Despite the lopsided 6-1 score, players on both the Wisconsin and Bemidji State benches relished the opportunity to play an important WCHA game on outdoor ice surface at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.
“We wanted to soak in the fun we were having,” Badgers freshman forward Brianna Decker said. “But we had to keep going hard and not give up because this counts as a real game.”
Bemidji State freshman forward Jamie Hatheway, who’s from Trenton, Ontario, said the toughest aspect of day was getting acclimated to the ice.
“For most of us, it was our first time out there so it was a bit of an adjustment,” Hatheway said. “But it was an awesome experience.”
Growing up in Sarnia, Ontario, Wisconsin sophomore Carolyne Prevost played her fair share of hockey outdoors, but none of those experiences compared to spectacle of playing at Camp Randall.
“When you grow up back home you play a lot of shinny hockey,” Prevost said. “But to actually play in front of this many fans and for it to be such an important game at a crucial time of the season, it was just great to be a part of that.”
Despite near perfect conditions in the afternoon of sunshine, light wind, and mid-20 degree temperatures, Dousman, Wis., native Decker said weather played a factor in the game.
“If could do it again, maybe I could stand to stay a little bit warmer out there,” Decker said. “But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I cherished every moment of it.”
Wisconsin senior forward Jasmine Giles, whose hometown is sometimes-frigid Ottawa, Ontario, agreed with Decker, saying she would have preferred a warmer day.
“It was a little cold; I am not going to lie,” Giles said. “We had heaters on the bench, and a couple of us put our face up to it.”
But if she had another chance at an outdoor game, Giles would not pass it up.
“It was fun and I’ll never forget it,” Giles said. “I would love to do it again.”