Senior Ilana Friedman, on the evolution of the women's game:
There’s three periods and I think we’re in the third period now. The first period was my generation that had to play on the boys teams because there wasn’t a different opportunity. Then there’s the second period where the girls teams were a little bit lagging behind. If you really wanted to get somewhere, you still played boys, which was the decision I made - I played boys and honestly I think I should have played boys a little bit longer. I think we’re in the third period where we have the girls teams that aren’t necessarily behind anymore. We have the girls teams that will play the boys at the same age and they’ll win because they’re more skilled. And that’s really, really cool to see. It pisses the boys off and it’s awesome and I love it. It’s such an ego check to be beat by a bunch of girls. It’s that’s exciting.
Redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman, on the women's game not getting attention:
Well I don’t think it’s televised enough, hockey in general...I just think people need to respect women’s sports more in general. It’s not slower. It’s not worse because there’s no hitting. A lot of people think it’s better because there’s no hitting. I think there’s a lot of talent because of that. And I think that’s something that needs to be said. There’s a lot of finesse. There’s a lot of these amazing Top Ten plays in women’s hockey. It’s $5. It’s at a nice arena. We need more students here. A band would be nice.
Brittany, on answering people who say the women's game is boring:
I don’t know what to say to people that think it’s slow. I’d say try to get on skates. It’s not that easy. That’s what I used to say to my dad when he’d "skate faster." It’s like, you go get some skates on.
It also depends on what game you see. If you see a Wisconsin-Minnesota game, I think you’re going to be blown away every time.
Ilana, on what Wisconsin women's hockey means in the greater hockey landscape:
It comes back to coach (Mark Johnson, he’s shaped those really big names at USA Hockey - whether it’s (Jessie) Vetter, whether it’s (Meghan) Duggan, whether it’s (Hilary) Knight. He’s had his hands on them and those are the people that are sort of leading this into the next generation of those players that are super out-spoken about what’s happening in women’s hockey right now and it’s really cool to know that they have their roots here (at Wisconsin).
Coach Mark Johnson, with a simple philosophy
If you're hungry, and you want (the puck), you probably have a good chance of getting it.
Ilana, on freshman Sarah Nurse and Sydney McKibbon and sophomore Rachel Jones:
Our freshman can really compete this year. Our third line can really compete. We’ve got some slimy third liners that are really hard to defend against and it’s super-fun to see these girls play.
Senior Alex Rigsby, on being drafted into the USHL and her experience:
It was a very humbling experience. To be selected and drafted in to the USHL draft was an amazing experience to be to go get drafted but to be able to get drafted with these boys who I’ve grown up playing against and I knew I could handle their shots. It was cool to see what they went through. Juniors is a tough process for guys and to be able to experience that - I mean, they had three or four cuts going through it. I did really well through the whole tryout and it was just an awesome experience and I was really fortunate enough for the coaches to take a chance on drafting me because I know it wasn’t - they got some flack for drafting a girl.
It was a week-long camp for me and it was one of the hardest camps I’ve ever been through. At that time I was still in high school and I hadn’t really lifted and we were lifting there and we were tested and we were skating twice a day and the goalies were there ahead of time so it was just a lot, but the end it was exhausting. But to look back and be like "alright, I made it all the way through to the final game" it was quite an accomplishment for me. I think I feel very fortunate to get that experience.
Junior Blayre Turnbull, on having little girls come to games and look up to the players:
For me freshman year, I didn’t really realize how big of an effect we have on those little girls but now when after games we always come in here to sign autographs and there’s always little girls teams that come to our games. It’s just eye-opening to see that wow, I actually am a role model for these kids and yeah it does make you want to conduct yourself in a respectful manner on and off the ice.
Brittany, on missing a season and what it means to be a Badger:
It’s missing the game and the competitiveness and the team atmosphere. But there’s also the thrill you get when you score a goal, or when your team wins a big game or I’ve won a National Championship and that is the last thing I would love to do again, especially with this group of girl and I think it’s totally possible. That’s always a thought, when you play at Wisconsin, that you’re going to win each year, I think that would be the greatest way to end after an injury like this, is to get another ring, but I think that’s the path we’re on and we don’t really talk about it much, we just take it one game at a time
Blayre, on the aura and stigma that come with playing hockey at Shattuck St. Mary's high school:
I think people automatically assume that just because you went to Shattuck you’re going to be on the Olympic team of you’re going to the NHL, but that’s definitely not the case. I think there are a lot of people who go to Shattuck who they’re not going to be Olympic superstars.
Senior Madison Packer, with life advice from Coach Johnson
Coach always says it doesn't matter how your score, just how many.