excited. Like I told somebody the other day, I hope I can play another 10 years here. That’s what I’m focused on now.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers did attempt to trade him at the Feb. 8 deadline, but were unsuccessful in completing a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to numerous reports. They did trade Chris Paul last summer and Blake Griffin in January, leaving Jordan as the sole survivor of Lob City.The departures of Paul and Griffin, and especially Griffin’s five-season, $173-million contract, could make it easier for the Clippers to re-sign Jordan. Any team would covet Jordan’s skills, including his improved free-throw percentage, none more than the Clippers.Plus, the tension that was present while Jordan played with Paul and Griffin and created the greatest period of success in Clippers history has vanished. What’s left is a stubborn, hard-nosed team on the court with a sense of playfulness off it. The current team leaves its fighting on the floor.In many ways, Jordan has emerged as the Clippers’ leader. He bantered loudly in the locker room with his teammates after Friday’s victory, making fun of their postgame attire. They fired back, with Austin Rivers critiquing his multi-colored shirt.Jordan also claimed to reporters that newly-acquired center Boban Marjanovic made an impassioned halftime speech about increasing their defensive pressure, which led to a decisive run in the third quarter against the Knicks. Marjanovic laughed when the reporters approached him.“Me? No,” said Marjanovic, an outgoing 7-foot-3 Serb who has become a fan and locker room favorite since the Clippers acquired him in the Griffin trade Jan. 29 with the Detroit Pistons.“My name has been mentioned (in trades) for the past few years,” Jordan told Yahoo. “So, I’m not tripping on that. I really don’t give a (expletive) at this point. I’m just playing, man, staying locked into the game, playing as hard as I can for this organization because I love this team, and I love where we’re at and the group of guys that I’m playing with, so that’s what makes me happy.”