Friday, October 30, 2009

A few Friday afternoon odds & ends

  • Earlier this week, Jake Dowell played for the Blackhawks in their 3-1 win over the Wild. You might recall that in the 1st he dropped the gloves with Shane Hnidy. Here's the video:

  • Apparently Mercyhurst might be considering an attempt to join the CCHA. I don't know how much credibility there is to this rumor -- it was relayed by Paula Weston in her weekly CCHA column last week, and I get the feeling that a number of the kids over on the USCHO fan forum don't think too highly of her. (Thanks to Goon for pointing out the story.)

The end of the Badger Hockey Showdown and College Hockey Showcase?

Today, Andy Baggot tells us that this may be the last year for the Badger Hockey Showdown and the College Hockey Showcase.

Yeah, yeah, I know the Badger Hockey Showdown has been on a decline since it moved from Milwaukee. Attendance is lousy, and it's hard to get good quality opponents, especially since there are a ton of holiday tournaments these days. And I've been pretty outspoken (perhaps not here, but in person to those who would listen) in lamenting the weak opponents of the Showdown in recent years. But I really like being able to go to a holiday tournament and see 4 games, and I'd have a hard time making a holiday tourney road trip. So I'm pretty bummed about this.

Baggot tells us that the nature of the PWR formula and the .500 criteria are driving forces behind the scheduling changes, but I gotta tell ya, this logic makes absolutely no sense in regards to the Badger Hockey Showdown. (In all fairness to Baggot, he's repeating what the UW staff has told him.) The opponents win percentage was recently (sometime in the past couple years, not sure exactly when) given less weight in the PWR, and ya gotta have a .500 record to make the NCAA tourney. So the coaching staff has talked about needing to schedule cupcakes (my word, not theirs, of course) to ensure that .500 record. But the Badgers are more likely to play cupcakes in their own holiday tourney (which has recently featured cupcakes, not that it has guaranteed wins, however) than if they go to someone else's holiday tourney where they might have to play the host team, which is usually a top team (or at least better than many of the invitees).

And then Eaves says that rather than a holiday tournament, they'd like to "get a quality team in here at Christmas time where we can play two games and (Badgers fans) can see the same team back-to-back, that will be fine." So, no cupcake? Or is "quality team" a code phrase for cupcake?

And I don't understand how nixing the College Hockey Showcase makes any sense. Baggot tells us that it has to do with getting Ohio State in the mix. So they're going to nix a perfectly good showcase to add 1 team into the rotation? Sounds stupid to me.

And if the UW wants to schedule softer teams, well then sure, OSU will probably be easier to beat than UM or MSU. But that doesn't change that we'll still have to play both UM and MSU some years, and once again there goes the logic of scheduling non-conference cupcakes to try to get a .500 record.

I might be an idiot, but something about all this logic just doesn't seem logical to me . . .

It's Friday, I'm in Love

I don't care if Mondays black
Tuesday, Wednesday - heart attack
Thursday, never looking back
It's Friday, I'm in love


Both the Badger Men and the Badger Women are at home this weekend, the Men with a non-conference Fri/Sat series v. UNH and the women with a Fri/Sun afternoon series v. conference rival minnesota.

By the way, Freakfest is Saturday, and the UW has issued a travel advisory.


BADGER MEN v New Hampshire: FRI 7 PM / SAT 7 PM (Kohl Center)


Featured on this week's tickets are senior winger Andy Bohmbach and junior defenseman Brendan Smith. Bohmbach (BOHMBER!) has looked pretty good this season so far, and ya know we love him. And Smith, after a rough opening weekend, was quite good this past weekend at Mankato.

UW: 1-2-1 overall, 1-2-1 WCHA
UNH: 2-2-1 overall, 2-0-0 HE (last weekend 4-2 win over Northeastern and 5-2 win over Maine)

Gameday Links

TV:
- Live - Friday TVW Ch 14 (Madison), Saturday WISC Ch 3 (Madison), both nights Charter Extra Channel 87 and Time Warner Cable
- Tape delay - The Wisconsin Channel (11 PM game day and 6 PM the following day)
Radio: WIBA 1310 (Madison)
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo) , unhwildcats (free, I think)
Video webstream: The Wisconsin Channel's live stream (tape-delay 11 PM game day and 6 PM next day)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: Worgull (BN)*

* I don't have the direct blog link, but it should be linked on the BN front page at game time.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
This week, one of my new favorite defensemen won the shootout. Yep, you got it, it's JUSTIN SCHULTZ!

Here are the previous winners and how they did that weekend:
Wk 2: Mike Davies (0-2-0, 6 SOG, and sounds like he played really well)
Wk 1: Podge Turnbull (0-0-0, 5 SOG, and despite being held off the scoresheet I thought he looked really good)

Badger Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - P Johnson
Murray - Stepan - Davies
Mitchell - Street - Lee
Turnbull - Bendickson - Grotting

McDonagh - Gardiner
Goloubef - Schultz
Smith - Ramage

Bennett
Gudmandson

C Smith is out with a 2 game suspension, and Michael Davies moves up to take his spot on the 2nd line. Derek Lee has been cleared to play and takes Grotting's spot from last week on the 3rd line, with Grotting moving down to the 4th line.

