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first_imgKRIS UGARRIZA/Herald photoThrough 14 games of the 2008-09 season, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team has played at home just four times. Starting this weekend, the Badgers (5-7-2, 5-5-2 WCHA) will be home for four straight series, beginning with the College Hockey Showcase against Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan. And for a team trying to get back to .500, a little home cooking may be just what UW needs.“I think these are a big eight games for us,” said freshman forward Jordy Murray, who scored Wisconsin’s lone goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win over St. Cloud State. “We win these two games here and we’re back to .500. That’s been our goal ever since we got off to that slow start.”Murray and the Badgers saw their five-game unbeaten streak end Friday after a 6-2 loss to the Huskies. While they rebounded with a shutout win the next night, the series split is exactly the type of thing sophomore defenseman Brendan Smith hopes the team can avoid.“It definitely took a little wind out of our sails,” Smith said of the loss. “But I think we’ve just got to get off this roller coaster thing where we’re playing great and then we’re not playing so great.”Following the weekend split, Wisconsin is no longer receiving votes in the latest USCHO.com poll. For goaltender Shane Connelly, who admits to keeping an eye on the polls, the Badgers can’t seem to get any respect as of late.“It’s kind of crazy. I think we were 0-6-1 and we were getting votes, and now we’re .500 in the league and two games under .500 overall and we’re not getting votes,” Connelly said. “You can’t really pay much attention to that. We take care of our job, get back to .500 and then start going from there.“The votes will start coming in, and we’ll get our due.”The upcoming eight-game stretch may be UW’s best opportunity to gain some momentum while building a winning record. Michigan State, which Wisconsin will host Friday, is just 4-8-2 overall and 2-6-2 in CCHA play. The Wolverines, the Badgers’ Saturday night opponents, come to Madison with a 5-5-0 conference record and sit at 8-6-0 overall.Following the College Hockey Showcase, Wisconsin will see Alaska Anchorage, Alabama Hunstville and Northern Michigan all come to town. It’s a stretch of home games that some had circled at the beginning of the season as an opportunity to gain ground.Connelly still sees it as a chance for the Badgers to make some noise.“I see an opportunity that lies ahead of us,” Connelly said. “We could definitely make some ground that we lost in the beginning of the year.”Wisconsin’s biggest obstacle during that stretch could come in the form of the Michigan Wolverines, a team laden with NHL draft picks. Sophomore Aaron Palushaj leads the team with 20 points, while fellow sophomore Louie Caporusso’s 12 goals are a team best.“Both teams are extremely skilled,” Connelly said. “They’re both extremely offensively gifted teams. … We’ve just got to make sure we stay disciplined.”Michigan topped Wisconsin 3-2 in Ann Arbor in last year’s College Hockey Showcase, so the Badgers will be looking to return the favor on their home ice Saturday.That home ice advantage, however, is something UW has enjoyed on a very limited basis so far this season.“It’s a little bit easier schedule for us. That’s a little bit more comfort,” Connelly said. “Not too much of an adjustment, but at the same time it will be nice to get on a little streak here. We’re at home, and some of the freshmen can actually enjoy playing at the Kohl Center a little bit more.”This weekend’s series will also present Wisconsin with a scenario it already faced once this season: playing two teams in as many nights.The Badgers opened the year on the road against Boston College and then traveled to New Hampshire the following night. While UW dropped both games, that experience is something that could pay off this weekend with the Spartans and Wolverines in town.“That first weekend where we had to play two teams in two nights definitely gave us a little bit (of preparation),” Connelly said. “You can look back at that experience and realize there were so many adjustments we didn’t make going into UNH on Saturday night. Now we can switch gears after we’re done Friday night; we have to adjust to a new team on Saturday and get focused on that.”last_img read more

first_imgA 29-year-old Monaghan man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of dangerous driving causing the deaths of a Donegal woman, her unborn baby and two other people.Kevin McArdle was more than three times over the drink-driving limit when he caused a three-car pile-up on a straight stretch of road near Carrickmacross last Christmas.McArdle had drunk nine pints of beer and five glasses of brandy as he and his friends drove from pub to pub around Meath and Monaghan on 27 December. At approximately 6.40pm, he was driving at speed on the incorrect side of the stretch of road near Carrickmacross.One oncoming car managed to swerve to avoid his car, but those in the car behind did not have the opportunity to do so.A 38-year-old pregnant woman was among those killed.Roisin Connolly of Fanad and Grace Park, Drumcondra, Dublin, was driving on the Carrickmacross by-pass with her husband Stephen when their Seat car was struck in heavy rain by the BMW being driven by McArdle.Mrs Connolly, who was five months pregnant, was killed. Doctors delivered her baby, Catherine, but she also died. Mrs Connolly’s husband survived with injuries.The couple had just returned from spending Christmas in Fanad with Roisin’s mother Kathleen and her extended family.Two passengers in the BMW, Glen Curtis and Paul Carroll, were also killed, while another man in that car was seriously injured but survived.Supt Noel Cunningham told the Court McArdle was three and a half times over the legal drink driving limit.EndsMAN WHO KILLED DONEGAL WOMAN AND UNBORN BABY IS JAILED FOR FOUR YEARS was last modified: October 19th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Fanadkilledroisin connollylast_img read more