Kanu Robbed of £8,000 in Russia

first_imgFormer Nigeria Captain, Nwankwo Kanu, has been robbed of £8,000 (about N4million) in the city where Super Eagles are to play their opening Group D match against Croatia on June 16.TASS Russian News Agency reported that the money was stolen from Kanu’s luggage by the baggage handlers at the Khrabrovo Airport.“When Kanu discovered that the money was stolen when he got to his hotel, he promptly made a report and the two airport staff were detained on suspicion of stealing the money from the Nigeria legend.” Lieutenant Colonel Irina Volk, spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry, said the loaders were dealing with the baggage from a London to Moscow flight.“The stolen cash was removed (from the loaders) and will soon be returned to the owner”, she said.The loaders, aged 30 and 36, face criminal investigation and could be sent to jail for up to six years.Kanu played alongside ex-Manchester United and England star Wes Brown in a FIFA legends team against a Russian legends side.The ex-Arsenal man, a former Nigerian international, did not mention the theft in speaking to the media in the Baltic city.“Kaliningrad is a very nice city with very nice people,” said Nwankwo Kanu.“ Nigeria will be a big surprise, for sure. We have good young and talented players; they are hungry for victories and want to do well – for themselves and for the country,” Kanu was quoted as saying to UK’s Mirror newspaper.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Breakdancing May Become Olympic Sport at Paris 2024

first_imgBreakdancing, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing have been touted as the favourites to be included as additional sports on the Olympic Games programme for Paris 2024.French radio station France Info has claimed a final decision is expected to be made by organisers on Thursday (February 21). This has reportedly been denied by Paris 2024.Paris 2024 is due to submit its recommendations for new sports before the International Olympic Committee Executive Board is due to meet in Lausanne from March 26 to 28. The IOC Session in June will then offer provisional approval before the new additions are officially confirmed by the Executive Board in December 2020.Sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing were all included on the Tokyo 2020 programme as additional sports.The trio are hoping to remain on the programme, along with baseball/softball and karate, which were also added by Japanese organisers.Breakdancing’s prospects are believed to have been boosted by the sport’s appearance at the last year’s Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.The Games in Argentina’s capital city marked breakdancing’s debut at an Olympic competition.A proposal for breakdancing’s inclusion was put forward by the French Dance Sport Federation led by Charles Ferreira.Breakdancing’s potential inclusion has earned criticism in some quarters, however, with a debate over who represents the sport emerging.The World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF) is responsible for overseeing the sport’s inclusion at Buenos Aires 2018.Erwin Mahroug, President of breakdancing media company bboyworld, has claimed the community has not been involved in any attempts to include it at Paris 2024.The company, which claim it has over five million subscribers, helped in the selection of breakdancers at Buenos Aires 2018.Mahroug wrote that the “breakin community was quite angry on how the Youth Olympic Games unfolded and voiced their negative opinion throughout various global media platforms”, adding that a lobbyist and owner of an investment company have been behind the effort.“These two individuals have projected to the WDSF and the IOC that they are the voice of the breakin community,” Mahroug wrote.“However, this is not the case.“Up until the leak of the news that the IOC will be voting on whether breakin will be included in the 2024 Games, the breakin community has been in the dark.“We will not engage, again, to support these two individuals.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

WAFU Cup: Falcons Overcome Ghana in Penalties to Reach Final

first_imgWith Ghana failing to capitalise on their early chances in the opening 15 minutes, Nigeria came alive and almost found an opener through Rafait Sule in the 33rd minute.In the second half, both teams missed several scoring chances and neither side could find the back of the net before the end of regulation time.It took kicks from the penalty mark to separate both teams as the Super Falcons avenged last edition’s semi-final defeat to the Black Queens.For Ghana, it was a disappointment as they failed in their quest to defend the title they won last year.Earlier, Ange Koko N’Guessan and Mariam Diakite were on target as Cote d’Ivoire secured a 2-1 comeback semi-final win over Mali to reach the final.The match had to go into penalties after the match ended goalless in regulation time.Alice Ogebe, Chidinma Okeke and Amarachi Okoronkwo all converted their penalties.Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie saved one of the penalties of the Black Queens.The Falcons will now face host team, Cote d’Ivoire who defeated Mali in the first semi-final clash 2-1 in the final Saturday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Falcons Nigeria’s Super Falcons are through to the final of the WAFU Women’s Cup after eliminating arch-rivals and cup holders Ghana 4-2 in the semi-final match played at the Parc des Sport last night.Thomas Dennerby’s side will now take on the hosts in the final of the competition after defeating the holders on penalties.Mercy Tago’s ladies made a fine start to the game as Mukarama Abdulai dashed into the area to shoot but Evelyn Nwabouku made a block to divert it behind for a corner.last_img read more

