first_imgBrooke Ammerman and the Badgers should not be challenged by 2-9 Robert Morris, but still want to stay consistent and start strong.[/media-credit]A few weeks into the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers don’t appear daunted by the task of taking on the best shot from every team they face. And with the NBA’s second best record at 10-2, the defending champs appear to relish the idea that a planet-sized bulls-eye is permanently painted on their backs.The Lakers’ adverse situation is one that all vaunted teams must face. Whether a group won a title last season, earned a No. 1 national ranking this season, or signed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the off-season, playing as the group that everyone guns for makes for a difficult road.It’s a road that the UW women’s hockey team grows accustomed to with every passing weekend series. As the Badgers retain the No. 1 ranking, an honor the team likely cares not to relinquish, they also retain the pressure that comes with it.“Everybody wants to get that win against us. I don’t think you can underestimate any team because they all play tough against us,” senior winger Kelly Nash said.The Badgers take their top-ranked act on the road this weekend to face Robert Morris in Pittsburgh, PA. And although the Colonials have struggled so far this season (2-9), Wisconsin understands that it must take caution with any team strapped for wins.“I think them being 2-9 should make us less comfortable going against them because obviously they want to get a couple more wins no matter who they are playing. I think that we all need to keep that in our minds that they want to get a win,” Nash said.However, because Robert Morris plays in the CHA and not the WCHA, aside from box scores, the Badgers know very little about the opponent this weekend.Head coach Mark Johnson has not scouted for specific players because the Colonials concern him more as a whole.“We haven’t looked at personnel individually. It’s more what they do as a team – how they play, what they do on their penalty kill and what they do on their power play. Again, it’s our ability to play at our level, not someone else’s,” Johnson said.For the last week-and-a-half Wisconsin’s own personnel had the chance to rest and relax because the team had no games, and Johnson gave them time off from practice.The extended respite gave many of the girls, among other benefits, the opportunity to catch up on schoolwork and prepare themselves for the rest of the season.“Some of the girls got to go home and see their families, which you don’t get to do very often during the year, and get a little bit refreshed for the long haul until the end of the year,” senior Brooke Ammerman said.Back at practice this week, Wisconsin took to the ice sheet hard focusing on consistency and preparing for game speed in order to avoid any lapses against Robert Morris.Although the Badgers have succeeded in most facets of the game thus far this season Wisconsin has, on occasion, started games flat, allowing weaker teams to hang around longer than they deserved.“We definitely have to stay consistent, I think we have had a pretty good start. We play hard pretty much every game, but we have to come out strong. Our first periods are a little bit slow usually, so if we can just jump on them early we can play a consistent game through,” Ammerman said.If the Badgers play at a high level throughout the weekend series, the Colonials likely won’t see a third win appear in the standings by Sunday. And for Wisconsin, blowing out a lowly opponent doesn’t necessarily translate into a wasted weekend, as road experience, regardless of the opponent, is invaluable.“We’re in a good place right now, so it’s a good time to go on the road again and play a couple of games and keep moving forward,” Johnson said.last_img

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