When Wisconsin’s hockey team took the ice for the 2006 Frozen Four title game against Boston College, one of the players responsible for getting them there was nowhere to be found. A right-ankle injury sidelined junior defenseman Joe Piskula for the final game of the regular season and all of the playoffs. Piskula was able to join his teammates on the Bradley Center ice after their title run was complete — but something will always be missing for him. “It was definitely hard not being on the ice for [the National Championship game], but the guys still made feel like I was a part of it,” Piskula said. “Just playing all season and missing the playoffs, it was so hard to be in the stands for that game.”When Boston College (2-1-0) faces off against Wisconsin (3-1-2, 2-1-1 WCHA), it will be a match-up of preseason No. 1-ranked squads, as well as a rematch of last year’s National Championship game. But for Piskula, it will be an opportunity to show the Golden Eagles something they didn’t see in last year’s title game.”It’s a totally different situation, but hopefully I can bring what I have to the table and help my team do well,” Piskula said. “We got a little rematch going, and I didn’t get to play against them so it will be nice for me to give [Boston College] a little something — it’s not the championship, but it is still the same guys over there.”Piskula and the rest of the experienced-rich blue liners will surely be tested this weekend against BC’s potent offensive attack. In four of their five games this season, the Golden Eagles have scored five goals, the only exception being a 7-1 rout at the hands of Notre Dame. Nevertheless, the Badgers will be up to the challenging task.”We know what they’re going to do, but we got to come out hitting, taking the body and show them we are not going to back down, and that we’re going to set the tempo,” UW assistant captain Jeff Likens said. “We just got to play our style on defense, we have our systems and we know what they are going to do inside the zone and out, and we just got to shut them down.”Another matchup to keep an eye on this weekend will be the head coaches — Wisconsin’s Mike Eaves and Boston College’s Jerry York.Although Eaves was victorious in the 2006 Frozen Four championship game, it is York who is a 35-year veteran behind the bench. In his illustrious coaching career, York has won 751 games and two national championships, including his first with Boston College in 2001. Eaves, on the other hand, has emerged as the premiere young coach in collegiate hockey after the Badgers’ championship run a season ago. Eaves is no stranger to York, or his coaching style, as two of his sons played for the legendary coach. Eaves admitted to sharing a nice moment with York following last year’s championship game.”That speaks to the relationship we have through our boys, and it speaks to the kind of person he is,” Eaves said. “It really made it a more enjoyable evening, [as] we can talk openly about the [championship game] and be rivals on the ice but share a moment about how our teams handled themselves after the game.”When the puck drops Friday, Wisconsin’s lineup will feature a number of underclassmen who did not participate in last year’s championship game. Regardless of their inexperience, this young Badger squad will have to compete with the emotions of the Golden Eagles that will no doubt be flying high, hoping to exact revenge for last year’s Frozen Four loss.”They are a great team, and they didn’t lose too many guys from last year, and nobody likes to lose in the national championship,” freshman defenseman Jamie McBain said. “They’re going to come with a little something extra, but we got to match it and overcome it.” Despite Eaves’ attempts to keep his team focused in treating this weekend just like any other series, players and coaches alike sense the added energy that goes along with a championship game rematch.”They’re excited to play Boston College, I mean they know they are a top team and when you play a top team you get excited, and the fact that we have a recent history with them only heightens the excitement,” Eaves said. “You know you have to defend your title against everyone,” Piskula added. “And maybe a little bit more against the runner-up from last season.”Injury ReportKyle Klubertanz practiced Thursday, and Eaves is confident the veteran defenseman will be in the lineup this weekend. …Forward Jack Skille participated in skating drills, but will be inactive for at least the next four weeks. …Ross Carlson, who was also injured against North Dakota, will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks.