The defensive pairings remain the same. Bennett gets the start in goal tonight, and I'd imagine we'll see Gudmandson tomorrow.

Wildcat Lines
Speelman - LeBlanc - Butler
DeSimone - Block - Sislo
Thompson - Borisenok - Moses
McCarey - Burke - Henrion

Campanale - Kessel
Krates - Kipp
Beck - Hardowa

Foster

Doesn't look like we'll get to see Scott Pavelski this weekend; too bad.


Series Previews
uwbadgers: series preview, game notes
unhwildcats: series preview, game notes
Baggot (WSJ): UW Men's Hockey vs. New Hampshire
Baggot (WSJ blog): It's been a while since New Hampshire came to town
Holt (Badger Herald): Halloween, UNH don't scare UW
Gabriel (Daily Cardinal): Badgers look to get season going against Wildcats
Graff (THN): UNH to battle skilled Badger team


Other Articles/Links
Gabriel (Daily Cardinal): Behind Geoffrion, power play threatening
Holt (Badger Herald): Badger goalie took road less traveled to Madison
Baggot (WSJ): All quiet on the Eastern front?
Breiner (Daily Cardinal): Time for hockey to return to glory
Edwards (CHN): Burke returns to UNH
Howe (INCH): Red hot Kessel returns to hometown this weekend


The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA
INCH: Friday Four-cast (national notebook)
Goon's World: Weekend Match-ups (Sioux 7)


BADGER WOMEN v. minnesota: Fri 2 PM / Sun 2 PM (Kohl Center)


Just a reminder, Friday is Kid's Day at the Kohl!

Gameday Links
TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting, gophersports ($4.95/mo)
Video webstream: bigtennetwork ($2.99/game)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Friday, Sunday
Live blog: none (away games only)

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
gophersports: preview, game notes
Baggot (WSJ): Slow start hasn't spooked UW women's skaters *
Savidge (Daily Cardinal): Badgers look to right ship against rival minnesota

* The WSJ has the series incorrectly listed as Fri/Sat series in the text box, although they have it correctly listed as a Fri/Sun series in the actual article. The Women's team will be at the football game on Sat and will be introduced between quarters (not sure which).

Boscacci reports that Becca Ruegsegger is starting in net.

Other Articles/Links
Jakiel (uwbadgers blog): Border Battle Weekend
uwbadgers: Join Women's Hockey and Women's Basketball at Saturday's Badger Bash

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Around the WCHA: The refs suck

Last week’s results:

Denver swept minnesota: 3-0, 3-0
UW split @ Mankato: 6-0, 2-3
St Cloud took 3 pts from Duluth: 3-3, 4-2
North Dakota split w/ UAA: 5-0, 1-2
CC swept Tech: 4-1, 8-5

The gophers have scored three goals this season (sorry to the whiny commentor, 1 or 3, they still suck) and Jordan Schroeder has been non-existent. CC takes the early lead in the WCHA standings.

WCHA Top Performers from last weekend:

G Marc Cheverie (DU): Shut out the gophers both nights.
F Bill Sweat (CC): One goal and six assists on the weekend as Tech forget to play defense.
F Rhett Rakshani (DU): Three goals to lead the Pioneers on the weekend.
D Brendan Smith (UW): A pair of goals and assists, I think he got the message following his benching.

This week’s schedule:

New Hampshire @ UW – 3 pts for the Badgers
UAA @ minnesota – Split
Mankato @ Denver – DU sweeps
Clarkson @ Duluth – I don’t know much about Clarkson, Duluth wins/ties.
St Cloud @ Tech – Tech salvaged a point at home

Expansion Corner:

Bemidji tied and shut out (3-3, 5-0) against N. Michigan. They travel to Alabama to play CHA foe Huntsville this weekend.

Nebraska Omaha had the weekend off and now open CCHA play hosting Bowling Green. They have a really easy schedule to start the season, which isn’t hard in the CCHA.

WCHA Women:

UW split w/ Ohio State: 3-4, 5-3
minnesota swept St Cloud: 4-0, 7-0
Northeastern swept Bemidji: 2-1, 3-2
Duluth Foreign Legion swept North Dakota: 4-1, 3-1

Standings so far.

This weekend…

minnesota @ UW
North Dakota @ St Cloud
DFL @ Mercyhurst
Wayne State @ Bemidji
Mankato @ Ohio State

You wouldn’t think 6 games into the season that the Badger Women are at a must win place, but they are. The lady gophers haven’t lost yet, and have already swept the DFL in a series. UW needs points (a sweep would be best) to stay in the chase for the WCHA regular season, because falling anymore behind the gophers will likely be too much to make up. I know that sounds weird, but last season minnesota won the WCHA w/ a 23-2-3 record, and I don’t expect much change this season as they are beating people down. The Badger Women need to hit their stride ASAP to stay in the race.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hey, lookie, it's Todd Milewski . . .

