Four Nations Cup awaits select Badgers

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photo Four Badgers go to Four Nations, the women’s hockey featureHeading into its bye week, the No. 2Wisconsin women’s hockey team has compiled an impressive 9-2-1record this season. A large part of that record can be attributed tothe play of forwards Meghan Duggan, Erika Lawler, Jinelle Zaugg andgoaltender Jessie Vetter.This week, the USA’s Women’s SelectTeam will be counting on those four Badgers to help the team placewell at the Four Nations Cup in Leksand, Sweden. Oct. 16, USA Hockeyannounced that the aforementioned four UW players were included onthe 22-player roster and would be competing in this week’stournament.”I was real excited when I found outI had been selected,” Zaugg said. “I was surprised because Idon’t really know Jackie [Barto] as a coach.The Badgers — winners of the last twoNational Championships — have put together a very impressiveprogram under head coach Mark Johnson and will be sending fourplayers to the Four Nations Cup for the first time in UW history. “We have a good program here,”Zaugg said. “We have a lot of good players, and this says a lotabout our program.”For Zaugg and Lawler, this will betheir second Four Nations Cup, having represented UW last year inCanada. All four Badgers have had experience playing for a USAnational team. Duggan and Vetter represented theUnited States in a three-game U-22 series between the United Statesand Canada earlier this year, but this will be the pair’s firsttime playing in Europe.”The only time I have been out of thecountry is to Canada,” Duggan said. “This will be a goodexperience, and I get a little taste of their culture.”All four have the resumes to back upthe selections. Zaugg is one of the team captains andwas named to the 2006-07 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. Vetter,another team captain, was the 2005-06 Frozen Four Most OutstandingPlayer. Lawler led all UW sophomores with 38 points last season, andscored 70 points in her first two seasons at UW, and Duggan was namedthe 2006–07 WCHA Rookie of the Year while being selected toall-WCHA second-team.”All four of them are verydeserving,” Johnson said. “They have all worked hard and earnedtheir spots on the team. Hopefully, they will have a good time.”While all four of the girls areexcited, they have different expectations about the experience. “I’m trying not to get my hopes uptoo high,” Zaugg said. “There are a lot of good players, so Ijust need to go out there and give 110 percent whenever I get achance to play. I am just excited to be wearing the jersey andgetting to play with the team.””I’m going to just try and have alot of fun,” Vetter said about her expectations. “Obviously ourteam wants to do well and compete, but I am just going to enjoy theexperience and have fun with it.””I don’t really like to setindividual goals,” Lawler added. “I think that you have to go outthere and try not to be nervous, and just be comfortable in a newsituation. I’m going to work as hard as I can, and whatever happenshappens.”There is one thing that all four agreeabout — the honor to wear a USA jersey.”It is a great honor to play for yourcountry,” Duggan said. “It is amazing to come together as a teamand put that jersey on and go out there and represent your country.”The United Stateshas earned either the gold or silver medal in each of the 10 years ithas competed in the Four Nations Cup.The UW playerswill also be joined by two Minnesota players, Gigi Marvin and EricaMcKenzie — a week after Wisconsin split a series with theopponents.”It is healthycompetition with the Gophers,” Vetter said. “You hate to lose tothe Gophers, but we have a lot of fun with the girls when we play onthe U.S. team with them.”last_img

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