After starting the season going back and forth with freshman goaltender Landon Peterson, it seems fellow freshman goaltender Joel Rumpel has gained the upper hand. Rumpel is now controlling the starting job like he has the puck through the first seven starts of the season.
Since the beginning of the season Head Coach Mike Eaves has been unable to make a decision on which goalie would start, but as the no.1 ranked team in the country came in, the Minnesota Gophers, he made a decision.
Rumpel, who is 4-2-1 after a split with the Gophers over the weekend, has a 2.83 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage for the Badgers.
The Gophers scored one goal in Rumpel’s first Friday night start of the season in the Badgers 3-1 victory. Saturday night was not as kind for Rumpel. The Badgers and the Gophers were tied at one going into the final period when the Gophers then scored three unanswered to win the game 4-1.
“I felt pretty good out there it was kind of an easy job for me tonight,” Rumpel said after his Firday night victory. “The team and our defense let me see every shot, they let me play my game and they cleared all the rebounds for me so that makes a goaltenders job pretty easy.”
For Eaves, the person who starts between the pipes is simple; give the team a chance to win. The numbers thus far has proved Rumpel gives the team a better chance to succeed. Peterson struggled during his five starts allowing nearly four goals a game while stopping .875 percent of the shots faced.
“Rumpel was excellent,” Eaves said. “He gave us a chance, he held us in there in the first. He was square and he moved great. You can just see it starting to grow for him in terms of his confidence.”
It seems Rumpel has a hold on the starting job for now, but that’s not to say Eaves won’t go back to a split or even give Peterson the same shot that Rumpel got at some point.
In other Badgers hockey news, three recruits signed their letters of intent on Wedensday. More info on the recruits can be found here. .http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/111611aaa.html