Italian Govt Gives All-clear for Serie A Clubs to Resume Training…

first_imgThe Italian government has given the green light for football clubs to return to their training grounds after a number of Serie A sides announced their intention to come back next week.Sassuolo were the first top-flight club in Italy to confirm a return to training before Bologna, Parma and Roma followed suit.The government had originally decreed that athletes in team sports were different from those involved in individual disciplines, such as tennis or athletics, even if their training exercises were identical. This meant the public could go for a run in local parks from Monday next week but team sports remained banned until May 18.But with some regional assemblies deciding to re-open all sports facilities from Monday rather than waiting until May 18, the government conceded it was pointless to limit some areas while others had the go-ahead.The Serie A clubs and the Italian players’ association successfully argued that it is far safer to train inside a training ground where social distancing can be guaranteed rather than in a local park.But despite the planned return to training, there are no guarantees the Serie A season will actually restart despite all 20 clubs voting that they wish to complete the 2019-20 campaign.Players have admitted to being sceptical of the decision to return to training and Sportsmail understands there is a 60/40 split as to whether the season should continue or be cancelled.Discussions over the medical protocol for restarting the season will continue this week with a potential resumption in mid-June one option on the table.The news comes despite another 474 lives being lost to the virus in Italy on Saturday, marking a leap of more than 200 in the daily death toll, which now stands at 28,710.The daily death toll had dropped to 269 on Friday but that progress suffered a setback with an upturn in cases again.At present, there have been more than 200,000 positive tests of COVID-19 in the country, with around half of those still currently active.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

West Genesee baseball plays trio of extra-inning classics

first_imgAnd it stayed 4-4 through four extra innings until daylight ran out. Not only would WG have to wait to finish that game, it would not play B’ville again until Thursday since their Tuesday meeting got rained out.But it dried up in time for last Wednesday’s game with Liverpool, itself a makeup of a rained-out game from a week earlier. Having lost twice to the Warriors, the Wildcats did not want to get swept.Again, it would go deep into to extra frames – but this time it ended before dark, and WG won it 4-3 when it netted the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning.Prior to that, the Wildcats had erased a 1-0 deficit with a run in the third and a 2-1 deficit by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth, only to have Liverpool pull even, 3-3, in the seventh.Nick Jessen pitched 6 2/3 innings, with Joe Comins working in relief until Mike Hebbard pitched a scoreless 10th. Kensey and Chris Bonacci both had two hits, Bonacci driving in a pair of runs as Brad May got three hits.Now came the rematch between WG and B’ville, and a clash of aces – Ryan Paige going for the Wildcats, Jason Savacool for the Bees – but neither was around for the finish as, in eight innings, the Wildcats prevailed 5-3.Unlike when he pitched in the the sectional final, Savacool got tagged for runs by WG – one in the second, two in the third – that erased an early 1-0 Bees lead, but he settled down and, over 6 2/3 innings of work, amassed 13 strikeouts.Paige also went 6 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits but striking out seven, with the Bees netting single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to send WG into extra frames for the third time in four days.Maintaining its poise, the Wildcats got to B’ville reliever Mike Carr for two decisive runs in the top of the eighth. Then Gallager recorded the final three outs.Comins had two hits and scored twice, with Nick Chemotti also getting two hits. May drove in a pair of runs, while Davis and R.J. Murphy had one RBI apiece.Aside from finishing the 12-inning game with B’ville and another rain-halted game with Cicero-North Syracuse, WG (9-3) also has a series this week against Fayetteville-Manlius.Bishop Ludden won big at Pulaski last Wednesday, the Gaelic Knights prevailing 16-6 in large part because it put together a 10-run fourth innings after the Blue Devils seized an early 2-1 advantage.David House singled, doubled, tripled and drove in three runs to pace Ludden, with Steve Anderson adding three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs. Pete Dunham drove in two runs as Pat McGarvey, Tom Westers, Jacob Duffy and Axel Rivera had one RBI apiece.A 10-1 loss to Weedsport followed a day later, House’s solo home run in the fourth the lone run for the Gaelic Knights as the Warriors got away with a seven-run fifth inning. Rivera took the loss as Ludden also lost to Beaver River Saturday by that same 10-1 margin. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Nearly 12 months had passed since the West Genesee baseball team had seen the dream of ending its 41-year Section III championship drought dashed in an extra-inning classic against Baldwinsville in the sectional Class AA final.Yet when the Wildcats and Bees reunited last Monday afternoon in Camillus for the first of a three-game series, they battled into extra innings again – lots of them, as it turned out.In fact, darkness fell before it could end, with the score still tied 4-4 in the 12th inning of an astonishing game where WG led three different times, yet could not hold it. Walks and errors in the first two innings meant that the Wildcats went in front 2-0 without getting a hit, and two more Bees errors in the fourth put the Wildcats in front again after B’ville tied it, 2-2, in the third.After the Bees used a run in the fifth to make it 3-3, WG finally got its first hit off Jake Marshall in the bottom of the sixth, and with two out Dan Davis belted a pinch-hit single that scored Tyler Kensey.Yet that 4-3 lead didn’t hold, either, as Sam Gallager relieved starter Jack Gordon and gave up two singles. With one out, Pat Anson hit a possible game-ending double play grounder, but an error at first allowed Jason Savacool to dash home with the tying run. Tags: BaseballBishop LuddenWest Geneseelast_img read more