While I wasn't paying attention, Todd Milewski has apparently started doing USCHO's "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" feature with Jim Connelly. Excellent!

Here are the installments from Oct 20 and Oct 27.

(You need to have USCHO Extra to access the items. Extra costs $15/year and has the nice bonus of no advertisements. Ooh, and additional stats pages which come in handy for things like Tom Gorowsky Week, Andy Bohmbach Week, etc . . . )

A clarification of Smith's suspension

Andy Baggot has kindly clarified who had handed down the additional game suspension for Craig Smith. Looks like the UW was proactive in handing down the punishment themselves, and Baggot indicates that if the UW hadn't given the additional punishment, the WCHA would likely have done so.

A few Wednesday evening links

  • It doesn't matter who handed down the extra game suspension to Craig Smith; it's appropriate. But I think it's interesting, as pointed out by reader Todd, that Baggot indicates the WCHA handed down the additional punishment whereas the WCHA says that the UW handed it down. The UW press release concurs with the WCHA release, but I'm sure there's a lot of politics going on here. Especially given what DPlaya heard about the WCHA looking for a longer suspension.
    But Eaves said he was notified by the WCHA that Smith has had another game added to that punishment. Eaves didn't disagree with the action because Smith didn't appear to slow down when he crosschecked Mankato left winger Geoff Irwin into the boards in the third period of a 3-2 loss. [Baggot's Tuesday blog post]

    Meanwhile, UW coach Mike Eaves was notified by the office of WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod that freshman right winger Craig Smith would have to miss both games against New Hampshire for the major penalty he was assessed Oct. 24 at Minnesota State-Mankato. [Baggot's Wednesday WSJ article]

    The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department has decided to have Smith sit out an extra game to reinforce the learning experience for the local area product. [UW press release]

    "The WCHA fully concurs with the additional one-game suspension handed down today by the University of Wisconsin," said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. "We appreciate the University's initiative on this matter and their pro-active approach in creating a learning experience out of a difficult circumstance." [WCHA press release]

    10/28-1:30 PM Edit-From what I'm being told it sounds like the WCHA may have been looking for a 4-6 game suspension, so the Badgers and Craig Smith are lucky that he will instead serve a 2-game penalty. [DPlaya, HIW]
  • INCH's First Shift entry for this week is somewhat WCHA-centric, and it's hard to silently pass by this mention of the minnesota golden gophers:

    “They outworked us at times but I think we deserved at least one this weekend.”—Minnesota captain Tony Lucia, to Roman Augustovitz of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune following Denver’s second shutout of the weekend at Mariucci Arena Saturday.

    When Lucia the younger says “one”, is he referring to a win or a goal?

  • Chris on WCH mentions Blake Geoffrion as one of his favorite WCHA players to watch and picks him as his dark horse candidate for the WCHA's best player:
    Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin: Kind of a dark horse pick, but one of my favorite players in the WCHA to watch. He'll probably only score in the point per game range, which won't put him among the leaders, but he's as tough a player as there is in the league.
  • Friday is Kids Day at the Kohl. The event starts at 11AM and precedes the Badger Women's 2PM game v. minnesota. Looks like the event is free and includes free admission to the game. Nice!

Smith suspended for an additional game, Lee cleared to play, & other news

  • In addition to sitting out this Friday's game v. UNH due to his game disqualification associated with his check-from-behind on Mankato's Geoff Irwin last Saturday, Craig Smith will also be sitting out this Saturday's game, as the WCHA handed down an additional game suspension yesterday. Andy Baggot writes about it in his blog and the WSJ, and here's the uwbadgers release. Shane Frederick reports that Irwin will miss both games at Denver this weekend due to an upper body injury.
  • The Badger Herald finally has a recap of the Badger Men's games last weekend.
  • As expected, with the the Hawks off until Thursday, Jake Dowell was sent back to Rockford yesterday. The Icehogs play tonight @ the Chicago Wolves.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A few alumni links

Here are some blurbs on Dowell/Skille/Burish from various Blackhawks blogs over the past couple days, as well as a Kyle Turris article I stumbled upon:
  • Chicago Blackhawks Examiner (Oct 26): Jake Dowell should stay up in Chicago, even when Toews comes back. Working a rotation with Fraser, Ebbett and Dowell would bode well for the Hawks, who can chose for a player based on the team they would be playing and the level of physicality. If Dowell, the Rockford IceHogs captain, is too valuable to the AHL to be kept up as an NHL scratch, then the Hawks should call up a player like Rob Klinkhammer or Bryan Bickell to fill the role of de-facto enforcer and fourth liner. Also, I sure hope that Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook don't need as much time as Ben Eager to recover from a concussion. I understand that the Eager has a history of concussion problems, but Jake Dowell's AHL/NHL status might as well be how Ben Eager is feeling that day. If it's bad, Dowell is in the NHL, good, Dowell is in the AHL. Overall, I'm not sure why the Blackhawks don't put a timetable on Eager so they can stop stringing players between Rockford and Chicago. Then again, this is the team that refuses to put Adam Burish and Marian Hossa on the long term injury lists, so logic isn't exactly first priority.
  • Fifth Feather (Oct 25): The much maligned Hawks fourth line put together a respectable performance with some solid forechecking and pressure. I would venture to guess Jake Dowell will probably get to stick around a bit this time even when Toews returns. Not to take away anything they did tonight, but they were playing Nashville. The true tests will come when they play better teams.
  • Jesse Rogers - ESPNChicago (Oct 25): Toughness vs. Fighting. There is a difference. When Toews got lit up at center ice by Willie Mitchell, it once again brought up a decade-old question: Do the Hawks have enough toughness? A heavyweight is nearly meaningless in this day and age. The rules have changed. There really are no more goons. At least not on great teams -- they can't afford to carry them. And I don't mean because of the salary cap.

