Monday, December 29, 2008

Badgers win Showdown

For the first time since 2005, the Wisconsin Badgers won their own holiday tourney defeating Lake Superior State in a shootout. The game was tied 1-1 after OT. While the game wasn't boring, all the scoring occurred late in the game. LSSU scored w/ about 3:30 left in regulation, which was promptly followed up by John Mitchell, who squeezed his own rebound past the LSSU netminder.

If fans remember last season's Showdown, in the 1st round against Colgate the Badgers failed to score in the shootout on 8 or so chances. Didn't take that long last night, as Tom Gorowsky lit the lamp on the first try. Brendan Smith and Michael Davies were the other skaters in the shootout for Wisconsin, but failed to convert. For LSSU, the post made the first two saves, and the third was a controversial call. On the ice, Brad Sheppard called it no goal, but it appears that Connelly made the save, but in doing so his whole glove went beyond the goal line. Foolishly, the video replay was turned off before the shootout, so the call on the ice stood and the Badgers won. Connelly felt he made the save w/ out the puck ever completely crossing the goal line.

Tough way for the game to end for LSSU, I thought they played great all night. They brought there best effort the entire evening, and at times really out worked the Badgers. Their sub .500 record might not show it, but they were great opponent. I would like to give a some praise to UAH as well on saturday night, they didn't generate much offense, but they came to play and gave a great effort. Best of luck to both teams the rest of the season.

One other thing off note, following Sheppard's call of no goal, the team raced onto the ice to celebrate the victory. I was not expecting this, I would have sworn they just won the Final Five or something. It was great to see and I think it bodes very well for the rest of the season. The team is excited about success, but following their start they aren't taking anyone lightly.

Lastly, I think the Badgers are the only team to have a seven game winless streak (0-6-1 to start) and a seven game unbeaten streak (6-0-1 in their last seven) in the same season, at least INCH hinted at this several weeks back.

Some reading:
TCT (Milewski) - Shootout brings UW a title
Ice House - Gameday post
WSJ (Baggot) - Extra effort worth the wait - UW takes Showdown title