B’ville swimmers gain pair of wins at SCAC meet

first_imgHaving earned its first victory of the season on Oct. 8 against Syracuse City, the Baldwinsville girls swim team did even more special stuff when it ventured to Syracuse’s home pool at Nottingham for last weekend’s Salt City Athletic Conference championships.Kali Sacco would win twice for the Bees, starting with the 200-yard individual medley, where in two minutes, 17.60 seconds, she did enough to hold off Fayetteville-Manlius’ Lindsay Mathews (2:18.13) for the top spot.Later, in the 100 backstroke, it was Ashley Konz’s turn to find the win column, her time of 1:00.71 just ahead of the 1:00.97 posted by Cicero-North Syracuse’s Kate Gucciardi. Konz also finished fourth in the 200 freestyle in 2:03.74. Tags: Baldwinsvilleswimming Sacco, in the 100 freestyle, finished in 58.69 seconds, well clear of Thompson’s 1:01.64, while in the 500 freestyle Burke claimed first place in 5:52.90 to the 5:57.44 for Liverpool’s Sophia Russo.Konz returned in the 100 backstroke, her specialty, and tore to victory in a season-best 1:02.90. And in the closing 400 freestyle relay, Konz, Sacco, Burke and Sauro won in 4:10.02 to the Warriors’ 4:10.35, with that same Bees quartet going 2:03.06 in the 200 medley relay to Liverpool’s 2:01.06.Liverpool won 60-34, overcoming Sacco’s 2:24.20 in the 200 individual medley as the Warriors’ Delaney Gellert won in 2:21.85.  Burke, in 2:12.55, was second to Russo (2:10.43) in the 200 freestyle.After the league meet, B’ville would host F-M, the first-place side in the SCAC, on Tuesday for its last regular-season home meet.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story center_img Sacco also finished fourth in the 100 freestyle in a season-best 56.90 seconds, helping Konz, Clare Burke and Madeline Sauro to fourth place n the 200 medley relay in 1:59.92, the first time they dipped under the two-minute mark in that event.Burke was fifth in 2:10.42 to go with her seventh in the 100 butterfly in 1:08.06, capping off the league meet by pairing with Konz, Sacco and Sauro for a third-place time of 4:04.85 in the 400 freestyle relay.Before all this, B’ville hosted Liverpool last Tuesday night. The Bees swept both of the sprint titles, starting with Konz going 26.64 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle to beat out Liverpool’s Kaitlyn Thompson (27.08) for the top spot.last_img read more

