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first_imgBlayre Turnbull (pictured), along with fellow freshman forward Karley Sylvester, has given a veteran Wisconsin squad a welcome sense of youth this season.[/media-credit]In a young season already filled with success, new names grace the scoreboard for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team.Freshman forwards Blayre Turnbull and Karley Sylvester are becoming new threats for the Badgers, a welcome addition to a mostly veteran team. Scoring key goals for the UW in game one of the series sweep of Ohio State this past Friday, the freshmen duo led the team to a 3-1 victory over the Buckeyes.Turnbull’s goal came eight minutes into the first period while UW was on a penalty kill. After pressuring the Buckeye forwards during the kill, Turnbull was able to force a turnover that she converted into the first goal of the game for the Badgers. The shorthanded goal was Turnbull’s fourth goal of the season, and with five assists, she leads the freshman class with an impressive nine points thus far, sixth among the team.“We were on the penalty kill, and they had their puck at the blue line and she went to make a pass, so I pressured her,” Turnbull said. “I got the puck and then got around the goalie.”Sylvester was also able to sneak one by Ohio State goalie Lisa Steffes. At 15:37 in the third period, Sylvester tapped in the puck off a shot by junior forward Brianna Decker that bounced off Steffes. Sylvester’ goal was her second of the season, giving her a total of four points.The two goals helped lead the Badgers to a victory, but it is their continued improvement that has teammates and coach Mark Johnson talking. Ohio State came out strong, putting pressure on the Badgers right away, but both Turnbull and Sylvester showed little hesitation.The added depth the duo is creating for Wisconsin only elevates UW as a threat for teams like Ohio State that have star players but do not have that consistency coming off the bench.“If we have more people scoring, we are hard to play,” senior forward and assistant captain Brooke Ammerman said. “We don’t care who scores as long as we win the game.”UW’s tough October schedule forced Turnbull and Sylvester to adjust to the intensity of college hockey quickly. Playing against teams like North Dakota and Minnesota early on allowed the freshmen to learn the ropes fast, which has translated into comfort and ease on the ice.Johnson is impressed with the performance of his new players and noted the improvements they have made so far. He sees their confidence boosting both on and off the ice as good signs for the future.“Their contribution on the score sheet was good, but more importantly, they are gaining confidence and are more comfortable in their roles,” Johnson said. “They are making improvements in a lot of different areas, and that is what you want to see at this point, … and they are going to continue to get better, too.”Turnbull and Sylvester were not blind to the changes they had to make in order to be successful in the WCHA. Having tough opponents showed the players what they needed to improve on early. Speed of players and the game itself were dramatic change for both freshmen.However, the interaction with their teammates on and off the ice has made the biggest difference in overcoming the disparity. Practicing with some of the nation’s best players, including senior forward Hillary Knight, Decker and Ammerman, is giving Turnbull and Sylvester a consistently fast pace and attention to details they need in order to be successful.The switching up of line combinations this past weekend gave Turnbull and Sylvester the opportunity to play alongside their top teammates. Each took advantage of that opportunity, showing they can play just as hard and are able to put points next to their name to show their effort.“If you had the chance to play with an elite player, … you would take it and compete with them,” Johnson said. “When they get an opportunity to play with them, that’s when they learn. … So it’s nice [Turnbull and Sylvester] are getting rewarded for their efforts.”Scoring goals does put a smile on the faces of the freshmen duo, but the real confidence comes from knowing they are improving. The drive to improve keeps the players determined as they are looking to be able to continue making big contributions and step up come the postseason.“I have become a lot stronger on the ice and faster, too; being able to practice with my teammates, everyone is so good that I have become better,” Turnbull said. “I just want to keep getting better and continue to be successful so I can really contribute to the team.”last_img read more

