Special teams, goaltending carry Badgers to next round

first_imgNew season, new life.With the regular season behind it, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team hosted St. Cloud State at the Eagle’s Nest, sweeping them 9-3 and 5-1, respectively, and earning a spot in the WCHA Final Face-off next weekend.While the Huskies didn’t have the most ideal regular season – winning only one game – the No. 1 Badgers expected a tough fight, especially from a team that was given new life in the playoffs.“As I mentioned in a press conference on Monday, you get into the playoffs and you start a second season,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “Everybody’s at the starting gates irrelevant of how the season went… They’re here to win, so they came out and they’re going to play hard.”Special teams shineDespite being the underdog, SCSU gave UW a physical fight with a total of 22 penalties between the two squads.With 10 power play opportunities in the series, Wisconsin capitalized on four of them, including three Friday night with five opportunities.Fielding a stronger power play, the Badgers know how important special teams play is to winning games.“They’re huge,” Johnson said. “Obviously special teams at this time of the year are crucial as you get farther along in the games. If you are going to be successful, you need your penalty kill unit working hard and your power-play unit scoring goals. That is going to help you win games.”“Extremely important,” junior forward Hilary Knight added. “We want to capitalize on every opportunity. There was a bunch of penalties called here tonight. We got a couple bounces that went our way and others that [SCSU goaltender Ashley] Nixon made a great save on.”Not only did UW have a fairly successful power play – especially Friday night – the squad was also solid on the penalty kill, allowing only one power play goal through eight chances for SCSU on the weekend.Fighting to stay alive, the Huskies started to get very physical in the third period of Saturday night’s game, sitting in the penalty box three times, while the Badgers couldn’t seem to stay disciplined with five different players in the box in a 10-minute span.“You can’t control what the refs are doing,” said sophomore forward Brianna Decker. “We had to PK a lot, especially in the third period. We thought the last two minutes was probably the longest two minutes of our lives, just sitting there on the bench, waiting for the game to end. We just had to stay on them, not give them time or space.”Rigsby eases into playoffsHeading into the third period Friday night, St. Cloud State kept things close at 4-3, just one goal behind Wisconsin.Freshman goaltender Alex Rigsby didn’t let the Huskies score another goal until there were six and a half minutes left in Saturday night’s game.In her first playoff experience, Rigsby stayed relatively solid for the Badgers. But after letting in three goals and allowing the Huskies to stay in Friday night’s game entering the third period, it seemed like her nerves may have been catching up to her.“[Rigsby’s a] young kid,” Johnson said. “It’s a rink that there’s not a lot of space behind the net. If the puck gets there, it doesn’t take much to get it out in front of the net. Pucks seemed to be bouncing the whole game. Again for her, it’s her first playoff game and it’s a learning opportunity for her.”There seemed to be a distinct difference in Rigsby’s play Saturday. She made 16 total saves that prevented the Huskies from getting any sort of momentum going.Friday night, Wisconsin outshot St. Cloud by only eight shots – one of the closest margins the squad has seen all season. But facing a total of 34 shots, Rigsby held strong, saving 30 of them.“[Friday] night, we really let our guard down and let people break in into the inside of the ice and that wasn’t her fault,” Knight said. “She’s a great player, every game growing and evolving into – hopefully – Jessie [Vetter] or whomever the top goaltender is.”last_img read more

