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Thread: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

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    Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    The Buckeyes are playing some good hockey right now. They are on a 7-game unbeaten streak and are 7-3-3 in their last 13 games. The Buckeyes will find out this weekend how far they have come when Wisconsin visits the OSU Ice Rink. Wisconsin is firmly planted in 2nd place in the WCHA standings, ten points ahead of third-place North Dakota, and only seven points behind first place Minnesota, so they will undoubtedly bring it this weekend. Ohio State comes into this weekend with splits vs Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth, then sweeps of Minnesota State and St. Cloud State. The Buckeyes are in fifth place in the WCHA and are a long shot to catch UMD, who has 41 points to Ohio State's 25. The Bucks do need to keep winning to hold down the 5th spot as they are only four points ahead of 6th place Bemidji State. Should be an interesting weekend. Safe travels to the Wisconsin fans who are making the trip down. Hopefully we see a couple of good games and no injuries!

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    It's going to be a tough match-up for UW. OSU is playing well right now. When I saw them in Madison, they were a not a pushover by any means. If it wasn't for the slow slow start they'd be smelling home ice. I think overall the wcha is compressing as far as the gap between the haves and the have nots.

    Let's hope for all the gals staying healthy and for some decent refereeing and may the better team prevail.
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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Even thought the numbers don't necessarily show it, the Buckeyes have always seemed to play the Badgers tough. With the Gophers not ceding any points, a sweep will be necessary to keep any faint hope alive for the league title. It's frustrating that even at 17-3-2 in conference and getting Minnesota at home next weekend, the Badgers don't control their own destiny.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Booster View Post
    EIt's frustrating that even at 17-3-2 in conference and getting Minnesota at home next weekend, the Badgers don't control their own destiny.
    That is a huge bummer, but that just how stinking good those rodents are.
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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Thanks for the replies Timothy A and Badger Booster. We are playing much better hockey than we were in November and December. We'll see if we are playing well enough to pick up some points this weekend. The big question for me will be can we get any pucks by Alex Rigsby? Though we were competitive in Madison, we could only manage three goals in the two games to the Badgers seven (scores were 4-1 and 3-2). Mrs 86 and I made the trip to Madison for those games and had a great time. Everyone was really friendly and I was impressed with LaBahn Arena. Of course, compared to the OSU Ice Rink, everything in the WCHA seems like a palace, other than All Seasons in Mankato. That is the one venue that I have been told (have never been there myself) is actually worse than the OSU Ice Rink. Timothy A, I agree with you that the talent gap is starting to close. There are so many more girls taking up hockey and with only so many 'ships available, the traditional powers cannot take all of them. I think Coach Handrahan is doing a great job with our program in his third season, despite the tough stretch. Time will tell, but if we keep playing well, I think we can make some noise in the playoffs, maybe win a road series in the first round and get to Bemidji for the WCHA Final Face-Off. One more thing before I end this post, what do you guys think of Claudia Kepler from Verona? She is quite a player and is now leading us in goals scored this season. I am really looking forward to watching her develop over the next three seasons.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    It's going to be a tough match-up for UW. OSU is playing well right now. When I saw them in Madison, they were a not a pushover by any means. If it wasn't for the slow slow start they'd be smelling home ice. I think overall the wcha is compressing as far as the gap between the haves and the have nots.

