Saturday, January 12, 2008

Denver clock operators beat Badger hockey team

We haven't talked as much about the Badger hockey team here as I had anticipated, partly because their games aren't on TV as much anymore, partly because the team isn't as good as I thought it would be. But this morning at Pick 'n Save in Waupaca, where Will and I go every Saturday morning to read the Journal Sentinel, drink coffee, and eat muffins, I ran into John, a fellow Badger fan and Focolare Cafe regular who follows the hockey team much more closely than I do.

(To reference an early post, John is the one whose son was agonizing over committing to a holiday trip to Puerto Rico with the family or holding out to follow the Badgers to a BCS bowl. He chose his family and they all had a nice time over Christmas - good call.)

I had just got done reading about how the Badger hockey team got had a game-tying goal at the buzzer overturned last night in Denver. Apparently the refs looked at Matt Ford's goal and said it happened after the period had ended. John said that UW coaches immediately received text messages that it was a blown call, just as he had. This after the home-ice clock operators at Magness Arena had apparently shaved seconds off the clock twice in the final minute.

There was talk Wisconsin would appeal the decision and try to force an extension of the game preceding tonight's game, but it seems like it will be fruitless. Our friend Todd Milewski has done a nice job following the situation on his Cap Times blog.

Hopefully this doesn't end up costing the Badgers home-ice in the WCHA tournament, or an NCAA bid. The more you look at it and read about it, the bigger the travesty it is.

Here's another slow-mo look of just the final part of the sequence.

-In Badger hockey news local to me, a Waupaca kid, Craig Johnson, has started getting some playing time for the Badgers on defense. In true college hockey fashion, Craig is a 21-year-old freshman after playing a couple years in the NAHL. It's a testament to the job Bob Johnson and Jeff Sauer did building interest in the program around the state that there are now so many Wisconsin natives on the roster. When we first got good, it was mostly Minnesotans and Canadians doing the heavy lifting. Now there are a lot more home-grown players, which only builds more interest when the team has success.

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