Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - March 7, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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Page 59 of 69

INSIDE WOMEN'S HOCKEY BY ROSS LA DUE @BadgerWHockey SCHEDULE (23-9-2, 17-9-2-2) Last Week March 1 St. Cloud State March 2 St. Cloud State W, 5-0 W, 4-1 This Week Friday vs North Dakota 4 p.m. Saturday WCHA Final Face-Off7 p.m. Next Three March 15 NCAA Quarterfinals March 22 NCAA Frozen Four March 24 NCAA Frozen Four Decker deservedly a Patty Kaz top-10 finalist Senior forward among nation's best – again A t Monday's weekly press conference, UW head coach Mark Johnson commented that he believed Brianna Decker's unique situation this season makes her one of the best candidates for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. "You take some of the other kids that might be up 60 » VARSITY MAR CH 7, 2013 for the Patty Kazmaier and put them in the situation that Brianna's in, and I'm not sure they would have attained (what she has)." Johnson's statement was phrased in the context of how much pressure teams have been able to put on Decker this season, compared to years past. TBA TBA TBA If you only compare point totals among the eight forwards up for the Patty Kaz, Decker's numbers don't exactly jump off the page, but her performance needs to be phrased in the correct context. Last year, teams were not able to single out Decker like they have this year, but she has still put up 29 goals and been the catalyst for the Badgers' offense all season. It's easy to look good when you have two or three other Patty Kazmaier-quality skaters playing with you, and Decker would be the first to admit that she wouldn't have won last year's award if it weren't for the teammates she had supporting her. Minnesota has the best supporting class this year, and that shows with four Gophers being named top10 finalists. The Lamouruex twins at North Dakota always play extremely well together, too. And the competition seen in the WCHA by far exceeds that of any other conference in the nation. With all that in mind, it's easy to wonder how the other seven forwards would have done in Decker's position.

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