Big Ten hockey has arrived, at least Minnesota has, as the Wisconsin men’s hockey team travels to take on the No. 1 Gophers in a border battle that will inaugurate the new conference for both teams.With the new conference and facing off against the top team in the nation setting the stage, the stakes heading into the Friday-Saturday series could not be higher for the Badgers (4-3-1, 0-0 Big Ten).Yet for University of Wisconsin, they are simply happy to be getting back on the ice.“We’re excited to get back playing. The fact that we’re going into Minnesota and they’re ranked where they are, our kids will be excited,” head coach Mike Eaves said in a press conference Monday. “It’s an opportunity to bang the drum a little bit and make some noise by going in there and playing well, see what we can do.”The Badgers will enter Mariucci Arena coming off a bye week, the team’s third week off in the last five weeks, having played just eight games to Minnesota’s 12 games played so far this season.It is a challenge to keep the veteran squad focused and working hard despite having such little game-time minutes, Eaves said the team has found ways to make practice interesting, incorporating new drills and new techniques, as well as simulating game-like scenarios.“It is a challenge. It’s been kind of a fun one. I think, what it does, it gets us outside of our normal box. We’ve been creative,” Eaves said. “I think we’ve learned some new techniques and training things and drills that have kept our guys’ interest piqued, but at the same time, trying to keep them as close to game ready as we can.”While the Badgers will be coming in well-rested, the Gophers head into the series after splitting a pair of games last weekend with Minnesota-Duluth. Following a decisive 6-1 victory in game one over the Bulldogs, the Gophers went on to drop the second game 6-2, crushing the team’s 10-game unbeaten streak at home after giving up three UMD goals in the opening period.Boasting the second-best offense in the nation, averaging more than four goal-per-game, Minnesota will be a challenge to contain for the Badger defense and goaltending pair of juniors Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson. Junior Gopher forward Sam Warning leads the way on the attack with a team-high 19 points off five goals and 14 assists, putting him in third on the nation’s assists scoreboard. With goal scoring split across the lines for UM, Wisconsin will need to be firing on all cylinders to contain the explosive offense.Yet the meeting will be no easy task for Minnesota, as the rivalry never sees a dull match, as the Badgers boast a team full of depth and experience. While forward Nic Kerdiles saw his 18-game point streak dating back to last season snapped against Miami two weeks ago, the sophomore continues to be one of the most consistent Badgers on the ice with four goals and four assists on the year. Kerdiles sits tied with three other Badgers with eight points on the year, only to be topped by senior forward Michael Mersch with nine points.The last time the two teams faced off was at the Hockey City Classic hosted at Soldier Field in Chicago last season. After a 3-2 victory for Minnesota in game one at the Kohl Center, the Badgers scored three goals in three minutes and 19 seconds in the second period in the frigid outdoors to lead the team to a 3-2 win over a then-ranked No. 2 Gopher squad.
WATCH US LIVE Kole Calhoun homered and had a two-run double to lead Arizona’s 18-hit outburst, and the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 12-8 on Monday night.David Peralta and Ketel Marte got four hits each for Arizona, which finished with 13 singles.Alex Young (1-0) worked two innings of relief for the win. Archie Bradley entered in the ninth with the bases loaded and allowed just one run, earning his fourth save.The teams combined for 15 runs and 21 hits through five innings at Coors Field, chasing both starters before the end of the fourth.“This is a great place to hit. I think that’s not a secret. It feels like it’s going to be a slugfest no matter what,” said Calhoun, who hit his home run to the opposite field. “It’s nice to see everybody keep swinging it and keep putting up crooked numbers.”Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon continued his torrid start with four singles to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He has 10 multi-hit games in that stretch, including the last five to raise his batting average to .484, tops in the majors.“It’s so early into this thing, you can’t weigh things unless you’re Charlie Blackmon, who’s got 30 hits when some guys don’t have 30 at-bats,” Calhoun said.Blackmon has 12 hits in his last 15 at-bats.“He’s just unbelievable. He’s probably the best hitter I’ve ever played with,” said teammate Nolan Arenado, who also had four hits. “These guys are tough lefties and for Charlie to have the at-bats that he has, it’s fun to watch. The zone you dream of is what he’s in right now. I’m trying to learn something from him.”Trevor Story and Chris Owings homered for Colorado.Calhoun set the tone with a leadoff homer against Jon Gray (0-2) and added a two-run double in a three-run seventh that gave Arizona a four-run lead. The Diamondbacks had three innings in which they scored three runs, and they never trailed.Colorado stayed close by answering every rally until the seventh. The Rockies scored a run in the first, two in the third and three in the fourth to chase starter Robbie Ray, who lasted just 3 2/3 innings.“You can’t take anything for granted with this ballpark,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “With the way the ball jets out of here, you’ve got to be extremely careful how you manage the lineup and I thought our bullpen did a tremendous job.”Owings’ second home run of the season — against his former team — cut the lead to 8-7 in the fifth. Marte’s single in the ninth gave Arizona a five-run cushion.TRAINER’S ROOMDiamondbacks: Placed LHP Madison Bumgarner on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain. Bumgarner left Sunday’s game at San Diego after two innings due to back spasms.Rockies: RHP Wade Davis (right shoulder strain) still hasn’t started throwing, manager Bud Black said. Davis has been on the 10-day IL since Aug. 1. Black said Davis and RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (right biceps tendinitis) are continuing to get treatment.LIKE OLD TIMESColorado’s starting staff was a strength when the team went to the postseason in 2018. Last year things went sideways, especially for lefty Kyle Freeland, who endured a 3-11 campaign after finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting the year before.The starters are back to being a strength for the Rockies, but it’s not a surprise to Black.“Last year was tough for starters and relievers,” Black said. “Their personal expectation was they would bounce back, and that was my expectation. I’ve seen them pitch well and make adjustments.”UP NEXTThe Diamondbacks send RHP Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.81 ERA) to the mound against Freeland (2-0, 2.41) in the middle game of the series Tuesday night. First Published: 11th August, 2020 12:26 IST LIVE TV SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Last Updated: 11th August, 2020 12:26 IST Diamondbacks Get 18 Hits In 12-8 Win Over Rockies Kole Calhoun homered and had a two-run double to lead Arizona’s 18-hit outburst, and the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 12-8 on Monday night. Associated Press Television News Written By FOLLOW US
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