    Let's hope for all the gals staying healthy and for some decent refereeing and may the better team prevail.
    It's still quite a gap. Looking at the standings, you've got SCSU and MSU-M in a race at the bottom, then make a big jump. Then you have BSU and OSU close together, then make a big jump to the top half of the standings. The split between 1 and 4 isn't exactly tiny.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    Thanks for the replies Timothy A and Badger Booster. We are playing much better hockey than we were in November and December. We'll see if we are playing well enough to pick up some points this weekend. The big question for me will be can we get any pucks by Alex Rigsby? Though we were competitive in Madison, we could only manage three goals in the two games to the Badgers seven (scores were 4-1 and 3-2). Mrs 86 and I made the trip to Madison for those games and had a great time. Everyone was really friendly and I was impressed with LaBahn Arena. Of course, compared to the OSU Ice Rink, everything in the WCHA seems like a palace, other than All Seasons in Mankato. That is the one venue that I have been told (have never been there myself) is actually worse than the OSU Ice Rink. Timothy A, I agree with you that the talent gap is starting to close. There are so many more girls taking up hockey and with only so many 'ships available, the traditional powers cannot take all of them. I think Coach Handrahan is doing a great job with our program in his third season, despite the tough stretch. Time will tell, but if we keep playing well, I think we can make some noise in the playoffs, maybe win a road series in the first round and get to Bemidji for the WCHA Final Face-Off. One more thing before I end this post, what do you guys think of Claudia Kepler from Verona? She is quite a player and is now leading us in goals scored this season. I am really looking forward to watching her develop over the next three seasons.
    I was wondering about Kelper, her history and how she ended up @ OSU considering she is essentially from Madison. It's always great to see WI kids doing well anywhere they play.
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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    I was wondering about Kelper, her history and how she ended up @ OSU considering she is essentially from Madison. It's always great to see WI kids doing well anywhere they play.
    That's what I was kind of wondering myself ... how did she get away from Wisconsin?!? Obviously, we are thrilled to have her down here!

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    That's what I was kind of wondering myself ... how did she get away from Wisconsin?!? Obviously, we are thrilled to have her down here!
    Here we go....

    Kepler signs to play womens hockey at Ohio State
    Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 12/16/2012 - 1:00am
    By: Jeremy Jones
    Sitting down to officially sign her National Letter of Intent to play women’s hockey at Ohio State University on Nov. 19, Claudia Kepler had only one thought going through her mind.“Don’t mess up your name,” the Verona Area High School senior said. “I was so nervous.” Nearly three weeks later, Kepler still didn’t feel that signing with a Big Ten hockey program had quite sunk in. “I don’t think it will really hit me until my parents drop me off at the dorm (this fall),” she quipped.

    The 5-foot, 6-inch Madison Capitols U19 forward also drew interest from perennial national championship contender Wisconsin, as well as Dartmouth, Minnesota State-Mankato and Providence, before finally settling on playing in Columbus. “The facilities there are great,” she said. “The community, school and the school spirit are great. It seemed to fit me the best. I felt wanted there.” Though UW-Madison had been the 17-year-old’s No. 1 choice, with strong ties to coach Mark Johnson and the program, the Buckeyes put the best offer forward.

    “I really felt like Ohio State was the right place for me,” said Kepler who expects to see ice time right away as a freshman. “They really made me feel wanted.” Kepler added, “I guess things change, and I ended up going to Columbus. I don’t regret my decision.” Kepler joined fellow Verona native Amanda Kessel (University of Minnesota) as Division I recruits from Verona.

    Doug Johnson, who has coached Kepler’s Capitols teams the past four seasons, said Kepler’s attitude toward the game is an asset. “Claudia is committed to improving in all areas on and off the ice,” he said. “Her sense of the game, aggressiveness and a quick hard shot will help her succeed at Ohio State. “However, she will need to get quicker and learn the pace of the game to make an impact.”

    Starting young

    Claudia has been around hockey her entire life and started playing with her twin brother, Nolan, when she was 4. “I always loved hanging out with my brother,” she said. “We’re twins, so we grew up playing together all the time.” Anytime, anywhere, a pickup game was likely to break out between the mini-stick wielding siblings – in the basement, even in the kitchen. Father Dave Kepler, who played college hockey at DIII UW-Stevens Point and coached at both Madison West and Verona Area High School, started the children skating at the age of 2 at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison. Claudia, who plays softball at VAHS, also got her start with that sport around 4. She even flirted with soccer for a year, but her fate was sealed when she attended her first Badger men’s hockey game shortly after.

    “I knew I wanted to play college hockey from that moment,” she said. “From there, I wanted to work toward that goal.”
    Claudia played defense against boys with the Southwest Eagles while still in coed hockey until 10, but Kepler found her position a year later, when she made the switch to girls hockey with the Wisconsin Ice Spirit and decided to try forward.
    Still, it wasn’t until she made the USA Hockey development camp at 14 (her first year eligible) that her father recognized his daughter’s talents were above those of most of her peers. “That is really the first real measuring stick for players to compare their skills against others in a district or the nation,” he said.