Marcellus girls basketball goes 3-0, routs Solvay

first_imgA long mid-season hiatus can either refresh a team or make it stale, and the Marcellus girls basketball team certainly didn’t want to fall into the latter category.When the 7-1 Mustangs took the court for last Monday’s game at Solvay, it had not played since a Dec. 20 win at Homer, only having a scrimmage with Liverpool during its hiatus, which spanned more than two weeks.But any concerns about Marcellus losing its competitive edge dissipated in a hurry as it jumped all over Solvay and didn’t let up until it had registered a 64-29 victory over the Bearcats.With full-court pressure causing a string of turnovers, the Mustangs got an early 15-4 edge, but saved its best work for a second-quarter stretch where, in four-plus minutes, it had 22 unanswered points.Katie MacLachlan put up all of her 15 points in the first half, with Samantha Wynne earning a team-best 16 points. Hannah Durand got nine points, with Sarah Fallon earning seven points and Emma MacLachlan adding six points.The fun continued Wednesday as the Mustangs struggled early against Homer, but rode a sensational second-half performance from Katie MacLachlan to put away the Trojans 75-48.Homer did well early and led, 30-26, at halftime, only to have MacLachlan start to catch fire from the field in the third quarter, sparking a 23-6 run that gave Marcellus the lead for good.Everything seemed to fall for MacLachlan, who by night’s end had hit on 13 field goals, seven of them 3-pointers, adding three throws and finishing with 39 points.Mostly, the other Mustangs were glad to cede the production, though Durand did get 10 points as Sarah Kellar had seven points and Wynne earned six points.In Friday’s game at Phoenix, Marcellus rolled again, holding the Firebirds to just five points in the first half on the way to a 55-25 victory. Durand had the hot hand here, earning 20 points as Katie MacLachlan added 10 points.Solvay recovered from the Marcellus defeat on Thursday, handling Altmar-Parish-Williamstown 58-33. Tazz Pitts dazzled with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Diamond Grant adding 11 rebounds as Haley Muehl had eight points and Ryleigh Bidwell had seven points.Westhill hoped to reestablish its own credentials against undefeated, state Class A no. 20-ranked Christian Brothers Academy, but instead got run over in a 61-38 loss to the Brothers.What was a close contest broke open late in the second quarter, CBA using a string of baskets to build a 33-18 edge that kept on growing as the second half went on.Jenna Larrabee and Mary Gibson led the Warriors with 12 points apiece, but both were far behind CBA senior Brooke Jarvis, who tore up Westhill’s defense and earned 27 points, helped by Leana Heitmann, who had 16 points.Rebounding on Thursday night, Westhill ripped past Hannibal 55-21. Larrabee led with 15 points as Gibson (11 points) and Erica Gangemi (10 points) also scored in double figures, Catherine Dadey added eight points.Then Westhill kept it up Friday by smashing Jordan-Elbridge 91-29. Larrabee, with 24 points, nearly matched the Eagles by herself, Gangemi adding 18 points as Dadey’s 13 points included a trio of 3-pointers and Gibson got 10 points. Molly Yard paced J-E with eight points.Skaneateles fell to Homer 79-41 last Tuesday, unable to overcome a 22-1 start by the Trojans, who saw Jerze Joseph pour in 23 points and Gracie Patriarco add 18 points.But the Lakers handled Mexico 43-22 on Friday night, limiting the Tigers to nine points in the first half and shutting them out in the third quarter on the way to improving its record to 3-7.J-E took a 70-26 defeat to Chittenango last Tuesday as Cassidy Kelly led the Bears with 21 points, nine rebounds, eight steals and seven assists.Bishop Ludden had started the season 5-0, only to drop its next three games, including last Thursday’s 61-47 loss to Rochester Mercy as the Gaelic Knights look ahead to face Marcellus on Friday.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: girls basketballMarcellusskaneatelesSolvayWesthilllast_img read more

