One of the best: Decker honored with 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award

first_imgDULUTH, Minn. – Wisconsin junior forward Brianna Decker emotionally embraced her family and made her way to the podium Saturday afternoon as she became the 15th recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.The award recognizes the best player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey each season – much like football’s Heisman Trophy. Decker was one of three finalists for the award, including Jocelyne Lamoureux of North Dakota and Florence Schelling of Northeastern.“It is quite an accomplishment,” Decker said. “I think it shows a lot about the depth of our program and the type of players that get recruited to Wisconsin. I think we have all-around staff and resources that are phenomenal.”Decker anchors one of the best offensive lines in hockey, playing alongside senior forwards Brooke Ammerman and Carolyne Pr?vost in a unit that combined for 77 season goals. Decker led the nation this season with 37 goals, and her 82 overall points tied for the nation’s best.Decker attempted six shots in the national championship against Minnesota Sunday but did not find the back of the net in the 4-2 loss.She became the fourth player in Wisconsin history to win the award, joining Sara Bauer (2006), Jessie Vetter (2009) and Meghan Duggan (2011). Four Wisconsin Patty Kazmaier winners in the past six years is quite an impressive feat for head coach Mark Johnson as well as the program.“We’ve had a couple of kids go though this arena before,” Johnson said. “Each one, if you look at all four, earned it. Brianna isn’t different than the other three; she went out and continues to grow as a player and continues to develop as a leader off the ice.”Although the Patty Kazmaier celebrates the nation’s best hockey player, Decker said the honor reflects the success of the team more than her individual play. The Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth, Minn. – host of this year’s ceremony – erupted with cheers from Decker’s teammates, a testament to the tight knit camaraderie within this Wisconsin squad.“I honestly don’t think this is an individual award,” Decker said. “Obviously it is given to one person, but it comes from the team and the team makes each player who they really are. I think that is exactly what my team did for me this year.”Johnson said the team held a dance contest after practice last Thursday, calling them an energetic group. That contagious attitude translated to Wisconsin’s play on the ice the season, uniting Decker and the entire Badger team.“If you are going to be successful in this game you have to play as a unit, and certainly players can make a difference, but it takes a group of players,” Johnson said.The success of Wisconsin’s program in recent years, including multiple national championships and Patty Kazmaier award winners also projects a good image to young hockey players.“I think it gives some young girls in Wisconsin some hope either to want to be a Badger one day or play hockey and be able to be successful, like Jessie (Vetter) and myself,” Decker said. “I hope the young girls take a lot out of it and come support our games.”As a sophomore last year, Decker cheered on Duggan – the 2011 Patty Kazmaier winner – never believing she would follow up her friend’s performance just a year later.Johnson believes playing alongside past UW leaders like Duggan helped develop Decker into the player she is today.“With the season last year, and the help of Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight, she understood what she needed to do to make the choice to go to the next level and the type of player she wanted to become,” Johnson said.Decker’s work ethic and will to win can’t be undermined, but she said her award-winning season relied upon support of those around her. “I can’t do any of this without my team, and I give so much credit to them and the coaches because they made me the player I am right now.”last_img read more

No. 17 Syracuse finally puts up an all-around performance in 10-8 win over No. 13 Army