    On the road

    Unlike her brother, who plays for the Wildcats hockey team, Claudia rarely gets the opportunity to showcase her hockey talents in front of family and friends. Rather than playing for one of the local WIAA girls hockey co-ops, she opted to travel around the country as pat of a club hockey program. It was her best shot at getting recruited by a major program, she said, explaining that difference in the level of exposure is simply not comparable. The Middleton girls hockey co-op is limited to roughly 25 games each year (from mid-November until state in March), while the Capitols play about 60 games throughout the season, which runs season runs from Sept. 1 all the way through to Nationals – the first week in April. “We travel around a lot, and different people are able to see us in different places,” Kepler said. “I think it provides more opportunities.” Kepler’s 44 goals and 33 assists in 61 games last season helped the Capitols advance to 2012 Nationals, where they lost in overtime of the semifinals as a result of a goalie interference that was never called. It was an experience Claudia described has both the highlight and probably one of her lowest points as a hockey player. “We tied it up with one minute left in the third period and then went eight minutes into overtime and never saw that goal coming,” she said. “One girl plowed over our goalie and another shot it in.” But even with all the travel, Kepler has enjoyed the experience. In fact, she prefers it.

    “I get more nervous before a softball game, just because there are more people around,” said Kepler, who earned second team all-conference honors on the diamond for the Wildcats last season as a junior. “I love away games more than playing at home,” she added. “I don’t know, maybe that will change in college, but I love traveling.”

    Family affair

    With her father’s wealth of experience about the game and her twin brother playing at VAHS, Kepler has never had a hard time finding someone’s brain to pick in order to get better. Not only would she work with her brother in the basement or in open hockey times, her father coached her for about the first 10 years she played. “That helped me a lot,” Kepler said. “He was my co-head coach on my U-16 team and he was able to see me practice every day and he was able to point out things I needed to work on.”

    But it wasn’t all convenient.

    Kepler, who joined the Capitols at 14, played on the same team with her brother for only one year, so their schedules were usually different. As a result, the family often found itself splitting apart on the weekends. “When they were twin babies, we didn’t know any better, we just dug in and did it,” Dave said. “That’s just what we do. It’s hectic at times, but anything for hockey.”He said the most challenging year was when Claudia went into club and Nolan was a Bantam. Though he was coaching his daughter at Capitol Ice Arena, his son still had to get to practice and games. That meant a lot of chasing, dropping kids off and asking for rides. “I’m glad both Claudia and Nolan can drive themselves now,” Dave said. “It used to be fairly hectic.”

    Academic pursuits

    Despite all the traveling and the 60-game schedule, Kepler managed to make the honor roll and join the National Honor Society with a 3.86 GPA. She plans to manage in fitness, with a possible goal of becoming a personal trainer or coach at OSU.
    “I just want to play as long as I can,” she said. “College hockey is one way to do that.” Kepler expects to come in and play right away, though her fitness level and skating will need to improve. “A lot of that depends on her and what she does over the summer to build her body up,” Dave Kepler said. “I think she’s going to get all the chance in the world to show what she can do there.” Claudia is solely focused on the challenges ahead. “Usually, when I focus on my past, it’s what I can get better on,” she said. “I don’t really pay attention to things I’ve done well because I always want become a better hockey player and improve my game.”

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    --------------------------------
    So she wanted to be a Badger, but it just didn't work out with what Johnson had to offer. It's a bummer for UW, but at least she didn't end up a rodent.
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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    Here we go....

    So she wanted to be a Badger, but it just didn't work out with what Johnson had to offer. It's a bummer for UW, but at least she didn't end up a rodent.
    (I don't know any of the folks involved, or whether this has anything to do with their particular decisions, but...)

