Saturday, February 7, 2009

Badgers 3 - gophers 2

From start to finish, he was excellent.

-- Mike Eaves on Shane Connelly

Gandalf's post last night, along with the above quote, really sums up all you need to know, but I thought I'd better link things up for you regardless.

You know, last night's game was just plain bizarre. The Badgers were completely outplayed during the 1st period (after the period, Oz said on TV that he thought the guys were too jacked-up and therefore not focused enough, although the result was that they just looked flat-footed), took a stupid stupid 5-min CFB penalty (I always miss the penalties and even I thought it was obvious, so that tells you something), and amazingly exited the period with a 1-0 lead on a SH goal despite being outshot 19-6.

The 2nd period was much better. The Badgers looked much more composed, and shots were pretty even (14-13 Badgers). And they added 2 more goals.

The 3rd period was scary. Minnesota outshot the Badgers 14-4 in the 3rd and scored 2 goals. But the Badgers managed to hang on for the win, and I'm pretty fired-up about it. Go RED!

Shane Connelly was absolutely amazing all night. He stopped 43 of 45 shots, and a lot of those shots came on pretty good scoring opportunities. At the end of the game, they showed him jumping up and down with a huge smile on his face. That was cool. Honestly, Shane was the reason the Badgers won last night. Without him, the Badgers don't even make it out of the 1st period to even have chance at winning the game, nor do they hang onto the lead 'til the end of the game. Wow.

And despite being outshot, the Badgers took advantage of the scoring opportunites that they managed to generate; nice work, Badgers! Your Badger goals were scored by McBain (Geoffrion), Stepan (McDonagh), and Bohmbach (Davies, Goloubef):
  • Junior center and co-captain Blake Geoffrion won the draw in the right circle of offensive zone, giving McBain a clean look from the point. The ensuing wrister nicked the upper body of left winger Ryan Stoa — who was charging out to challenge the shot — and fooled goaltender Alex Kangas (20 saves).

  • Freshman Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) scored a second short-handed goal [ok, but it wasn't really SH, it was 4-on-4 play] only 45 seconds into the second period to extend the Badger lead to 2-0. Stepan beat Minnesota goalkeeper Alex Kangas on a rebound after sophomore Ryan McDonagh (Arden Hills, Minn.) stole a pass in the Gopher zone.

  • Junior Andy Bohmbach (Hudson, Wis.) recorded Wisconsin’s third goal with 1:21 left in the second period. Junior Michael Davies (St. Louis) hit the post on a breakaway shot and the puck settled under Kangas in the crease. Bohmbach followed up the shot and tapped it in from under the Gopher goalie for the 3-0 lead.

Anyway, here are your links:

Box

uwbadgers: Badgers dig deep for 3-2 win over Gophers
Milewski (TCT): Game 29 blog -- includes 3 stars and live blog
Capobianco (uwbadgers): Live blog
Milewski/Radloff (TCT): A tale of survival -- slideshow with audio
Baggot (WSJ): Happy homecoming
Worgull (USCHO): Wisconsin stuns Minnesota
Worgull (BN): Choosing the right path
Myers (Milwaukee JS): Not sneezing when peppered
Worgull (BN): Looking for the double down (premium content)
BN: Shane Connelly post-game audio (premium content)
BN: Mike Eaves post-game audio (premium content)

gophersports: Missed chances cost Gophers in 3-2 setback
Brothers (Pioneer Press): Gophers suffer another costly loss, fall to Badgers in men's hockey
Augustoviz (Star Tribune): U gets no puck luck
Bisping (Star Tribune): Photo gallery
Deutsch (MN Daily): Gophers' late surge falls short, drop third straight