    I said that when Adam Burish went down, we would start looking back and saying, "Man, we could have used Bur in that situation." I think we can name about four or five situations already. It's not the heavyweight they miss. It's the energy and toughness that Burish and Ben Eager brought last season. They bring that partly because they can skate. Stan Bowman said as much on the Hawks' radio flagship after Saturday's game. He said the Hawks would consider replacing that toughness if they could find someone who can play a regular shift. Bowman said you can't hit what you can't catch, and he's right. Those guys are not as easy to find as you might think.

Monday, October 26, 2009

WCHA refs' jersey numbers . . .

You might have noticed that the powers-that-be have decided that the officials will simply have numbers on their jerseys rather than names.

So that you can "offer your assistance" to the appropriate ref while enjoying the game, here's a list of their numbers. (Thanks to RichManitoba on buckyville for typing this out.)

At the KC opening weekend v. CC, we had the "pleasure" of watching Todd Anderson and Brad Shepherd. Brad must've gotten a promotion from Daddy, b/c last season he reffed the women's games and was an AR for the men's games.

3 -- Derek Shepherd
4 -- Todd Anderson
5 -- Justin Brown
7 -- Don Adam
8 -- Tom Sterns
9 -- C.J. Beaurline
10 -- Peter Friesema
11 -- Tim Walsh
12 -- Butch Mousseaux
14 -- Brian Thul
15 -- Marco Hunt
17 -- Craig Welker
18 -- Max Battimo
20 -- Brad Albers
22 -- Bill Mason
23 -- Matt Ulwelling
24 -- Jon Campion
25 -- Mike McCreary
27 -- Jonathan Morrison
29 -- Scott Bokal
31 -- Brett Klosowski
33 -- Brad Shepherd

Dowell back up to Chicago

Looks like Jake Dowell was called back up to Chicago for tonight's game v. the Wild. Yay!

I, however, just figured out that I don't get Versus anymore on Directv, so I guess I won't be watching the game. Bummer.

EDIT: Oooh, wait, I *can* watch, via this link courtesy of the kids on the Hawks message board. :-)

EDIT: Video keeps freezing up on me; I'm using the radio link from the Hawks website now. :-(

UPDATE -- In 5:11 TOI (4:35 EV, :36 SH), Dowell was held off the scoresheet but had 3 hits. Oh, and 5 for fighting, as already mentioned by HatchetJoe. Hawks win 3-1.

Monday morning odds & ends

  • Todd Milewski is trying out a new weekly installment on his USCHO From the Press Box blog, and I gotta tell ya, I like it. In this week's "What I Think", Milewski talks about minnesota being shutout in 2 consecutive games for the 1st time since 1930 (0-0 tie w/ Tulsa Athletic Club and 2-0 loss to Wisconsin), defending national champ BU's opening season losses to Notre Dame, George Gwozdecky's 500th win, Wisconsin's terrible CFBs, Michigan Tech's brutal PK (60% overall), and his Top 20.
  • Andy Baggot covers some of the same ground in his "The weekend that was in the WCHA" blog post. Baggot chose to look at the bright side of things regarding Tech's brutal PK and their being swept by CC this weekend. CC converted on 8 of 14 PPs, but hey, at EV, Tech outscored CC 5-2. Go TECH?
  • I missed a couple of Jake Dowell and Jack Skille blurbs over on the Rockford Icehogs blog last week:
    10/21/09
    Lead By Example: Since being named team captain on Friday, centerman Jake Dowell has taken over the team lead in points and assists, a spot the third-year pro is not used to being in. In the last two games, Dowell has factored in on 71% of Rockford goals, recording two helpers on Friday and three on Saturday. Before this season, Dowell had five career multi-point games (one in 2006-07, two in 2007-08 and two in 2008-09). The Eau Claire, Wis. native now has three in 2009-10.

    Jack Skille will also go tonight for Rockford and he’ll be my first intermission guest. Some interesting stuff and for a sneak peak, click here. Say what you want about Skille, he’s been great through this whole up and down process with the Blackhawks and is carrying a great attitude.
  • Baggot has an article about Mark Johnson's sabbatical from the Badgers this year. Dang, I really need to do an update of the Women's National Team and the Qwest Tour, don't I?
  • Back in September, Baggot had an article about the plans for the new UW hockey rink being in jeopardy. And the same topic is in the news again this month. (Thanks to DPlaya for the heads-up on the 2nd link.)
  • I've been AWOL in my coverage of TW because I simply don't have time. But DPlaya and Walby have been terrific (thanks, guys!), so I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you to check both of their sites for TW Major and TW Minor updates. Go TW!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tom Bardis, Ice Muskie

Apparently former Badger Tom Bardis is now an Ice Muskie. Or as TH might say, HE'S A FREAKIN' HOCKEY FISH. (I actually knew this last weekend but forgot to post it. Sorry!)