Hockey fans impress

first_imgWhile most Badger fans were glued to their TVs this past weekend, I was busy making an eight-hour trek to North Dakota. At least I think that’s where I was — driving to the city of Grand Forks, I got the feeling I was driving through Eastern Europe.I made the drive because I have wanted to make that road trip ever since I began covering the Badger men’s hockey team. But more specifically, I wanted to see how Wisconsin fared on the road at the palace that is the Ralph Engelstad Arena.I was not disappointed in either of these aspects — if the Badgers can play that well on the road against a tough rival team they are going to be scary, and the Ralph, with its gigantic relic organ and wide array of bubble hockey games, is just one moat short of a castle.But the trip also strengthened my opinion that the Badger hockey faithful are the best college hockey fans in the country.Prior to the weekend, my only hockey road trips had been to Albany, N.Y., and Grand Rapids, Mich., for the NCAA tournaments the past two years. It was the national tournament, of course fans were going to be there.But I didn’t know what to expect at North Dakota, so I didn’t really anticipate a whole lot. Boy was I surprised.Whether it was my wide eyes at seeing the Ralph for the first time, or my strengthened focus due to a tighter deadline, I didn’t really notice it Friday night, but the Badger fan base — relegated to an upper corner of the arena — was both amazing and amusing to me when I took notice Saturday.Thanks to three first-period goals by the Badgers, the Sioux fans were stunned and silent. Take note, however, that North Dakota could have been up 3-0 and its fans might have been half as loud as a Kohl Center crowd with UW trailing 5-0 late in the game.When one of the guys keeping official stats at the game told me that the stadium was great, but that the fans weren’t quite up to speed, that may have been the understatement of the year.Regardless, when the Badger fans started out with a hearty chant of “Lets go red” in the first period, their voices rung out louder than the North Dakota fans.I would compare it to two high school student sections arguing over who has more spirit. You know what I’m talking about. One section starts the chant and the other section doesn’t respond and the first section thinks it’s hilarious. So they do it again, and usually on the third try, the second section responds and yada, yada, yada …But I digress — the Badger fans got at least three “Let’s go red”s in before the Sioux student section realized what was going on and tried to muffle it with “Let’s go Sioux.”That was only the beginning.Other chants, after the fourth goal, included “Robbie Earl,” “1, 2, 3, 4 We want more … ,” and my — and the Badgers’– favorite: “We want ice cream.””We could hear the ice cream [chant] … that was pretty funny,” senior winger Ryan MacMurchy said.In case you don’t know, if the Badgers score five goals in a win at the Kohl Center, all fans in attendance get free Culver’s ice cream.Let’s just say that the small corner section would have made the student section’s father-figure, Phil, quite proud.The fans were loud and they were tasteful — something lacking in student sections such as the one at Badger football games.But while Wisconsin football fans are notorious for being a good traveling fan base, it’s time the hockey fans got some credit.The Kohl Center fans are one thing. Wisconsin continually has not only the largest crowd — numbers aren’t everything, as North Dakota showed — but I would venture to say the largest and most electric crowd in the country.To take that energy on the road and out-yell the hometown crowd is another.The players know how important the fans are.”There’s no doubt about it that Wisconsin Badger fans are the best in the country,” MacMurchy said. “It’s just so great playing at home because you know they’re going to be into it the whole game. It’s never kind of dead like it is [other places] sometimes.”Our fans are the best part about our team, and when you hear them in an away rink it makes us smile inside and keeps us going.”If the Badgers can continue to play like they are, come tournament time teams are going to be in trouble. Not only will this team be a threat on the ice, it will have a threat off of it.If a few dozen cheering fans can ring through on the road more than eight hours away, think about the environment that opposing teams will face if the Badgers go to the Green Bay regional of the NCAA tournament or the Frozen Four at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.It’s something that teams across the country can only hope they don’t have to think about.last_img read more

Men’s basketball team set for UW-Green Bay

first_imgMATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoGreg Stiemsma will have a high school reunion of sorts tonight when the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (5-1) takes the court against instate rival UW-Green Bay (2-4).The sophomore big man will get to play against his prep running mate Ryan Tillema, now a freshman forward for the Phoenix, who along with Stiemsma won three straight Division IV state titles at Randolph High School. Tillema added a fourth crown last season without Steimsma.”I probably know him better than anybody,” Stiemsma said. “It’s pretty weird to see a guy on the other team that I have been playing with since we were in fifth grade.”Such familiarity and renewals of rivalries are characteristic of this time of year, when Wisconsin goes on its quest to claim the unofficial state championship of basketball, as UW will play all three of the Dairy State’s other Division I programs — UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette. The Badgers play Marquette on Saturday before finishing up the Wisconsin series Dec. 15 against UW-Milwaukee.”It’s always good to play the schools in the state. You know everybody across the state gets to see everybody. I guess you can sort of see it as a state championship. It is going to be very competitive and each team wants to win to show they are the best team in Wisconsin,” junior guard Kammron Taylor said, adding that pundits can throw out the records with these in-state rivalries. “Even though [some Wisconsin teams’] record might say another thing, but once they come in here they are going to be ready to play.”Such is the case tonight, as the Phoenix will walk into the Kohl Center with a 2-4 record, trying to rebound from a 59-51 loss to Illinois State last Saturday. UW-GB has played Wisconsin tough in the past, however, and has hardly rolled over for Bo Ryan’s squad. One need look no further than last year’s closer-than-expected game, when the Badgers defeated the Phoenix 65-55 in Madison.”That was actually one of my worst games last year, and I just try to put that out of my head,” Taylor said.”[Green Bay has] some very good players. The future is bright with the group of guys they have coming through that program,” assistant coach Greg Gard said.UW-GB’s youth will be on display, as the team has no seniors and only three juniors this season. Their best player, however, could very well be Stiemsma’s former teammate Tillema, who is averaging 10.7 points per game and is shooting 50 percent (16-for-32) from beyond the three-point line.”He’s got a nice touch around the perimeter and he definitely can score,” Stiemsma said.Alongside Tillema will be junior guard Ryan Evanochko, who leads the team in both points (11.5 per game) and assists (3.83).If the Phoenix are to upset Wisconsin, however, they will need to up their offensive production, as they have thus far only averaged 58.7 points a contest, while the Badgers have averaged 85.0. Strangely, UW-Green Bay’s three-point shooting percentage (.423) is better then their overall shooting percentage (.372), meaning that getting out on the Phoenix perimeter shooters will be of premium importance.”They have some guys that you just can’t leave open,” Gard said. “If you give those guys those open looks, they have some guys that can really knock them down and hurt you.”Although the Badgers should enjoy a significant talent advantage, don’t be surprised to see another hotly contested matchup.”All those teams from the state have something to prove. They just want to prove that they can play at the top level,” junior Alando Tucker said. “Green Bay is a good team. They always play us physical and hard, and they want to prove they belong.”For Stiemsma and Tillema, like many of the other players during the in-state series, something even bigger is on the line: bragging rights.”There might be a little bit under the table, but nothing too big,” Stiemsma joked. “The loser will have to hear about it at least until next year.”last_img read more

