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B5Q Blogopean Union: Badger vs. Badgers for all the World Junior gold medals tonight!

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Plus: NHL training camp news; transfer portal talk; Reggie Pearson back?; and the NCAA Tournament Indiana bubble.

United States v Finland: Semifinals - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Good morning! This is going to be a daily(ish) post that discusses the goings on of the rest of the Big Ten Conference, and the country as needed. Much like the European Union, the Big Ten is a loosely confederated group of entities that sometimes have the same goals (like free movement of people between countries or not winning national titles in football or basketball) and sometimes accept new members that they later regret (Estonia or Rutgers).

We hope that you will use this post to comment on things happening around the conference and also as a sort of daily open thread to discuss breaking news or argue about Spotted Cow (which we NO LONGER DO).

  • There was some more transfer portal news on Monday, outside of the big news that QB Jack Coan is headed to Notre Dame, as walk-on Badgers LB Jacob Heyroth is going to look for opportunities elsewhere. It should be noted that Heyroth wasn’t on UW’s 2020 fall roster, so this was probably a long time coming.
  • In a cryptic, but positive, message on Monday Badgers S Reggie Pearson’s dad tweeted out a picture of his son and this note “God is truly Great! He has the final say, Not man. #ReturnTour”. Pearson missed this past season due to an undisclosed medical reason and he wasn’t cleared to play. He was still in school but he just couldn’t play football.

If Pearson is healthy, he would be a big get for the Badgers secondary especially since fellow safety Eric Burrell decided to forgo the bonus year of eligibility and head to the NFL Draft.

  • The NCAA announced on Monday that the men’s NCAA Tournament would take place in a bubble of sorts...the state of Indiana! The homes of the Hoosiers, Boilermakers, Pacers and Colts are all places that the Badgers have played at regularly but add Butler’s historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, which I’m sure is also a nice venue, and you’ve got quite the selection of tournament locales.

While it hasn’t been finalized yet, there is talk that the women’s NCAA Tournament would do something similar but in San Antonio, Texas.

  • You know you had a good week running the football when Derrick Henry suggests that you had a better week than him.
  • NHL training camp started on Monday and a couple pieces of Badgers related news came out. D Wyatt Kalynuk, who was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers but chose not to sign with them, is on the Chicago Blackhawks training camp roster with a chance to earn a roster spot.

The New York Rangers are really leaning into having multiple Badgers on their blueline by pairing K’Andre Miller and Brendan Smith together on the first day of training camp.

  • In World Juniors action we’ve got a Badger vs. Badgers gold medal game coming up as both Canada (featuring Dylan Holloway) and the USA (featuring Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte) won their semifinal matchups.

Team Canada had a much easier time, dispatching of Russia 5-0, while the Americans needed a late game-winner to beat the Finns 4-3. Turcotte scored the USA’s opening goal of the game and assisted on the game-winner.

Caufield added a helper on the Americans’ third goal and we’ve got quite the UW-centric matchup on our hands Tuesday night. The game will air live on NHL Network at 8:30 p.m. CST and should be a dandy.

“Obviously it’s going to be a great game,” said American John Farinacci. “It’s something that you dream about. USA, Canada and a gold-medal game, it’s always going to be a fun game and we’ve got to play a full 60 minutes if we want to get that gold medal.”