Malaysia targets 20 Chinese destinations in five years

first_imgMalaysia Airlines predicts it will be flying directly to 20 Chinese cities within five years after a rapid expansion which will add 11 new routes into China next year.The expansion will see the Malaysian carrier add 35 frequencies between the two countries as it services eight new destinations.Malaysia Airlines’ chief exdecutive Peter Bellew said the carrier planned to triple its Chinese business over the next five years.“I see potential for direct flights to 20 Chinese cities from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching by 2019,’’ he said. “We have huge confidence in China.’’Malaysia will be flying from Kuala Lumpur  to Haikou, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing.  Plans are also underway to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Tianjin as well as from Penang to Shenzhen and Shanghai.The new routes are expected to be complemented by a  second daily flight in April  between Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, subject to slot availability, and  an upgrade to its morning Kuala Lumpur-Hong Kong sector from a Boeing 737 to the Airbus 330.Mr Bellew said the improved connectivity would foster deeper business links between the two nations.“In addition to this initial growth, we will promote tourism in Malaysia and China through seasonal or ad-hoc services to key leisure markets such as Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu,” he said. “Six of our new Chinese cities have never been served directly by a Malaysian airline.’’The news was not so good for  Singapore Airlines which has been forced to delay its Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney service due to maintenance at Jakarta’s  Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.SIA had  announced the launch of the three-times-weekly service on November 23 and had been issued the appropriate approval and been issued with landing and take-off slots.“However, SIA has been informed by the Indonesian civil aviation authorities that they are now unable to approve the flights due to runway maintenance works at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which also affect other airlines,’’ the Singaporean carrier said this week.“SIA will progressively contact customers with bookings on this route and help put them on other flights. The Airline apologises for the inconvenience caused to our customers.’’last_img read more

GFI President Has No Time for Gymnastics, His Letters are Forged: IOA Chief to FIG

first_imgNew Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra has written a strong letter to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), alleging that the head of the national federation Sudhakar Shetty has no interest in the sport and is even unaware that his signatures wete “forged” by other officials.Batra said in the letter that “all is not well in the Gymnastics Federation of India and a smoke screen has been created (to show) that legally all is well”. He asked the world body to look into the governance issue of the GFI.The GFI, which is slated to go to polls on November 3, has been mired in factionalism for some time, with rival groups claiming the right to run the sport in the country.The faction led by president Shetty is recognised by the FIG but does not have the recognition of the Sports Ministry and the IOA.In a letter (shared with media) addressed to FIG President Morinari Watanabe and General Secretary Nicolas Buompane, Batra said: “I have been made aware of the situation within GFI almost by over 12 months that the GFI president is hardly aware of anything going on in GFI … and does not have time for GFI.”I was informed that the signatures on letters being sent under the name of GFI President are being forged by one gentleman by the name of may be Mr Deepak and he also had passwords of the emails…all emails/along with letters to FIG were being done by him only and it was known that the GFI president may not be aware of many things,” the IOA chief wrote in his letter.In a letter dated October 1 and addressed to Shetty and copied to Batra, the FIG had asked the GIF to get its electoral college for the November 3 elections approved by the IOA chief.Batra said in a telephonic conversation, he asked Shetty whether he knew of this October 1 letter from the FIG and his (Shetty’s) subsequent reply letter on October 7 wherein he said that the conditions prescribed in the letter (of October 1) of the world body were not required.”Mr Shetty categorically told me that he has not seen the letter sent by FIG on October 1, 2019 wherein FIG wants verification of electoral college by IOA president. Mr Shetty,” Batra further wrote in his letter to FIG, dated October 13.”On my second query that he had sent a three-page letter signed by him to FIG on October 7 saying that the conditions of the FIG letter of October 1 are not required.”Mr Shetty was very clear in confirming to me that he has not seen or signed any letter or authorised for electronic signature on October 7 which has been sent to FIG from his side and the letter could be under his forged signature.”Batra said that Shetty further confirmed to him that a person was faking/forging his (Shetty’s) signatures and he had asked the GFI office to terminate the services of that person.”But I informed Mr Shetty that the same forged signature which was coming one year back was the same as that of October 7 letter.”I also informed Mr Shetty that the letters and e-mails under his name till three months back were being sent from Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai and for the last three months from Gurugram.”It is entirely up to him as to how he puts his house in order and adopts good governance practices within his office.”The IOA chief also wondered how the list of voters in the electoral college has been constantly changing and reduced to 17.”The voter list from 17 goes to 20 then to 22 and back to 17, why and how? In 2015 there were 17 members, they become 20 in 2018, then 22 in 2029 and once again in 2019 they become 17.”I personally will have no issue if I am not wanted to verify the list of voters (in the electoral college) as I do not want to be a roadblock to anyone. FIG may look into the governance issue of its member unit from India (GFI).”Shetty was unavailable for comment. Gymnastics Federation of IndiaInternational Gymnastics FederationioaNarinder Batra First Published: October 16, 2019, 11:53 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more