    It isn't at all surprising to me that when it comes time for a kid to go to college, they decide they want to go *away* to college, to go out into the world, to live somewhere else than their hometown. She - and the Kessels - happen to also play hockey. While I'd love to have/had them all play for the Badgers, I can't fault them for wanting to 'go away to school'.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    ... Ohio State comes into this weekend with splits vs Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth...
    A shootout win & a shootout loss is a split?
    OK, if you say so.
    A loss & a shootout win is a split?
    Now you’re really dreamin’
    Going 0-1-2 earns 4 points of a possible 12.
    Where I come from that isn’t a split, it’s two bad weekends.
    Last edited by pokechecker; 02-07-2014 at 10:17 PM. Reason: 123kidd, Dr. Seuss Fan, FiveHoleFrenzy, goodie, mnpokecheck, robertearle, The Boomer, thehoc

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by pokechecker View Post
    Going 0-1-2 earns 4 points of a possible 12.
    Shootout win earns two points (times two), shootout loss earns one point.

    So they got five out of 12, not four.
    Last edited by robertearle; 02-07-2014 at 10:36 PM.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by pokechecker View Post
    A shootout win & a shootout loss is a split?
    OK, if you say so.
    A loss & a shootout win is a split?
    Now you’re really dreamin’
    Going 0-1-2 earns 4 points of a possible 12.
    Where I come from that isn’t a split, it’s two bad weekends.
    Yeah, now that I think about it, technically we didn't really split at Minnesota because they got 4 points and we only got 2. At Duluth it was a split as we each won shootouts, so both teams got 3 points. Thanks for the correction. Having said that, I don't think 5 points on the road at Minnesota and at Duluth is all that bad.
    Last edited by osualum86; 02-07-2014 at 11:09 PM.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Timothy A, thanks for sharing that story about Claudia. As I said, we are thrilled to have her. As for tonight's game, I was "partly" right about having a problem getting pucks past Alex Rigsby. The other part of that was that we only had 13 shots on goal. Credit Wisconsin's defense for not really allowing us to get anything going. They really smothered us tonight. Still, it was a 1-0 game until we gift-wrapped two goals by turning the puck over in our own zone at the end. Can't do that against the Badgers. They pounced on those turnovers and both ended up in the back of our net. Wisconsin did appear to have scored a second goal in, I believe, the middle frame, or maybe it was early in the third period, but for some reason it was looked at, then waved off. I was watching but didn't get a good enough look at it so I am not 100% sure why it was waved off. I could not tell if it was kicked in or what was called. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what adjustments Ohio State makes to try and generate more scoring chances tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    Yeah, now that I think about it, technically we didn't really split at Minnesota because they got 4 points and we only got 2.
    You could define it either way. When each team takes at least some part of the six points, then you could say that the two teams split the points. A three-three split would be a split down the middle, but that isn't necessarily the only definition.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    You could define it either way. When each team takes at least some part of the six points, then you could say that the two teams split the points. A three-three split would be a split down the middle, but that isn't necessarily the only definition.
    Thanks, ARM! Heck, we had lost 20 or 30 games in a row vs the Gophers so I guess I got a little carried away calling it a split (according to Pokechecker, anyway)! Nice game vs Bemidji tonight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    Nice game vs Bemidji tonight.
    Just one of those games for BSU; some nights, everything goes wrong.

    The Buckeyes look like they played a nice game against Wisconsin tonight. The Badgers are just so tough to score against. You have to play so clean to have a chance against them. Good luck tomorrow.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    The Buckeyes look like they played a nice game against Wisconsin tonight. The Badgers are just so tough to score against. You have to play so clean to have a chance against them.
    Very true. If you get a chance to check out tonight's Three Stars on the WCHA thread, you'll see my take runs very much along those lines.
    Last edited by pgb-ohio; 02-08-2014 at 12:10 AM.

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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    I tried to watch the game via the video feed, but because of the small barn, the camera is not very high above the ice surface and whomever was running it was apparently afraid of the zoom button. I had a view of half the audience most of the time. Very frustrating. Mostly I just listened to the audio, instead.
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    Re: Ohio State vs Wisconsin 2/7 - 2/8

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    Just one of those games for BSU; some nights, everything goes wrong.

    The Buckeyes look like they played a nice game against Wisconsin tonight. The Badgers are just so tough to score against. You have to play so clean to have a chance against them. Good luck tomorrow.
    Playing a nice game means betting outshot 34-14? Your standards are pretty low for a rodent fan. I'd call that getting dominated. Or do you mean play nice as in let the visitor have their way with you out of being polite and friendly? If that's the case Bemiji played really really really really nice.

    So what are the rink dimensions at OSU's barn?
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