Men’s hockey looks for season’s first win, take on UND

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s hockey team will look to get their first win this weekend when they play their first home games of the season in a two-game series against North Dakota.Wisconsin (0-4-0) opened up its season by traveling to Alaska last month, losing its first two games to Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage. A week later, the Badgers traveled to Green Bay to take on Northern Michigan and dropped both games of that series as well.Friday and Saturday’s games will be the toughest challenge yet for the youthful Wisconsin team. North Dakota (5-1-1) knocked Wisconsin out of the NCAA Tournament last season and enters this weekend’s series ranked 2nd in the NCAA Top 25.Fortunately for the Badgers, they should enter the series with plenty of rest since they have not played a game in the last two weeks. According to Wisconsin senior goaltender Joel Rumpel, the Badgers have used the time during the break to fine-tune the small things that were causing problems.“We’ve been working on a lot of little things,” Rumpel said. “We’ve got a lot of new players on the team and just kind of getting used to the system and putting all the small pieces together that we didn’t quite have ready in the first couple weeks.”Rumpel, along with fellow senior Badger goaltender Landon Peterson, have been solid so far this season, combining for 91 saves and a save percentage of .89 through four games. Despite strong goaltender play, the Badgers have not been able to put it together so far this season due in part to the team’s youthfulness that Rumpel alluded to. Wisconsin lost its top four scorers from last season, and the team has 11 freshmen who have gone through growing pains in the early goings.Sophomore forward Grant Besse said the transition to college hockey from high school is not something that happens overnight.“With so many new guys getting to know our new system altogether, it’s going to take some time to learn the system and go from one area to another,” Besse said.Besse added that one of the biggest adjustments young players must make to play and succeed in college hockey is making quicker decisions on the ice.“You’ve got to know what you are going to do with the puck before you get it.  If you do that, you’ll be successful,” Besse said.Against North Dakota, Besse said they will need to match their opponent’s high work rate and prevent them from getting in front of the net.“We know they’re going to work hard. That’s kind of a staple of North Dakota,” Besse said. “They’re going to come hard with the fore-check and always have a net-front presence.”One of the freshmen Wisconsin will be counting on is defensemen Jack Dougherty, who was one of the nation’s highest ranked recruits. Dougherty will be a key contributor for the Badgers this season as they try to replace all the talent gone from last year.Dougherty will play in his first ever game at the Kohl Center Friday and said the key for him will be staying composed and blocking out distractions.“Obviously, I’m going to be excited about it, but I can’t worry too much about it,” Dougherty said. “I’ve just got to keep myself calm and play my game and perform well under pressure.”Besse admitted that the Badgers have been a little shaky so far this year but said they have put their earlier games behind them and are going into this series with a clean slate.“It kind of feels like a new season going into this game,” Besse said.According to Dougherty, Wisconsin can start off this new slate with a win by playing the “Wisconsin” way.“We just need to do things the Wisconsin way and trust that Coach Eaves and his systems are going to get us through it,” Dougherty said. “We just got to work hard, play physical and hopefully the puck can find the back of the net.”The Badgers will make their Kohl Center debut this season at 7 p.m. Friday night against North Dakota before finishing the series with the Fighting Sioux Saturday night at 7 p.m.last_img read more

‘Abawa’ emotional on Stars debut at 35

first_img“I feel so happy and this is some kind of joy that I cannot explain,” Odhiambo, one of the few goal scoring keepers in the Kenyan Premier League told Capital Sport after the game as he rubbed his eyes fighting back tears.“I have always dreamed of this moment, to represent my country. It has finally come when I am 35 years and for me, this is the best day of my career. I feel happy and proud and this is the true reflection of the saying ‘patience pays’. I am over the moon,” added the former Tusker FC keeper.The Kenya team that started against Tanzania during a CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match at the Lugogo Arena on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIt is a story that mirrors that of West Ham keeper David Martin who made his debut for his boyhood club at the age of 33 and cried on the pitch after he kept a clean sheet in a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea on November 30.Odhiambo was a late call up to the Stars squad after Kariobangi Sharks’ Brian Bwire picked up a hip injury. He joined up Ulinzi Stars’ Timothy Odhiambo who had been hot on form and earned the October KPL player of the month award.This was his third CECAFA tournament, having previously been called up to the team while at Tusker but never played an active role. His last call up to the national team at any point was 10 years ago under German Antoine Hey.He wasn’t sure he would be the starter when the team landed in Kampala.“I wasn’t sure because I was called up late. But for me, I was ready for anything. My mind was set that if I was called in to start, I would be ready. Even if I was to be on the bench, I was still mentally ready. When I was told I would start, I was overjoyed,” the Stima man noted.Harambee Stars goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo during the match against Tanzania during a CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match at the Lugogo Arena on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluOdhiambo moved to Stima at the beginning of the 2016 season after spending time with Ushuru in the National Super League and Chemelil Sugar after leaving Tusker FC at the end of the 2013 season.And now, after his debut which was crowned by a clean sheet, the Stima man has put on notice Stars’ regulars including Faruk Shikhalo and Patrick Matasi that he does not want to let go of the number one role anytime soon.“To be honest, I want to continue being the number one. I want to keep working hard and being disciplined because I also want to play for the senior team during the AFCON qualifiers next year. I will do my best and if the coaches see me best to start, I will be happy,” he added.And a piece of advice to budding footballers and Kenyans in general?“Never give up. No matter how long it takes, as long as you keep working hard, maintain your discipline and do your best, you will always get your reward.”0Shares0000(Visited 106 times, 5 visits today) 0Shares0000Western Stima goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo during warm up before the Kenya versus Tanzania CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match at the Lugogo Arena on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – After years of call ups and near misses, Western Stima shot stopper Samuel ‘Abawa’ Odhiambo finally made his debut for the national team Harambee Stars at the age of 35, realizing a lifelong dream that he has harbored since he started playing football two and a half decades ago.Odhiambo donned the national team jersey for the first time ever during Kenya’s 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup opener against Tanzania in Kampala on Sunday, keeping a clean sheet as Stars won 1-0.last_img read more

