Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mavs 4 - Badgers 3 (OT)

Box: collegehockeystats

Live game blog: Capobianco

uwbadgers: UW falls 4-3 in OT to MSU
msumavericks: Stewart's overtime goal lifts Mavericks past #16 Badgers
Baggot (WSJ): Sweet start but sour finish in Mankato
Worgull (BN) : A sinking ship
Berhow (USCHO): Minnesota State edges Wisconsin
Frederick (Mankato Free Press): Mavs pull out gritty OT win

Let me start out by saying this: regardless of bad calls, disallowed goals, etc., if the game gets tied up in the 3rd, ya gotta score a goal and win the stinking game. And if you don't, and the game goes to OT, ya gotta score in OT. And failing that, for the love of Bucky, don't let the other team score. Honestly, the Badgers are a good enough team that they should've been able to win last night despite the bad calls. At least I think they are. Aren't they? I mean, I've seen them play really well, and when everyone is on the same page and everything is clicking they look really good. Aw hell, I don't know.

But having said that, and being who I am, I'd like to rant a little bit on behalf of good ol' Tom Gorowsky. And being part of the Lunatic Fringe, I think I'm entitled to a little rant. Normally I let Chuck do most of our ranting over here, but his rants today might not be fit for printing, and I'm sure Chuck won't mind. You don't mind, do you Chuck?

Holy crap has TG had some bad luck lately. Ever since the missed empty-netter v. UMD. (Which no, he shouldn't have missed, nothing to do with bad luck there, but I'm talking about after that now.) In the following 4 games, he recorded just 1 point, an assist on John Mitchell's goal @ minnesota on Saturday night. My memory is unreliable, but I seem to remember him having a number of chances v. Denver where he was battling in front of the net and just couldn't seem to get the puck in the net. And on that Saturday, he had 10 SOG that couldn't seem to find their way to the back of the net.

So Tom hadn't been scoring lately, and I'm guessing he was a little pissed off by that. Clearly I can't speak for Tom, but before the 1/31 game he had been recording 1 or 2 points per game on a pretty regular basis. Couple his lack of scoring with some Badger losses, and I think it would be safe to say that Tom was not a Happy Badger.

And so he did what any good young Badger would do. He tried to score some goals last night. And he was credited with 1 goal and 1 assist. Not too shabby, and normally nothing to complain about. But obviously that's exactly what I'm going to do, because he should have had 1 or 2 more goals. here's what Andy Baggot wrote today:
[Eaves and his staff] felt senior left winger Tom Gorowsky deserved a better fate. He scored a goal on the power play, but had two others waived off under highly questionable circumstances — the second with just over 5 minutes left in regulation that would have given the Badgers a two-goal lead.
The 1st non-goal occurred midway through the 2nd and would've given the Badgers a 3-0 lead. The goal didn't count, as Gorowsky was whistled for interference on what Baggot described as a "routine battle for the position in front of the net". I didn't see the play, so I can't comment informatively, but I don't really see Baggot as a Badger apologist, and I doubt he'd imply the penalty was weak unless it were.

The 2nd non-goal occurred in the 3rd and would've give the Badgers a 4-2 lead. Apparently the Dream Team of Todd Anderson and Pete Freesma thought that Goro used a "distinct kicking motion" to direct the puck in the net. Which sure is interesting, given that Tom had his back to the net and didn't even know that he had touched the puck. Again from Baggot's article:
“I don’t know how he made that distinction after watching it on video,” Gorowsky said. “I didn’t know I touched the puck at all. I saw it come through and I tried to hit it with my stick and I thought it went all the way through. I looked and it was in the back of the net.”
Needless to say, Mike Eaves wasn't happy with the officiating. And I might as well continue quoting heavily from Baggot's article:

Eaves’ voice was elevated during a postgame discussion with Greg Shepherd, the WCHA supervisor of officials. When Eaves emerged from the ante room, he was diplomatic and terse with a sense of humor thrown in when asked about the two goals that weren’t.

“I’m not going to go down that path,” he said. “Obviously they were critical times in the game. Unless I was willing to give you a $1,000 check right now — unfortunately I called my wife and she said I can’t — I’m not going to say anything about those things.”

Public criticism of game officials could result in a fine from the WCHA, something Eaves tried to avoid.

“Those viewpoints that those gentlemen have certainly aren’t the ones we have,” he said.

And hey, since I've already quoted approximately a quarter of Baggot's article, why not quote some more? Because I think that it's rare for Baggot to make excuses for a Badger loss or imply that the Badgers got screwed, and I don't get the impression he has a problem attributing responsibility for a loss to the players. But the opening of his article today indicates that he just might feel that the Badgers got screwed last night:
One minute, you could hear the voice of Mike Eaves rise in anger from behind the closed door.

The next, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach was trying to employ a calmer tone to assess the rubble of another frustrating loss.

He made it look easier than it surely was.

But anyway, getting back to Tom Gorowsky, he hasn't had a hat trick or a 4-pt game in his 4 years as a Badger. He almost had both last night. Should've had both last night. But apparently Goro has some pretty bad karma lately (or the WCHA refs are incompetent, which I think is more likely). Aw hell.