With just six games remaining, Brooke Ammerman and the Badgers have surged to a 24-2-2 record.[/media-credit]One more win and they’re WCHA champions.With a 16-point lead over second place Minnesota, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team needs just two more points to lock up the WCHA regular season title.After an attendance record-setting game against Minnesota last weekend, Wisconsin is confident it can bring the 10,668-fan energy up to Bemidji.“If I’m a player, this is fun,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “This is exciting. We only get six more [games]; as a team, that’s all we get. You want to prepare for each one of them as if it’s the last one of the season. I think we’ll come out Friday with some energy. We’ve got some things to play for yet.”The Badgers are not taking the Beavers for granted. Bemidji State has defeated other top teams and has started to make a name for itself nationally.BSU (12-11-3, 10-9-3-2 WCHA) hasn’t cracked the top-10 rankings, but has been receiving votes for several weeks. Bemidji State has also been a consistent challenge for Wisconsin, forcing the Badgers to work much harder for their wins.“I think we just have to keep things in perspective,” junior forward Brooke Ammerman said. “Bemidji has beaten Minnesota, Mercyhurst and Duluth, three of the top teams in the country. They gave us two good games when they were here. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”These two teams last met in early October at the Kohl Center. The Badgers dominated Friday night with a 7-1 win and managed two goals in the second game.That 2-0 win over Bemidji State is the lowest scoring game Wisconsin has played all season.“I think they just play a great system,” Ammerman said. “They all buy into it and they’re pretty good skaters now. They have that really good goalie in net. They give us a hard time every time we play them and they play very disciplined. We just have to make sure we don’t get frustrated and we keep moving the puck and back-check hard and make sure they don’t get a quick goal on us.”Knowing one will eventually find the back of the net, UW is aware it needs to get off as many shots as possible. Yet, the defense also needs to stay consistent with the past couple of weekends and focus.“I think consistency is a big deal for our defense,” senior defenseman Geena Prough said. “Just focusing on the little things and getting the puck up quick, and quick transitioning. We know that their goalie is very good so we just need to get a lot of shots and hopefully that’ll take care of itself.”With only six games left in the regular season, the Badgers are treating each game as their last.For Prough, nothing can be taken for granted.“Obviously I have to play each game like it’s my last. It’s my senior year so I can’t take anything for granted. I think coming off of this weekend against Minnesota we have a lot of energy and we’re ready to go. We’re going to treat Bemidji like any other top ranked team because they’re a very good team.”Johnson is confident his team’s season-long hard work – with only two losses on its record – will pay off.“We’re playing for a title right now and if we win Friday night, they’ve done something special,” Johnson said. “It’s a long grind, it’s a tough trophy to win. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of commitment, it takes a lot of things going right for a long period of time. Now they’re in position, they can see their hand on it.”
Hearts of Oak earned a narrow 1-0 win over Bechem United in the Ghana Premier League’s Saturday only game. Youngster Thomas Abbey netted from close range to bag his fourth goal of the season at the Gyeabour Park in the Brong Ahafo Region.Bechem were boosted by their victory at Aduana while Hearts preparations suffered a setback as influential midfielder Emmanuel Hayford and defender Reuben Gnage were ruled out.David Duncan named Selasi Adjei and Cobbinah in attack and their partnership yielded fruits when Cobbinah prodded home a fabulous effort to keep his scoring run in Hearts’ last three games.Moro Abubakar’s influence in the middle caused more problems for Miroslav Bogdanovic’s side to initial attacks while Romeo Agban and Thomas Abbey had the free will to torment the hosts’ defence.Under the second minute, a Stephen Tetteh pass found Selasi the box but the former Amidaus man’s effort went just wide. But the next minute, the game’s only goal arrived. The artistry of Agban lubricated the visitors defence laying a squad pass for Selasi who flicked to Abbey whose calmness allowed him to pick his spot remarkably.Bechem tried to fight back just two minutes after the opener but Philemon McCarthy became the difficult for them.Bechem could have levelled on the stroke of full-time but McCarthy produced a more classier save to keep the Phobians in the lead. The introduction of Oleenu Ashitey even caused further problems for the home side as his great tenacity made things had for the Bechem defence.