Coming off a home split with Nebraska-Omaha the Badgers traveled to St. Cloud State this weekend and were smacked in the mouth on Friday Night, losing 7-2, but came back on Saturday and earned themselves a hard fought tie, leaving Wisconsin with a 4-5-1, 2-3-1(WCHA) record after the weekend results.
Friday night was just awful all the way around, as the Huskies found just about every strange way to score they could in the 7-2 beat down of the Badgers. The 1st goal of the game was scored by the Huskies' Andrew Prochno at the 12:30 mark in the 1st period off of a Power Play opportunity, once again giving up the 1st goal in a loss, something Wisconsin has done in 4 of their 5 losses on the year. The Badgers would find themselves down 2-0 shortly after as the Huskies scored again just over 3 minutes later on a goal by David Eddy, his first of the season.
It looked like Wisconsin would find a way to fight back in this one though as less than a minute later the Badgers Justin Schultz would slot home his 2nd goal of the year, reducing the deficit to 2-1. Assisting on the goal was Tyler Barnes. The 1st period would end with that 2-1 Huskies lead.
The early part of the 2nd period saw a ton of penalties, with St. Cloud missing out on an early 5 on 3 advantage. However the Badgers couldn't keep them out of the net as the Huskies would go back up by two on a goal by Cory Thorson, his 1st of the year. Once again the Badgers showed some huge fight coming back to score a mere 35 seconds later thanks to true freshman Matt Paape, his 2nd of the year.
Things would get out of hand after that, as St. Cloud would go on to score 4 straight goals, 3 of them coming in the final period, as the Huskies eased to victory. Ben Hanowski would get 2 goals in the final frame, putting his season total at 5 goals. Hanowski tied for the most goals in this game with David Eddy who scored in the 1st and 2nd periods.
Badgers netminder Logan Peterson had an up and down game, getting unlucky on a few goals. He faced 37 shots on the night, saving 30 of them and he showed amazing poise in the 2nd period facing a barrage of shots when Wisconsin went down to 3 men. The worst part of the game for the Badgers was their Power Play, which went 0-5 on the night, despite a few really great opportunities that they just couldn't convert.
Saturday saw Wisconsin play much better, earning a 3-3 Overtime tie with the Huskies and earn their first road points of the season. The Badgers clearly were ready to shake off a bad game on Friday night as they opened up the scoring for the game at the 13:49 mark in the 1st period on a goal by Justin Schultz. Unfortunately that lead would only last just over a minute as Andrew Prochno would even things up at 1-1 at the 14:54 point. That would also be the final goal in the period.
Wisconsin would find itself in a huge hole as they allowed the Huskies to score 2 more goals by Festler and Hanowski respectively, with Hanowski's goal coming just 31 seconds in the 3rd period. Unlike Friday night the Badgers wouldn't let it slip away as they would find the back of the net twice in the final 6:50 of the game. St. Cloud's Brooks Bertsch gave the Badgers a huge gift as he was given a 5 minute penalty and ejection for checking from behind. Wisconsin would score just 2:31 into that Power Play opportunity thanks to Matt Paape, who was in the right place at the right time to slot a bouncing puck just past Huskies goalie Ryan Faragher. Just as Schultz opened the scoring he'd close it as well, putting an absolute laser shot past Faragher with the Badgers a man up and adding a 6th man as they pulled goalie Joel Rumpel to put it all in for the tie and overtime opportunity. Zengerle and Barnes would be credited with the assists on that goal.
Overtime saw neither team really do much and the game came to a close with a 3-3 tie. As per usual Wisconsin continued with it's goalie rotation, putting Joel Rumpel between the pipes. In almost a complete reversal of Friday night the Badgers would out shoot St. Cloud 36-27, with Rumpel saving 24 shots on the night. Also in a reversal from Friday night the Badgers were 2-6 on the Power Play, while holding the Huskies without a Power Play goal.
After the weekend we have a new points leader for the Badgers, as Justin Schultz climbed to the top of the heap with 14 points on the strength of his 3 goal total for the weekend. Wisconsin returns home to the Kohl Center this weekend to take on hated rivals Minnesota for a pair of games Friday and Saturday. Look for some great stories and a preview later in the week as the Gophs come to town.