Justin Schultz (right) fights for the puck against a Denver defender in mid-February. A candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, Schultz had a goal and an assist in game two of that series.[/media-credit]With its last regular season games coming up this weekend on the road at rival Minnesota, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team is working to keep its momentum and head into the playoffs on a high note.Head coach Mike Eaves is confident in his team’s chances if players remain consistent.“We’ve got to keep banging the drum here and play the way that we are playing, so that we can, in fact, continue to play,” Eaves said at his Monday press conference.Coming off their first road sweep at Bemidji State, the Badgers are riding their second-longest winning streak of the year at three games. Eaves expressed his excitement coming off his team’s twin 4-2 wins.“One thing that was talked about after Saturday was our fourth line’s performance, with that being a contributing factor to our win,” Eaves said. “It was nice to see that line jump in there and make a difference.”Throughout the season, Eaves has remained mindful of his team’s youth and lack of experience. The Badgers’ record of 15-15-2 reflects their dedication to continuing to improve in practice and the growth of Eaves’ young team.Reflecting back on his team’s tumultuous season, Eaves referenced the team’s North Dakota losses late last month and the 5-2 win against Denver Feb. 18 and voiced his pride in his squad’s resiliency.“It started around North Dakota, not finding a way to get over that hump, … then figuring out how to get over the hump [at Denver],” Eaves said. “It was a terrific feeling in the building, and the guys intrinsically knew what it felt like, how we had to play from now on.”The spark from that win fueled the team through its victories last weekend and has permeated into the players’ mindsets.“There is a sense in the locker room, from the inside out, an intrinsic sense of how we need to play,” Eaves said.Facing the Gophers this weekend in Minneapolis, the Badgers hope to continue their winning streak and by doing so prevent the Gophers from seizing the MacNaughton Cup. Minnesota sits atop the WCHA standings with a 23-11-1 conference record, while the Badgers sit at No. 9 in the conference.While this increases the stakes for Minnesota in this game, Eaves says the team is not focused on what the Gophers are playing for.“Quite honestly, I’ve never been a coach that is going to throw that up in the player’s face as motivation,” Eaves said. “For us, that’s a side effect of if we play well. For us, the big picture is continuing to play well. ”Minnesota will also be coming off a four-game winning streak, having swept Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha the past two weekends. The Badgers are training hard as they prepare to face a motivated and highly disciplined team.When it comes to side-benefits of performing well, Eaves is confident in his Hobey Baker Award nominee, junior defenseman Justin Schultz. Schultz is the league’s top scoring defenseman, with 15 goals and 42 points, and a strong contender to bring the award back to Madison.Teammate Mark Zengerle, a sophomore forward with 44 points this season, joins Schultz of Hobey Baker Award contenders.If either Schultz of Zengerle were to win the award, they would be the second Badger to have that honor following Blake Geoffrion, who won the award in 2010 after finishing as the nation’s second leading scorer and the nation’s top power play goal scorer.Eaves weighed in on Schultz’s chances and compared the experience to what he went through with Geoffrion.“Because of how far we went then, it allowed Blake to play in that plane, and he played at a high level. Playing well on a team in the finals was a huge factor in his winning,” Eaves said. “For Justin to bring it back around, Justin’s ability to have a chance to win and be successful will be dependent on how far we go here. And if we do well, he is going to be leading the charge.”The Badgers are facing their final test before the playoffs this weekend, and Eaves and the rest of his coaching staff are confident they’re ready for the fourth-ranked Gophers. “We made noise this past weekend, and we need to continue to make noise as we go along,” Eaves said.
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OnlineUndoBryant joins Yao Ming in becoming an ambassador for basketball’s biggest competitionAs a global ambassador, Bryant will help promote the World Cup and take part in activities on the Road to China 2019 as well as at the first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition.“Growing up in Italy and spending many years visiting China, I have always appreciated the global impact that basketball has had on the positive development of young people,” Bryant said. “I’m honored FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. I hope my participation inspires and motivates the best players from the 32 participating teams to represent their respective country on the world’s biggest stage. I look forward to seeing who will lift the trophy next year.”Also Read: Kobe Bryant boosts business portfolio with body care line for athletesFIBA President Horacio Muratore welcomed the latest FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador.“We’re thrilled and honored to have a basketball and sporting legend of Kobe Bryant’s caliber join us in building up to next year’s World Cup,” he said. “This speaks to the impressive stature of our flagship competition. With a record number of participating teams and as the culmination of the ongoing Qualifiers, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China will be a truly unique event and the sporting fixture of 2019.“Kobe has proudly represented the USA on the world’s biggest stages, where he’s achieved the highest successes. As such, it’s only fitting to have him take on this role ahead of our biggest-ever competition.”Announcing Bryant as a global ambassador is the latest in an impressive list of exciting activities taking place ahead of the World Cup. Previous ones have included: unveiling Yao Ming as the first ambassador; revealing the competition’s logo and mascot; the start of the World Cup Qualifiers to determine the 31 teams joining hosts China; and marking 1 year to the start of China 2019 with the presentation of Tissot countdown clocks in all eight host cities.Before the competition tips off on August 31, more activities and milestones will take place, including the launch of the Trophy Tour and the competition’s draw on March 16, in Shenzhen.Also Read: Norwegian Airline announced as presenting partner of NBA London Game 2019 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Previous articleQatar Airways in talks for Premier League sponsorship: ReportNext articleWomen’s World Boxing Championship live on Star Sports Select, Select HD Kunal DhyaniSports Tech enthusiast, he reports on Sports Tech industry and writes on sports products. Formula 1 TAGSFIBA 2019 World CupFIBA Basketball World Cup 2019KOBE BRYANTNBA SHARE Cricket Former NBA and USA national team superstar Kobe Bryant has been appointed as global ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. Over the course of a stellar 20-year career, Bryant won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and two Olympic gold medals with the USA. He is widely considered to be one of the best players in basketball history and among the world’s greatest athletes.His popularity in China is second to none and this is reflected by the fact that he ranks as the most followed NBA player on Chinese social media, where he has some 6.84 million followers. 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