Wisconsin men's hockey coach Mike Eaves has announced that three student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period to play for the Badgers next fall. Forwards Matt Auffrey (Evans Mills, N.Y.) and Joe Pavelski (Plover, Wis.), and defenseman Kyle Klubertanz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) become the first three members of the Badger freshman class of 2004-05.
Auffrey, 6-2 and 203 pounds, will join the Badgers from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP). Currently playing for the NTDP U-18 team, he has two goals and seven points in 13 games. Last season with the U-17 team, Auffrey posted 11 goals and 29 points in 63 games. In the 2001-02 season, he skated for the Syracuse Jr. A Crunch of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League, tallying 33 goals and 39 assists to earn himself the position of top rookie scorer in the Eastern Conference.
"Matt is a tall, rangy forward with good skating, puck handling and shooting skills," Eaves said.
Pavelski, a center, will come to the Badgers after spending 2002-03 and 2003-04 with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks. As of Nov. 19, he had already notched seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in the Black Hawks first 13 games. As a rookie in 2002-03, he led the Black Hawks to their first Eastern Division title with 36 goals, 33 assists and 69 points. The 5-11, 185-pounder was named the 2003 USHL Rookie of the Year after leading the league in goal scoring during the regular season. He also led the Black Hawks in goals and points and ranked third in the league in overall scoring. In Pavelski's junior year at Stevens Point Area Senior High School, he scored 43 goals through 25 games, helping his team win the Wisconsin High School State Tournament in 2002.
"Joe is a very heady offensive hockey player with excellent hands and sense of the game," Eaves said.
Klubertanz, a 6-0, 170-pound defenseman, plays for the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Green Bay Gamblers, a team coached by former Badger defenseman Mark Osiecki. Through 15 games this season, Klubertanz has one goal and five assists. During the 2002-03 season, he recorded eight goals and 26 assists in 60 games. Klubertanz led the Gamblers in assists and was third on the team with 34 points. He also played for the United States at the 2003 U-18 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships last April in Russia. Prior to joining the Gamblers, Klubertanz tallied 53 assists and 65 points as a member of the 2001-02 Chicago Chill Midget AAA team. He is currently attending Ashwaubenon High School.
"Kyle is a smooth skating defenseman who has good offensive capabilities and will be a fine addition to our defensive corps," Eaves said.
Women's tennis adds European recruit
Polish native Ewelina Skaza has been signed by the women's tennis program and will be joining the team at semester. Skaza will enter as a junior after having played her first two years at the University of Miami.
"She's going to be very helpful for us," coach Patti Henderson said. "Her freshman year she played for Miami and had a very good record. Miami is a top 20 program. So, she'll definitely help us out."
Skaza compiled an impressive 14-4 overall singles record during her freshman year, participating only in the spring season. Last season she registered a 10-10 overall record in singles. In her prep years she placed second in singles play at the Polish Championships in 1999 and 2000.
Hailing from Warsaw, Poland, Skaza is the only international athlete on the 2003-04 Badger squad.