first_imgThe fifth inning brought up a two-out, none-on situation, and Matt Kemp blasted an 88 mph pitch into the left-field gap and against the wall. He scored when Yangervis Solarte hit a wicked single down down the left-field line.That preceded another episode of Yasiel Puig Live (YPL), in which the rightfielder admired Alex Dickerson’s savage liner until it sailed over his head. Puig followed it up with one of his throws to nowhere, and the Dodgers trailed 6-0 when manager Dave Roberts brought the hook for Ryu.“His velocity started dropping right there, but I think it was just fatigue,” Roberts said of Ryu. “We’d hoped for more and better from him, but to see him out there was great. We’ll know more when he comes out of this, and then the day after that.” Ryu had thrown 4 2/3 innings and 89 pitches, few of which fooled the opposition.Roberts called it “a victory in itself,” and Ellis also preferred the long view.“We’re excited to see what he did today, but also the rest of the year,” Ellis said. “He came out firing, and it was great to see. He had a good heater and showed it from the get-go. Regardless of the outcome, it was so much fun to see him out there. The fastball and changeup were very similar to what he was, or what it is.”“But to expect him to come out and do what McCarthy did, that’s a high expectation,” Roberts warned.It was, but the Dodgers brought it on themselves, using Ryu the night after their nine-pitcher, 14-inning nightmare against Baltimore Wednesday. Roberts confronted this game with only three position players on his bench.Put it this way: This was not July 31, come early. The Dodgers were hoping Ryu’s return would be like a bountiful trade in which they gave up nothing. Instead, Ryu became the ninth Dodger pitcher to start a game in a 14-day span.Ryu’s exile has been an underrated problem for L.A. He had given the Dodgers two solid years, with 41 quality starts in 56 games and a 17-8 road record. In that last game, Ryu left Game 3 in St. Louis tied after six innings, 1-1, before Dodger bullpen follies took over.“He proved he was a big-game pitcher, a No. 2 or No. 3 starter,” Ellis said. “We’ve missed him. But suddenly we have a lot of guys coming back to our rotation who are savvy guys. They can add quality depth.”Not to plow up old ground, but the Dodgers knew for at least a year that Zack Greinke’s departure was a possibility. They did not land Cole Hamels, with his ridiculously favorable contract and his devastating changeup, from Philadelphia and they let Johnny Cueto take a direct free-agent flight to San Francisco, where he might well win the Cy Young Award.The real July 31 trade deadline still looms. But any Dodgers improvement will require something more than free. LOS ANGELES >> A.J. Ellis said the mere sight of Hyun-jin Ryu was a pick-me-up bouquet for all the Dodgers Thursday night.Sullen fans at Dodger Stadium were more concerned with the sound.Ryu’s first game since the 2014 Divisional Playoff might have been an inspiration, but it was also a 6-0 loss to San Diego,It was diffcult to anticipate that the left-hander would be wild-card ready. He was coming off labrum surgery … but Dodgers fans had swallowed a dose of hope on Sunday when Brandon McCarthy had thrown six two-hit innings in his first post-rehab start. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img If Ryu could pitch just as strongly and if Clayton Kershaw could overcome his back problems and if Brett Anderson could return and if Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir could keep hanging on, maybe the Dodgers could patch together a rotation that could hold off the Mets, Cardinals, Mattinglys and Pirates …Warning: Never trust a paragraph with so many “ifs” and “coulds.”Ryu’s first pitch to Melvin Upton Jr. was an 89-mph ball. His sixth pitch was 92 mph coming in and 102 mph going out, a home run into the right-center pavilion, and a 1-0 lead for San Diego.The second inning was slower and more painful for Ryu. He walked catcher Derek Norris because he couldn’t place his fastball, and he gave up a base hit to Alexi Ramirez. With two outs he allowed pitcher Drew Pomeranz to send a grass-riding single through the middle.The fourth inning featured a 3-0 count to Norris and an eventual base hit, and Norris went to second on Corey Seager’s imprecise throw. Then Ramirez whaled a double off a 91-mph fastball, and the Padres led 3-0 after four innings.last_img read more