The Ice Muskies' website leaves a bit to be desired, as does the AAHL website. So I can't actually find Bardis on the roster. But I know he had an assist in their first preseason game on Oct 16 (9-3 win over Chicago) b/c it's mentioned in the recap, and I know he played in the first regular season game on Oct 23 (8-7 SO loss to Evansville) b/c bucky15 saw him play and mentioned it on uscho.

I was surprised that in the recap Bardis was referred to as a former Badger defenseman. I thought he was a forward at both SLU and UW. I know he practiced with the D during the year he sat out due to transferring, but I thought he played F during the few games that he played last season. (I know my memory stinks, but I can't imagine I'd screw that up.) I'm assuming he's playing at F for the Muskies and that the defenseman reference was an error, but what the heck do I know?

EDIT: On uscho, uwbadgers14 indicated that Bardis was moved to D in the middle of Friday's game because "the D was so brutal Friday night".

Dowell reassigned to Rockford / Adam Burish interview

Called up for 1 game with the Hawks last night, Jake Dowell was sent back to Rockford today. Bummer. Rockford's next game is Wed @ Chicago Wolves.

Adam Burish talked about his knee injury and rehab (and some other stuff) in this HawksCast interview -- skip to 12:20 or so and listen through 24:40.

(photo from icehogs.com)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jake Dowell recalled to Chicago

The Icehogs captain was called up to Chicago today and played in Hawks' 2-0 win over the Preds tonight. He saw 7:26 of ice time (6:50 EV, 0:36 SH) and recorded 3 SOG. In case you forgot from preseason, Dowell is now wearing #28 for the Hawks (same as for the Icehogs), rather than the #49 he wore last year.

MHKY G4: Mavericks 3 - Badgers 2

2 thoroughly disgusting checks from behind from Wisconsin in less than 5 minutes tonight, and Mankato takes the lead on the second. Karma. -- Todd Milewski via twitter

I don’t think we came with the same fire we had last night. -- Mike Eaves

It's disappointing because we didn't do the things that we needed to do. Our expectations are high and we didn't get done what we needed to do. -- Mike Eaves

You know, when the game was tied at 2, I thought the Badgers were going to win. They didn't come out with as much intensity as the night before, but I thought maybe they were starting to grab the momentum. Then they took 2 consecutive CFB penalties, and nothing good can come of that. Along with the 5-min majors, C Smith got a 10-min game DQ and will be out next Friday, whereas McDonagh just got a 10-min misconduct. (On the radio, Oz said he thought McD should've gotten a DQ as well, and in the game recaps Eaves basically says the plays were stupid and that penalties were deserved.)

3 stars of the Game per Cerniglia/Posick
1. Brendan Smith - 1 G 1 A
2. Blake Geoffrion - 1 G 1 A
3. Austin Lee

Subway Sub(s) of the Game per Cerniglia/Posick
- 6 Mankato players (5 skaters who didn't play Friday and goaltender Austin Lee)

In case you missed it
I don't have Charter so I didn't see the game, but apparently in the 2nd period Podge Turnbull had a goal that didn't count, even though it went in the net before the play was whistled dead. “He (Beaurline) told me he was in the act of blowing the whistle and that’s a rule,” Eaves said. “If it’s his intent to blow the whistle, the play is dead. Judgment call.”

Shootout winner revisited
This week, Michael Davies won the weekly shootout, and it seems that he played pretty well this weekend. Last week, Podge Turnbull won and played pretty well v. CC. I kind of like this trend. (Of course, I'd like the trend a whole lot more if the Badgers were getting some more W's.)

box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats, uscho
recaps: uwbadgers, msumavericks, Baggot (WSJ), Frederick (Mankato Free Press), Berhow (USCHO), Worgull (BN, premium content), Wodon (CHN)
game blogs: Capobianco (uwbadgers), Worgull (BN), Frederick (Mankato Free Press)
postgame interviews: uwbadgers*

*I don't see a postgame link yet, but I'll try to add it in later

WHKY G6: Badgers 5 - Buckeyes 3

"In a physical battle, Wisconsin downed OSU 5-3 to split the series 1-1." -- Boscacci via twitter

"I was impressed with the emotion--both players in the game and our bench. It showed our level of emotion and it helped us stay composed under pressure. They didn't let it get in their heads, but they responded and kept battling." -- Tracey Dekeyser
Becca Ruegsegger made 17 saves for the win. Brooke Ammerman scored the 1st penalty shot goal in Badger Women's Hockey history.

box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
recaps: uwbadgers, ohiostatebuckeyes, WSJ

Saturday Night Lineup: Gudmandson In Goal

Same lineup tonight for the Badgers as they take on Minnesota State looking for a sweep with the exception of Scott Gudmandson in goal. It looks as if we're going to see Bennett on Fridays and Gudmandson on Saturdays at least for the near future. I think that's smart move at this point of the young season. Ton's of changes for Mankato tonight. Here is the lineup per Andy Baggot.

