View Gallery (2 Photos)Six down, two to go.After a perfect home stand to start off the season, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team closes out its home slate against Minnesota State Mankato (2-3-1, 1-3-0) this weekend.Sporting an undefeated record, the Badgers (6-0-0, 4-0-0) hope to stay perfect through two more games at the Kohl Center before hitting the road.“Well, you know you want to take care of business at home and obviously we’ve had a great home stand up to this point,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “I don’t know who put the schedule together, but to give us eight straight home games, you know you certainly want to grab your points now and be successful here. It’s nice for the younger players, it’s nice for the group to get some confidence and put some nice wins behind us.”Mankato isn’t the strongest of the WCHA teams, but Wisconsin isn’t going to underestimate it. Last season, the Badgers lost their first game ever to the Mavericks after 46 wins.The Badgers may hold a huge advantage over the Mavericks throughout the series at 43-1-2, but they know it’ll still be a tough battle on the ice.“Most of the games you look at four or five years ago you could predict, whereas now, a lot of the games we look at around the country on the women’s side becomes a toss up,” Johnson said. “If you want to win, there’s certain things you have to do. If you don’t do those things, then you run the risk of giving the game away or losing a hockey game.”The Mavericks have had six different players score goals, and freshman forward Kathleen Rogan leads the team with four goals and two assists.While Mankato has given up 20 goals on the season already, they’ve also scored three or more goals in each of their wins. As a result, Wisconsin won’t be letting up or taking plays off on defense.“Mankato is a hard working team and they’re going to come at us the whole game,” senior defenseman Geena Prough said. “We have to be prepared to play a whole 60 minutes.”“I think it’s the same as any other weekend, any other team that we’re playing,” junior forward Carolyne Prevost added. “I don’t really know much about them this year, obviously they have a new team. We’ll just prepare this week.”The Badgers feel confident they’ll have a successful weekend, but instead of playing at night, they have to start sharing the Kohl Center with the men’s team, pushing their game time up to 2 p.m.Johnson is focusing on getting his team prepared for an earlier game with just as much strength and focus as if it was a few hours later.“The hard part is getting ready for a Friday afternoon game compared to a night game,” Johnson said. “The kids have classes during that period of time. I’m trying to work with the players to be focused and ready to play when they drop the puck.”Before heading out on the road next weekend, Wisconsin needs to take care of business at home.Prough knows the squad will use the crowd at home to pump them up and help them play their kind of hockey.“We’re going to feed off of the crowd at the Kohl Center,” Prough said. “That always gets us going. We’re 6-0 right now, so we obviously want to stay undefeated and just keep working hard and play our game. Hopefully we’ll be successful at the end of the weekend.”
Esperance lacked many of the team that retained the trophy in bizarre circumstances while several stars, including Algerian Youcef Belaili, have joined other clubs.Winger Belaili, part of the Algeria 2019 Africa Cup of Nations-winning team, has joined Al Ahly Jeddah of Saudi Arabia.Left-back Ayman Ben Mohamed signed for French outfit Le Havre, midfielder Ghaylen Chaaleli joined Malatyaspor of Turkey and forward Saad Bguir moed to Abha of Saudi Arabia.Having received a preliminary round bye, Esperance seem virtually assured of overall victory against Elect when they meet again this month in Tunisia.Esperance thought they had won the 2019 Champions League in the early hours of June 1 this year when final opponents Wydad Casablanca of Morocco stormed off over a disallowed goal.A malfunctioning VAR system could not check whether a foul had been committed before Wydad believed they had equalised in the second leg and on aggregate.After a 90 minute delay, Esperance were handed the trophy and medals only for the Confederation of African Football executive committee to order a replay at a neutral venue.Both clubs rejected the decision and appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who ruled that the CAF disciplinary committee should have decided the issue and not the executives.The CAF disciplinary committee awarded Esperance the match, and a fourth Champions League title to go with those won in 1994, 2011 and 2018.Wydad won 2-0 away to Nouadhibou of Mauritania in Nouakchott with left-back Mohammed Nahiri temporarily abandoning his defensive duties in each half to score twice.Neighbours Raja Casablanca, who have been African champions three times, won 3-1 away to Al Nasr of Libya, who had to move their home match from Benghazi to Cairo for security reasons.0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tunisian club Esperance pose before a match in their triumphant 2019 CAF Champions League campaign © AFP / FETHI BELAIDJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sep 16 – Esperance of Tunisia launched a bid to become the first club to win the CAF Champions League three consecutive times by drawing 1-1 away to Elect-Sport of Chad Sunday.Fedi Ben Choug put the visiting team ahead on 66 minutes and Haroun Bokhit levelled before his teammate Leger Djimrangar missed a penalty for the home side in N’Djamena.