UW coaches provide ‘Miracle on Ice’

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoPerhaps the most overlooked aspect of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team’s success is its renowned coaching staff. The scorers get to rack up the points, the defenders rack up the blocked shots, the goaltenders rack up the saves and wins. And head coach Mark Johnson, on the other hand, gets to provide quotes in addition to many other responsibilities. Johnson is the man who gets to make the final decision, using his experience and instinct to put the best team as possible on the ice while making sure his team is ready to play.As a player for the Badgers, Johnson was the first Badger to win WCHA Rookie of the Year during the 1977 season when Wisconsin won the National Championship. He went on to record 256 points in just three seasons and his 125 goals still stand as a UW record. However, his most memorable accomplishment might be the “Miracle On Ice” during the 1980 Olympics, during which he recorded two goals against the Soviet Union en route to the United States winning the gold medal. Johnson went on to a successful career in the NHL, recording 508 points in 699 games for four different teams.Johnson came back to UW in 1996, when he became an assistant coach for the men’s team. He was named the women’s hockey head coach before the 2002-03 season. Johnson led the team to their first WCHA title and national championship last season, and was rewarded by being named coach of the year.Johnson is responsible for the women’s hockey program becoming one of the elite programs in the nation. Since taking over the women’s hockey team, he has compiled an impressive record of 120 wins, 27 losses and 11 ties, including this season’s 11-0-1 record.”I think the coaching staff is something that goes unnoticed,” senior defender Bobbi-Jo Slusar said. “You really can’t say anything bad about [the coaches]; they come every day and put a lot of time in … I can’t really say enough about our coaches.”The most telling statistic about Johnson’s influence is that the Badgers have set a new record for wins every year he has coached. Last year the Badgers recorded 36 wins, which tied the NCAA record for most wins in a season. Perhaps his most challenging task is keeping his team motivated. While the Badgers are currently riding a 24-game unbeaten streak, Johnson has to be sure they’re prepared and ready to play every weekend. “Johnson is a very experienced person,” Slusar said. “The good thing about him is that he brings a good attitude every day. He’s ready to go and he knows when it’s time to do certain things — when we need to work hard and when we don’t need to work so hard. I think he really recognizes our situation, like if we’re tired he knows what we need to be doing.”Despite Johnson’s strong résumé, the influence of the assistant coaches cannot be overlooked. Tracy Cornell has been an assistant coach with the team since 1999 when the women’s hockey program first started, while Dan Koch started coaching at Wisconsin in 2001. Both have been instrumental in mentoring and recruiting players, building the women’s hockey program into the elite program it is today.”I think with a coaching staff like this, any player in the game could do really well,” freshman forward Meaghan Duggan said. “They’re really good with one-on-one stuff; they come right up to you and tell you what you need to work on.””They bring a positive attitude, [and] that goes a long way, because when I come to the rink I want to have fun,” Slusar said. “And every day I have fun and am having a good time, whether it’s practice or a game, whether we’re winning or losing.”last_img read more