Wisconsin

F Andy Bohmbach-Blake Geoffrion-Patrick Johnson
F Jordy Murray-Derek Stepan-Craig Smith
F John Mitchell-Ben Street-Ben Grotting
F Michael Davies-Aaron Bendickson-Podge Turnbull

D Brendan Smith-John Ramage
D Cody Goloubef-Justin Schultz
D Ryan McDonagh-Jake Gardiner

G Scott Gudmandson

Minnesota State Mankato

F Geoff Irwin-Rylan Galiardi-Mike Louwerse
F Adam Mueller-Zach Harrison-Jerad Stewart
F Mouillierat-Andrew Sackrison-Eriah Hayes
F Brett Peterson-James Galrupp-Tyler Thompson

D Ben Youds-Tyler Elbrecht
D Channing Boe-Joe Schiller
D Nick Canzanello-Cameron Cooper

G Lee

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also of note, if you have Charter digital cable in the state of Wisconsin, try channel 87 which is Charter Extra. They carried the game last night and may be doing the same tonight. Go Bucky.

A few alumni updates

  • While the Sharks are nearing the end of a 6-game road trip, Joe Pavelski has been skating at Sharks Ice in San Jose while rehabbing an lower body injury. When the injury was announced on Oct 5, he was expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks. No word on current expectations for his return.
  • Speaking of Pavs, he recently took part in the Reading is Cool program, stopping by a San Jose middle school to read to and talk to some 2nd-graders
    “If I can’t be on the road with the team, I’m glad I was able to get out into the community,” said Pavelski, who is currently sidelined with minor lower body injury. “It’s not something I get to do very often and the kids were awesome.”

    “Those kids were all over the place. They wanted to be doctors, artists, pilots and teachers. It was great! It reminded me about my own dreams growing up and how lucky I am to have been able to achieve them,” Pavelski noted.
  • It's no surprise that Dany Heatley is not concerned with public perception, but hey, I'm glad he likes it in San Jose.
  • Tom Gilbert now has 7 TVs in his basement and dressed up as a cowgirl for the Oilers Halloween party. Good ol' Tom's blogs are always, ummm, interesting, but I think he's funny. Luv ya, Tom!
  • Chris Chelios made his Wolves debut on Friday in the Wolves' 1-0 shootout loss to the Manitoba Moose. I can't post the picture here, but Ross Dettman (who I had the pleasure of chatting with when we went to the Rockford/Wolves game) has a fantastic pic of Cheli during Wednesday's practice. It's picture 23 (2nd to last pic) of the Wolves' Week in Pictures.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Davis Drewiske signs 3-yr extension w/ Kings

Kings sign Quick, Drewiske to 3-year extensions
The Los Angeles Kings solidified their goaltending and defense Friday, signing goalie Jonathan Quick and defenseman Davis Drewiske to three-year contract extensions.

Drewiske, 24, is in his second NHL season and has played in all 10 Kings' games to date, scoring 1 goal and 2 assists and a team leading plus-6.

Drewiske made his NHL debut with the Kings last season and appeared in 17 games, picking up 3 assists and 18 penalty minutes. He also played in 61 games with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs last season, scoring 1 goal and 13 assists.

(Thanks to Capo for the heads-up, as he mentioned this in today's live blog.)

MHKY G3: Badgers 6 - Mavericks 0

"They beat us all over the ice. We let them take it to us and we didn’t answer. They won every facet of the game: face-offs, lose-puck battles, they won every little battle tonight and you’re not going to beat anyone in this league with an effort like that." -- Mavericks forward Kael Mouillierat

"Our first goal was to come out and play hard. We wanted to come out and established our heart. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play against CC both nights. We did that tonight. The next step is coming out and being consistent, coming out the same way.” -- Blake Geoffrion

"It’s a step in the right direction. It’s our team maturing and knowing what to do. Guys weren’t selfish out there, even with a 3-0 lead. That’s good for our team." -- Blake Geoffrion


Cerniglia said one of the best things about tonight (besides 6 Badger goals, of course!) was that we didn't have to listen to the stupid Ole song. Good point, Mike!

Scoring 6 goals seems like a great way to avoid blowing a 3-goal lead or blowing a 3rd period lead. I think the Badgers should continue along on this path . . .

Nice to see 40 SOG, especially as it seems that a lot of them were good ones. Also nice to limit the opponent to 19 SOG. Can't complain about that. I didn't watch the game, but it certainly sounded like the Badgers dictated play.

Also nice to hear that Michael Davies competed hard and played well. His physical play was mentioned quite a bit by Posick/Cerniglia.

Oh, and isn't it nice for the Badgers to get their 1st win @ Mankato since Dec 11, 2004?