first_img Comments On Sunday against Army, Syracuse finally played like John Desko said the Orange needed to.Since getting embarrassed by Colgate in the opener, Desko’s harped on winning faceoffs, vacuuming ground balls and clearing. A week ago against then-No. 15 Albany, some of the issues were corrected. SU won the ground ball battle and cleared efficiently. But the Orange still lost at the faceoff X and won mostly on the back of its stout defense against a one-dimensional Great Danes attack.Against the Black Knights, Syracuse scooped 15 more ground balls, went 16-of-18 on clears and won 81 percent of faceoffs. It was the type of performance Desko had been waiting for.“We were playing uphill the whole game,” Army coach Joe Alberici said.No. 17 Syracuse’s (2-1) 10-8 win against No. 13 Army (3-1) set the blueprint for the Orange this season. Statistical margins, coupled with another strong defensive outing and 10 goals from seven different goal scorers earned SU the win. Considering that Army goalie AJ Barretto made a career-high 18 saves and SU held the ball for most of the game, the Black Knights were fortunate to keep it as close as they did.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It was about as I thought it might go,” Desko said. “We knew that Army was going to play for 60 minutes, they always do.”In the opener against Colgate, the Orange defended valiantly but fell short on clears, ground balls and even got outshot (41-36). Struggles at the faceoff X were noted. They continued against Albany a week later, but were masked by a dominance in ground balls, shots and the fact that outside of Tehoka Nanticoke, the Great Danes didn’t pose much of a scoring threat.Against Army, the Orange dominated statistically, starting at the faceoff X. After Danny Varello started and won two of his first three draws, Jakob Phaup spelled him and dominated Army’s Evan Condon, finishing 15-of-18. In possession often, SU’s offense worked the ball around, milking the shot clock and shooting when good opportunities presented themselves. SU struggled to take its good looks against Colgate and Albany, when some players felt like shots were rushed. The Orange didn’t struggle to get open or good looks against Army, but were befuddled by Barretto, who kept the game from becoming a blowout. After SU spent most of a third-quarter possession hunting a shot, Barretto saved it. The rebound hopped into Stephen Rehfuss’ awaiting stick, alone on the backside. With an open net three feet away, Rehfuss calmly flicked his stick forward, into the wide webbing of Barretto as the senior dove from right to left, landing with the ball and starting the clear. Despite Barretto’s career day, Army couldn’t seem to stop defending. Every save seemed to come with a blown clear or a lost faceoff soon after. As a result, SU cobbled together a serviceable offensive performance.“I thought we made them play a lot of defense,” Desko said. “It’s hard to make anybody play that much defense.”Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerWhen the Black Knights did break out and play some offense, they met stiff resistance. Nick Mellen, SU’s star cover defender, spent the afternoon smothering Army’s leading scorer Brendan Nichtern, who finished with one goal. Army as a team went scoreless on the man up and turned it over 16 times.Syracuse caused 10 of those turnovers. A handful came in the middle of the field off draws, but the largest portion were in the defensive end. Army passed across and through the defense often, rather than around it. Whenever they skipped passes over the defense or from behind the net, a Syracuse long pole extended and cut out the attempt. When shots arrived on the SU cage, Drake Porter nearly outdueled Barretto and made 16 saves. He tallied two stops before even allowing a goal on Sunday.From scoring goal No. 3 in the second quarter to goal No. 4 in the third, Army took 18:45. In that time, SU pushed a 3-3 tie into a 7-3 advantage.“In all, I think they played pretty stingy today,” Desko said of SU’s defense.The margins and facets of play Desko’s emphasized in recent weeks are common coaching points. SU struggled to excel at them against weaker competition, though, and that worried Desko.Despite a strong defense and a plethora of goal scoring options, the Orange turned in a 12-9 loss in the opener. That, it seems, was an aberration. Last weekend’s 13-5 waxing of Albany, too, doesn’t fit what SU will likely do to teams the rest of the year.On Sunday, a clearer picture emerged. A talented defense and goalie expected to slow down and frustrate and opposing offense did. A deep, experienced offense and midfield put together enough goals to keep the Black Knights at arm’s reach. The Orange scooped more ground balls, did more to secure faceoffs and dominated time of possession. “I think we really wore those guys down,” Porter said.It took two weeks, but the team Desko hoped would emerge has. Published on February 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Grahamcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

LeoVegas strengthens group focus with executive changes

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 Submit LeoVegas has strengthened it core group management team, as the gaming operator also intensifies its focus on responsible gaming via its LeoSafePlay system.Firstly Richard Woodbridge joins as the new Chief Operating Officer, joining from the COO role at Ellos Group, and will have overarching responsibility for operations at LeoVegas’ offices in Malta.Taking up the new role on 7 January 2019, he takes over from current incumbent Marcus Nylén, who is to remain until he joins before leaving to focus entirely on his role as head of LeoVegas’ global expansion.Commenting on the appointment, Woodbridge commented: “LeoVegas is the leading GameTech company in the industry, and I have a passion for working with fast-growing tech companies. “I am looking forward to being part of LeoVegas’ continued journey of growth and optimising LeoVegas’ operations, with sustainability as a guiding principle.”Louise Nylén is to also join the firm in the newly created role of Deputy CEO of LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, working alongside Group CEO Gustaf Hagman with strategic issues such as sustainability and value-creating projects.Finally is the departure of Rikard Ljungman as Chief Commercial Officer, with focus solely shifting to to responsible gaming and LeoSafePlay, which is to be run as an entirely separate business.Rikard was one of the initiative-takers behind LeoSafePlay, and with his strong product background, including as CPO for the software company Episerver, he has the exact right expertise to take the next step to make LeoVegas the leader in responsible gaming technology and strengthen our position as a GameTech company,” commented Hagman.Woodbridge will take over Ljungman’s CCO related duties in Malta. Related Articles LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Sharelast_img read more