All the best paddlers know that winter boating is well worth the cold water, if only for one major reason – creeking season! Prepare to join the ranks and clean up your skills this weekend with ACA certified kayak and swift water safety instructor Dave Kessmann at his Creeking Clinic this Saturday, January 17, on the Maury River. Dave Kessmann is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor in both Kayaking and Swift Water Rescue. With more than ten years of paddlesports education, he now bases his work out of Lynchburg, Va., and offers courses all throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.This particular course will focus on the skills and safety measures involved in intermediate and advanced creekboating. The Goshen Pass piece of the Maury River is a classic run for local boaters, and features some of the best Class III and IV creeking in the region. Kessmann will lead boaters down the relatively short 5-mile section, stopping often to share his insights on the surrounding water features and to teach important creeking lessons – including boofing, paddle technique, eddy-catching, scouting, and refined boat control. However, the quality of kayaking on Goshen Pass depends entirely on the water level of the river from rainfall and snowmelt. If Kessmann determines the pass to be unrunnable, he will move the class to the Upper Meadow River in West Virginia, another Class III-IV creeking option.Interested paddlers should contact Kessman via his Facebook page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register for the course. Everyone will need all of their own whitewater equipment and should prepare for cold temperatures with proper layers and drygear. This is not a beginner course, so be prepared for a fun but challenging event! A day on the river with Dave Kessmann will not only leave you exhausted and smiling, but also full to the brim with unmatched creeking experiences and skills for your whitewater future.
After a late season nonconference series, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team heads on the road to face struggling Minnesota State, who still has yet to record a conference win.Badgers’ freshman forward Annie Pankowski, who notched her second career hat trick this past weekend against Clarkson, will face the team that gave her the first one. Pankowski led the Badgers (19-4-3 overall, 14-4-2 WCHA) with four goals in the previous series against the Mavericks in mid-November.The Badgers outscored Minnesota State (2-21-1, 0-17-1) 16-2 in their last series at LaBahn Arena and want to continue to improve down the final stretch.“Now you have eight games left, and the main thing is to maintain what you’ve done the past three weeks and try to make some improvements in some areas where you need to improve and get yourselves ready for the playoffs,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said.Despite Minnesota State having a difficult season, Wisconsin cannot take them lightly.“I think if we start to worry about the opponent and what they are doing, or worrying about individual play, that could throw us off,” sophomore Sydney McKibbon said. “But if we stick to our game, we will be fine.”The familiarity of playing a conference opponent again helps the Badgers come out confident and strong.“We obviously know them better because we played them before and we know their style,” freshman Maddie Rolfes said. “We know what to expect, so we can go in harder and not timid because we know how they play.”A winless conference season thus far could make the Mavericks come out fired-up for the third-ranked Badgers, but Wisconsin will try not to let an upset-minded team throw them off.“Focusing on ourselves and looking at them as if we are playing Minnesota or Clarkson, or anyone else,” McKibbon said. “They are no different and we have to come out ready to play Friday night.”This last stretch of games, no matter who the opponent, will be vital in getting the Badgers prepared for a potential playoff run. For Wisconsin the goal is to win all of the games, but the most important aspect is improving in all areas to make a complete team.The puck drops at 7 p.m. Friday night for the series opener in Mankato, and 3 p.m. Saturday to close out the series.