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Women’s hockey team finally has reason to celebrate

first_imgIt was a rainy day in Madison, but nothing could ruin Monday’s celebration for the 2005-06 NCAA champion Wisconsin women’s hockey team.Sunday, the Badgers knocked off two-time defending champion Minnesota 3-0, to capture the first national championship in the young program’s history.Before Monday’s event even began, chants of “We’re Number One” rang loudly through the main corridor of the Kohl Center. Students, families, media and the UW band piled into the main entrance to welcome back the Badgers after a job well done.”We would like to thank everyone for coming out tonight and it means a lot to me, my coaching staff and most importantly it means a great deal to the young ladies behind me,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “Something special happened [Sunday] and for the first time this trophy is out of the state of Minnesota.”Johnson went on to thank everyone involved with the team this year and he even went as far as showing his gratitude to the Kohl Center zamboni drivers for keeping the ice in good shape during the season.Guest speakers at the event included UW chancellor John Wiley and UW athletic director Barry Alvarez made a short speech.”We want to congratulate Mark [Johnson], his staff and the hockey team for an absolutely tremendous season and for capturing the national championship,” Alvarez said. “I had the opportunity to watch the girls this weekend and I was very impressed with the class and dignity they showed. They say a team takes on their coach’s personality and I think this is exactly the case here.”We’ve got a quote around here about hockey, and let me just say it was a great weekend for hockey.”One by one, the champion student-athletes made their way onto the stage, with Patty Kazmaier award winner Sara Bauer and NCAA tournament MVP Jessie Vetter receiving the largest ovations.Vetter stole the show during the tournament as she closed out the 2005-06 campaign with a shutout streak of 201 minutes and four seconds. The freshman was also named to the all-tournament team along with her teammates Jinelle Zaugg and Bobbi-Jo Slusar.Five seniors will be graduating from the team this spring, including team captain Sharon Cole and assistant captain Nikki Burish. But with Slusar, Bauer and a strong contingent of freshman returning next year, the future looks bright for UW women’s hockey.”We are not done yet,” Vetter said confidently. “There’s plenty more to come.”last_img read more