Friday, November 27, 2009

MHKY G13: Badgers 7 - Spartans 3

"We got it handed to us. They are a very good team. That’s probably the toughest game that we’ve had all year, as far as playing against speed." -- MSU head coach Rick Comley [Weston]
Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps:
- uwbadgers: Badgers gobble up Spartans
- msuspartans: Spartans fall 7-3 to Badgers
- Baggot (WSJ): Badgers expect good return on investment
- Worgull (BN): An offensive showcase (premium content)
- Weston (USCHO): Stepan's five points, Smith's two tallies buoy Badgers in upset win
- Kopeke (Lansing Journal): Future Red Wing sparks Badgers
- Wodon (CHN): Friday Round-up
Blogs: Capobianco, Worgull
Photos: msuspartans

3 Stars (per Posick/Cerniglia):
1. Derek Stepan (1-4-5, 3 SOG, +2, didn't have to sacrifice a chicken)
2. Brendan Smith (2-1-3, 7 SOG, +1, scored the 1st 2 goals of the game)
3. Michael Davies (2-1-3, 4 SOG, +1, physical play, consistent play)

Subway Sub of the Game (per Posick/Cerniglia): Brett Bennett

In case you missed it:
The Badgers played most of the game with 5 D, as Jake Gardiner suffered an undisclosed injury in the 1st period. Andy Baggot reports that Eaves says he doesn't yet know if Gardiner would be available Saturday night. The entire roster made the trip this weekend, so if Gardiner is out, Eaves will have his pick of C Johnson/Springer/Little.

Mike Eaves also apparently shuffled the forward lines in the 3rd, which isn't all that surprising, as he seems to have had a tendency to do that quite a bit this season in the 3rd period based on who has been playing well during the 1st 2 periods. Unfortunately, I missed the new line combos. I think Davies was bumped up to the top line, but I'm not sure. If I figure it out, I'll come back and edit this.

Face-Offs W/L
Geoffrion - 13/13
Bohmback - 1/0
P Johnson - 0/1
Murray - 1/0
Stepan - 4/7
Street - 5/9
Bendickson - 6/9
(Team total 30/39)

I tried to watch the game on bigtennetwork, but the video feed kept freezing up. Not impressed. *shrug*

The impression I had of the game (take it for what it's worth) is that State had the momentum early in the 1st, but the Badgers took the momentum midway through the 1st and held on throughout most of the 2nd. State got a questionable goal at the end of the 2nd, picked up another goal to start the 3rd, and really had the momentum for the first 9 minutes or so of the 3rd. But the Badgers weathered the storm to hold the Spartans at 3 goals and then grabbed control of the game again when Geoffrion scored the Badgers' 6th goal.

You know what was fun? Seeing (and I use that term loosely, given the video feed issues, although I usually caught the replays) guys capitalize on opportunities rather than missing the net or shooting right into the goaltender. Good stuff! Nice to see Stepan finally score again, as he's been a bit snakebitten lately (he joked earlier to Posick that he was considering sacrificing a chicken), and nice to see Davies find the back of the net a couple of times. Aaron Bendickson had a nice hardworking goal, and Geoffrion had a really nice top-shelf goal. I missed both of B Smith's goals, but he definitely grabbed the momentum for the Badgers by scoring the 1st two goals.

It doesn't take all that much to make me happy, but I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty happy about beating MSU 7-3. State's a good team, so this is pretty nice win. It's also nice to have a 3-0-0 non-conference record. In comparison to past couple of years, it'll be nice to have a strong non-conf record (assuming the Badgers keep it up) when looking at the PWR later in the season.

Tomorrow, the Badgers take on the Wolverines, who by the way beat the gophers 6-0 tonight. Per CHN: "Michigan found the perfect cure for its ills -- a storied program doing even more poorly."