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MADISON, Wise--The university of Wisconsin has nation the hockey attendance every year since 1970 with crowds that would fill Bright Center nearly three times over at almost even game But it's just numbers the number that make the Wisconsin faithful special
These Badgers are rabid
They like to tell a story here at places like Big len Pub about the time the 8070 Wisconsin fans all decked out in red sweaters of coarse "served" an opposing goaltender right out of the link and into the locker room at the Dance Country Memorial Coliseum, the White Country Memorial Coliseum the White domed monster that Coliseum the White domed monster that uses out of the semi rolling Madison landscape.
It is rather a scary thought all those fingers and all those taunts directed at you a goaltender a long way from home with a puck behind you in the net Sounds like enough to send almost any body running for Mommy and warm milk and cookies.
Home of the Badgers
And the worst thing of all about the coliseum is not the lans Oh no. The biggest baddest dream for an opposing team that enters Dane Country is that it's the stomping ground of the University of Wisconsin Hockey team. The team that has made it to the national semifinals six times in the last 12 years. A team that won the national championships in 1973 1977 and 1981. A team that this year is 32 10 Loverall and alter its defeat of North Dakota in the western Collegiate Hockey Association finals number one in the country.
The 1981-82 Harvard hockey team has hit the big time
Tonight at that same coliseum before that same screaming mob the Crimson faces off at 9 05 EST WHRB is broadcasting against these same Badgers the best the country has to offer in the quarter final round of the NCAA tournament
Harvard 113- 13-2 overall and the ECAC runner-upland and Wisconsin will also play tomorrow night (8.35 p.m EST at the Coliseum in the second game of the total goals series. Whichever team has racked up the must goals at the end of the "120 minute game" will head to Providence for the national semi finals at the Civic Center either Thursday or Friday. The finals and consolation follows on Saturday.
But the Crimson icemen have a lot to think about before ideas of Province begin to dance in their heads
The theme song for hockey here is sung to the tune of the Budweiser jingle "When you say Wis-con-sin' You've said it all" And the am't kidding Starting with Coach Bob Johnson whose record at Winconsin speaks for itself (15 year 364 174 23 for a winning percentage of 861 right down to the team manager the Badgers have just about got it all.
Nine members of the team have already been drafted by NHL teams and more should be before they 're through leading scorer John Newberry is an All American as a sophomore Defenseman Bruee Driver also garnered a spot on the All America team
The Wilson power play a combination of all the best things Europe has offer-- "We have about 10 different power plays," said Johnson is perennially one of college's best scoring better than 30 percent of the time.
And then there's Johnson one of the great masters of the game of college hockey. He guided the 1776 United States Olympic team to a fourth place finish at Innsbruck Austria. He son Mark the College Player of the Year in 1979 while at Wilson was the leading scorer for the 1980 gold medal winning U.S team Johnson son Pete is a senior and co captain on this year Badger equal and currently the team second leading scorer
Johnson also coached had team U.S.A com prised of 23 NHL to a surprising fourth place finish in the Canada Cup Tournament last year It goes without saying that he knows a lot about hockey And he also knows a thing of two about Harvard Hockey.
"I had the opportunity of seeing Harvard on ESPN during the Beanpot," Johnson said. "And I saw a lot of players back when they were in high school tournaments in Minnesota including the Olsons, Wade Lau, Phil Falconer, and Jay North
"But I don't have to see them to know about them. I can just look at their record. They've had some great night, obviously. To beat Clarkson 7-1, in the tournament, well, any team that did that is very capable. And they also beat UNH and Providence "Providence the only Eastern team Wisconsin faced this season, beat the Badgers in Madison back in December
A Day in the Life
Johnson is 2-1 lifetime against Harvard, the inverse of Bill Cleary's career slate against Wisconsin. All three contests--the only occasions on which the schools have met--have been during the regular season Wisconsin edged Harvard. 2-1 in a 1971 Christmas tourney in St. Louis, and Harvard split a two-game series at the Coliseum in 1976, shocking the Badgers, 4-3 in the opener and then falling. 7-5, the next night.
For the icemen to have any chance of staying as close to the Badgers in '76, they will need a big night out of the defensemen and, especially, Wade Lau.
It only he can stand the "Sieves."
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