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.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has labelled the recent claims of its Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Essequibo) office issuing fake birth certificates to persons as not only false, but noted that it shows the desperation of the APNU/AFC coalition Government as elections looms.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoOn Friday the State’s newspaper published an article in which the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the leading party in the APNU fraction of the coalition – Region Nine Chairperson, Wendella Franklin alleges that the PPP Region Nine office is issuing fake birth certificates. However, in a statement on Friday, the PPP pointed out that this “false accusation” is demonstrative of the Government’s increasing desperation since the successful passage of the December 21, 2018, No-Confidence Motion (NCM).“Having failed abysmally in office through unbridled ineptitude and corruption and having failed in its sinister plan to disenfranchise thousands of Guyanese through House-to-House Registration, the caretaker Government will continue to fabricate scenarios to distract from its unrestrained violation of the Constitution and the rule of law,” the party contended.It went on to say in the missive that the taxpayer-funded State newspaper has been usurped as the mouthpiece of the dominant party in the coalition, the PNCR, which will spare no effort to wantonly spread misinformation to deliberately mislead and to create a sense of uneasiness as election looms. To this end, the PPP called on Guyanese not to be misled by the increasingly desperate APNU/AFC caretaker Government.“The PPP urges that Guyanese not succumb to the deviousness of this most desperate APNU/AFC caretaker Government,” Friday’s missive stated.Only on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo accused the caretaker coalition Government of misleading Guyanese with the conduct of House-to-House Registration.According to reports, Public Relations Officer attached to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Yolanda Ward had said the matter would be looked into. However, efforts by this newspaper to solicit an update from her on the matter to ascertain whether these claims were true or not proved futile.These new allegations come as the controversial House-to-House Registration comes to an early end today. The exercise, which the PPP had long opposed saying it would delay the hosting of early elections, was scrapped by the Justice Claudette Singh-led Elections Commission on Tuesday.GECOM said that the information gathered thus far via the H2H exercise will be merged with the existing National Register of Registrants (NRR) database. The Commission said too that it will be moving to an extensive Claims and Objections exercise but no date was set for this.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday argued that the merging of the data will not only create duplication within the database but will further delay the hosting of General and Regional elections to April 2020, which is what the PNC-led coalition wants.Jagdeo noted that there is a much simpler way of ensuring that everyone, including new registrants, gets on the voters’ list. He explained that of the 285,000 registrations that were obtained during the H2H exercise, only approximately 2000 are new registrants.As such, instead of adding the more than 280,000 registrations to the existing National Register of Registrants database, which would cause massive repetition, the Opposition Leader said GECOM should filter out those new registrants and have them re-register at their local divisions.This, he added, will save some three months off the merging process.“With this merger, the optimistic scenario is to go to Claims and Objections in November because the merger will make about three months and then elections on the 27th April, next year. So you understand this merger will not improve the database. It’s a delaying tactic once again,” Jagdeo stressed.