3 stars of the Game per Cerniglia/Posick
1. Brendan Smith - 1 G, 1A, 8 SOG, +1
2. Michael Davies - 2 A, 2 SOG, +2, physical presence
3. Brett Bennett - shutout

Subway Sub of the Game per Cerniglia/Posick
Mike Davies

box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats, uscho
recaps:
- uwbadgers: Badgers Melt MSU to get first victory
- msumavericks: Mavericks absorb 6-0 home loss to #18 Wisconsin Friday
- Baggot (WSJ): Badgers' six-pack breaks the ice
- Frederick (Mankato Free Press): Badgers silence Mavericks
- Berhow (USCHO): Badgers maul Mavericks
- Worgull (BN): Maverick Hunters (premium content)
- Wodon (CNN): Game Gab - Nightly post game analsyis
game blogs: Capobianco (uwbadgers), Worgull (BN), Frederick (Mankato Free Press)
postgame interviews: uwbadgers

WHKY G5: Buckeyes 4 - Badgers 3

"It demonstrated to themselves and to us that they have the ability to come back after a three-goal deficit. So it's there, it's just a matter of being consistent for 60 minutes." -- Tracey DeKeyser
The Badger Women rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the 3rd, but the Buckeyes scored again to win 4-3. Bummer.

Becca Ruegsegger recorded 23 saves in the loss.

box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
recaps: uwbadgers, ohiostatebuckeyes, WSJ

Recruiting: Statistical Updates

I've updated the recruiting stat sheets which you can find here. I've also taken screen shots for those of you too lazy to follow the link. My goal is to update them weekly but once a month is more realistic at this point. Surprise surprise, Mark Zengerle is off to a fast start leading the BCHL in scoring.

As for the potential recruits section, obviously this is far from gospel. But it should be a somewhat helpful source for follwing some potential Badgers.

Again, as always, tips, coments, concerns, and questions are always appreciated. Feel free to leave comments below or e-mail me at chuckschwartz@live.com







Click on image to enlarge

Joe Pavelski is a lousy detective

Props to Capo for pointing out this SJS commerical . . .

Skille back to Rockford (really this time), Bourque makes INCH's napkin

Kuc (Chicago Tribune): Arrival of Blackhawks winger Andrew Ebbett ends Jack Skille's travels from Rockford for now
Waiver pickup from Ducks takes spot on fourth line

The arrival of Andrew Ebbett to the Blackhawks has put a halt -- at least temporarily -- to Jack Skille's up-and-down season.


Ebbett, who was claimed off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, has joined the Hawks' fourth line, and Skille will remain in Rockford when the Vancouver Canucks visit the United Center on Wednesday night.

Skille had been shuffling from the Hawks to Rockford of the AHL on non-game days in an effort to save money.

"We have 12 forwards here right now, and Jack is not going to be here Wednesday," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Our staff really liked the addition (of Ebbett). He can really help us in a lot of ways. He can play center and he can play wing and he can make plays."

INCH's Found on a Cocktail Napkin: Nine ex-collegians off to fast NHL starts
• Rene Bourque (Wisconsin): Bourque is the leading scorer (11 points) for Calgary, the NHL's highest-scoring team. The Flames are tied with surprising Colorado for the Western Conference lead.

It's Friday, I'm in Love

Saturday, wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday, never hesitate . . .



BADGER MEN @ mankato, FRI 7:30 PM / SAT 7 PM
This is the exact type of game that we need to play to establish who we want to be. We’re going to a tough environment, and I expect this group to play well and bounce back. -- Mike Eaves

We have got to get rid of that bad taste. This weekend is a good opportunity to do that. -- Derek Stepan
UW: 0-1-1 overall, 0-1-1 WCHA
Mankato: 2-2-0 overall, 0-2- WCHA (last weekend swept by Duluth, 5-2, 3-2)

You can find Gandalf's preseason look at Mankato here.

Gameday Links

TV: Charter channel 87 statewide in MN and WI (per mavhockey on uscho)
Radio: Madison - WIBA 1310
Audio webstream: uwbadgers (link is in the calendar, free this week per Capobianco)*, msumavericks
Video webstream: B2live ($7)
Live stats: msumavericks
Live blog: Capobianco (uwbadgers)**, Worgull (BN)***, Frederick (Mankato Free Press)

* Capo said it's free, but it seems to want me to register, and to do that it wants me to pick a package.

** I can't find the direct link to Capo's blog anymore, but I'm sure it'll be linked on the men's hockey homepage

*** Again, I don't have the direct blog link, but Worgull says it should be linked on the front page.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
Hmmm, last week Podge Turnbull won the weekly shootout along with a spot in the lineup (and looked pretty good all weekend, I thought), and this week MIKE DAVIES won the shootout along with a spot in the lineup . . .

Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - P Johnson
Mitchell - Street - Grotting
Murray - Stepan - C Smith
Turnbull - Bendickson - Davies

McDonagh - Gardiner
Goloubef - Schultz
Smith - Ramage

Bennett
Gudmandson

Bennett gets the nod tonight. As usual, no word on who will start on Saturday, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Gudmandson.