The Dodgers scored all their runs in a third-inning rally that began with Kershaw’s single. Kiké Hernandez’s ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy wiped out Kershaw on a forceout, but Hernandez went to third base when Howie Kendrick ripped a single up the middle of the diamond.Adrian Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, a weak hit that landed in the vast expanse of grass in front of center fielder Juan Lagares. Justin Turner followed with a two-run double — Gonzalez scored all the way from first base — to put Mets starter Steven Matz in a 3-0 hole. “Steven was outstanding. He had one bad inning,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Probably if he’d want one pitch back it’s probably the hanging slider he threw Kershaw.”Matz, the rookie left-hander who threw six shutout innings at Dodger Stadium in July, lasted five innings before turning the game over to the Mets’ bullpen.By then, Kershaw had his first lead of the postseason.The Mets mustered only three hits and one walk against Kershaw. He struck out eight while showing complete command of his curveball and slider, and only lost his shutout bid on Daniel Murphy’s second home run of the series in the fourth inning.Murphy has two home runs off Kershaw in the series, after Kershaw allowed only one home run to a left-handed batter the entire regular season.The seventh inning, Kershaw’s personal playoff Waterloo in three previous October starts, began with a 50-foot single by Yoenis Cespedes.“Oh, here we go,” was Mattingly’s reaction.But Kershaw remained on the mound and calmly retired the next three batters in order. He’d thrown 94 pitches when he was removed in favor of Chris Hatcher to begin the eighth inning. Hatcher got two quick outs, then walked Curtis Granderson, before Mattingly called on closer Kenley Jansen to record a four-out save for only the second time this year. “We were willing to go six outs with Hatch and Kenley right there,” Mattingly said. “We would have went Hatch (in the sixth and seventh innings) and Kenley (in the eighth and ninth).”Granderson stole second base, giving the Mets their first runner in scoring position.With the count 2-2 on Wright, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was convinced Jansen threw strike three. Wright checked his swing on a ball over the middle of the plate, but home plate umpire Chris Guccione called it a ball. Ellis spun animatedly, gesturing to show that Wright had foul-tipped the 96-mph cut fastball, but Guccione held firm. “I’m pretty sure I heard a foul tip in the dugout,” Hatcher said.Jansen then issued ball four, putting runners on first and second for Murphy.Murphy worked the count full too, then flew out to right fielder Yasiel Puig to end the inning.The ninth inning was a relatively smooth affair, as Jansen retired Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud, and Lucas Duda in order to send the announced crowd of 44,183 racing to the subways.“All I wanted to hear was a silent moment when you play on the road,” Jansen said.Those were rare in Game 3 but they meant everything in Game 4. The buzz surrounding Chase Utley’s suspension, and Clayton Kershaw’s curse, and whether the Dodgers’ bullpen could hold a lead, died for a day. The season lived on in Los Angeles, where the silence was broken by the sound of exhaling fans. The series is tied two games apiece, with the winner set to face the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke will oppose the Mets’ Jacob deGrom in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.• PHOTOS: Kershaw masterpiece forces game 5 in seriesDodgers manager Don Mattingly entrusted the game — and the season — to Kershaw on three days’ rest, despite the fact that Kershaw had lost five consecutive postseason starts. This time Kershaw got the run support he didn’t get at home Friday in Game 1, or in the Dodgers’ season-ending loss to the St. Louis Cardinals a year ago. Those playoff demons weren’t really Kershaw’s — they were property of the Dodgers’ lineup, though for good measure Kershaw got the first hit by any hitter Tuesday.“I didn’t end up scoring,” Kershaw said, “but I think that maybe got the guys going a little bit, which was — you know, that was the inning, so that was huge.” NEW YORK >> Citi Field was full of sore throats and sore forearms Tuesday night, having taunted the Dodgers and waved their orange towels until the building fell eerily silent. Now, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers don’t want to hear another peep about what they can’t do in the postseason.Kershaw’s seven-inning, one-run masterpiece laid the groundwork for the Dodgers’ season-saving 3-1 win over the New York Mets in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.“I really wanted to win tonight definitely — for a lot of reasons,” Kershaw said, “but obviously most important was just to give Zack a chance.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error