IGU board considers Siemens proposal for alternative natural gas source for Fairbanks

first_imgMembers of the IGU board, along with members of the Siemens Government Technologies team and AIDEA board member Gary Wilken and others, meet Tuesday in the Mt. McKinley Bank Building conference room downtown. (Photo by Tim Ellis, KUAC)An affiliate of the Germany-based industrial giant Siemens is offering to build an LNG plant near Wasilla and transport the gas it processes there to Fairbanks at no cost to the Interior Gas Utility – if the IGU board of directors agrees to a long-term LNG-sales contract. Officials with Siemens Government Technologies outlined the proposal to the IGU board during a special meeting Tuesday.Listen nowIGU board Chairwoman Pam Throop says there’s a lot to like about the Siemens Government Technologies proposal, but she says it all comes down to helping the IGU “get cheap gas real soon so we can get conversions immediately and start building.”Siemens proposes to bring natural gas to Fairbanks from a plant it would build near Wasilla by the end of next year at a price that’s about the equivalent of $2-per-gallon heating oil, the price point IGU officials say it must attain to attract enough customers to convert from oil to gas heat to make the project viable.“The other thing that I think is really, really attractive about Siemens’ (proposal) is bringing in other users, big users, possibly military, hospital, university,” Throop said in an interview after the meeting.The Siemens team pitching the proposal said in addition to developing gas projects, the company has marketing expertise to help IGU promote conversion to gas. And they said it also has experience working with the federal government and Native American organizations.Throop says the Siemens plan would enable the IGU to avoid cost overruns it may encounter in buying and refurbishing the aging Pentex Alaska gas-liquifaction plant at Point McKenzie that the IGU plans to buy from the Alaska Industrial Development and Expert Authority.“Any cost overruns have to be absorbed by us,” Throop said. “Therefore, they will affect the price of gas at the end of the day. I have a huge concern about that. And I also have a concern about us running a plant that’s 300 miles away.”The Knik-Siemens 40-acre parcel is located just off the intersection of Pittman Road and Parks Highway near Wasilla. (Interior Gas Utility graphic)The Siemens plant would be built in increments, based on demand, on land owned by Knikatnu, a local Alaska Native village corporation that Siemens is partnering with on the project. Using that facility would save IGU from having to incur bond debt to expand the Pentex plant to meet future demand. Instead, it would become a backup for the Siemens facility.Throop also likes Siemens’ plan to use Alaska Railroad cars to transport gas, instead of the trucks that Pentex uses to deliver to its subsidiary, Fairbanks Natural Gas.“I also am concerned about having all the trucks on the highway to serve the number of customers that we’re supposed to be getting,” Throop said. “I would much rather that gas be on iso-tainers on the railroad.”The Siemens officials declined to comment and referred queries to their corporate headquarters. Throop says her concerns include Siemens projections that show the natural gas retail price rising over the next several years to a level that’s higher than the $2-per-gallon heating oil equivalent.But overall, Throop is inclined to support the proposal, and she says some of her fellow board members are, too. Some had questions at Tuesday’s meeting, especially Jack Wilbur, Mike Meeks and Steve Haagenson. And so did Gary Wilken, a former state lawmaker from Fairbanks who now sits on the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority board of directors. AIDEA’s board also would have to approve Siemens’ proposal. Wilkens says it would have to offer the certainty of bringing in gas at the lowest price possible, as he says AIDEA’s plan does.Wilkens says it would have to offer the certainty of bringing in gas at the lowest price possible, as he says AIDEA’s plan does.“The Siemens challenge is to bring the certainty that we have with our other proposal to the table, to decide whether it is indeed a viable one,” Wilkens said after the meeting.Wilkens says he and the other AIDEA board members haven’t had a chance to fully review the Siemens’ proposal. He says AIDEA officials will do that, and will be especially mindful of its impact on keeping prices low for IGU customers.“Our focus is on the family on Badger Road,” Wilkens said, referring to the typical IGU customer. “The meter price. And everything you want to talk about is just detail.”Throop says the IGU board must decide whether to accept Siemens’ proposal by May 29th, when the board is scheduled to vote on going ahead with the $58.2 million dollar Pentex purchase.last_img read more