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
msumavericks: preview, game notes
Baggot (WSJ): Badgers vs. Minnesota State-Mankato
Baggot (WSJ): Badgers have been cold as ice in Mankato
Worgull (BN): Finding the Inner Smith (premium content)
Henson (Badger Herald): Badgers to Battle WCHA foe Minnesota State
Savidge (Daily Cardinal): Badgers look for road win against Mavericks

If you don't normally read the campus papers' articles, check out the Henson article, as it has a bunch of good quotes.

And I'll forgive Savidge the typo in the subheader (The Wisconsin men's basketball team will face Minnesota State this weekend) b/c the article includes a Bohmber quote and a Bohmber pic. BOHMBER!

Other Articles/Links
Baggot (WSJ blog): Geoffrion cleared to play; Bennett will start
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves sees progress from Davies
Worgull (BN): Answering Questions (premium content)
Frederick (Mankato Free Press): MSU's Mouillierat among WCHA's elite

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA
INCH: Friday Four-cast (national notebook); Net Results for Colorado College, Wisconsin; First Shift (national notebook)


BADGER WOMEN v. ohio state, FRI/SAT 7 PM (Kohl Center)

UW: 2-2-0 overall, 2-2-0-0 WCHA
OSU: 1-2-3 overall, 1-2-1-0 WCHA (last week won 5-2 and tied 2-2 (lost in shootout) @ Bemidji)

Gameday Links
TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting
Video webstream: bigtennetwork ($2.99)*
Live stats: uwbadgers - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: none (away games only)

*uwbadgers will no longer be streaming the games for free.

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
ohiostatebuckeyes: preview, game notes
Donohue (Badger Herald): Hockey looking for steady play

Other Articles/Links
Augustine: Highlight video of all Badger goals so far this season
Augustine: Highlight video of red/white scrimmage goals

With a bye last weekend, Olivia Jakiel took the week off her blog.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A few Thursday morning items

  • I'm sure you've noticed that uwbadgers.com has updated its site, and the links to the men's and women's homepages have changed.
  • Blake Geoffrion was back at full practice yesterday per Capobianco, and Andy Baggot reports that Geoffrion will be back in the lineup this weekend. Geoffrion's return to the lineup knocks Thurber out, and it looks like Davies' inclusion knocks Dolan out. Baggot also mentioned that Murray and Grotting sat out portions of practice, suggesting they may be a bit banged up. Oh, and B Smith is back on D.
  • The Badger Women are back in action this weekend after a bye week. The week before that, Olivia Jakiel had been hospitalized after a collision. There hasn't been any specific news on her status, but as mentioned before she did return home with the team, and she did write her blog following her return, so I'd expect that she's good to go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adam Burish / Jake Dowell

A few days ago, I posted a picture of a father and son who had Dowell posters at the Wolves/Icehogs game in Chicago, and I thought they might like these pictures of Adam Burish and Jake Dowell. Both photos are courtesy of Neil Ament.

I was hoping to hear the story of why Jake is their favorite player, and their wife/mom was kind enough to share it with me, and I gotta tell ya, it's a pretty good story.

Apparently the dad had met Adam Burish and some of the other Hawks at work, and on his son's birthday he happened to be texting Adam. He mentioned it was his son's birthday and asked if Adam might wish him a happy birthday. (On the phone, maybe?) Half an hour later, Adam, Jake, and Brian Campbell showed up at the house and played baseball with the birthday boy and shot Nerf rockets with his sister. Cool birthday for a young hockey player, eh? (Seriously, nice work, guys!)

And as to why Dowell (as opposed to the other 2) became the birthday boy's favorite player? "He's the best baseball player." Excellent! :-)

I might as well take this opportunity to mention that Dowell had 2 assists on Friday (4-1 win over Chicago) and 3 assists on Saturday (4-1 win over Peoria). Nice!

As I mentioned previously, Dowell was named Rockford's captain on Saturday. In the post, I think I mistyped a bit and wasn't clear when I wondered about the implications of him getting the "C", and so I thought I'd take this opportunity to clarify. I had wondered if it implied that the organization didn't see him going anywhere, when what I really meant was that I wondered if it implied that the organization didn't see him moving up to Chicago this season. An important distinction, I think, because I'd hate to give the false impression that I thought the organization didn't see him going anywhere in general. (It was clear in my head when I wrote it.) Given the Hawks depth at F this season, they don't have a lot of room to move guys up right now, and so unfourtunately it's likely that he will be in Rockford for much of this season anyway. And if he's going to be in Rockford anyway, I suppose he might as well have the "C", because I'm sure he's earned it. He's a good player, a good leader, and a hard worker, and it's nice to see that recognized. (Dang, I wish he were in Chicago, though!)

Anyway, thanks again to my new friends in Chicago for letting us take their picture and for sharing their story. And since I like the picture so much, I'm going to go ahead and post it again. :-)

Go Gold Mites!

Derek Lee update

Most of you have probably already seen these, as I should've posted them yesterday, but I figured I might as well post them now anyway. Both are from Baggot's blog.

Lee practices, but UW debut remains on hold

Five good minutes with Derek Lee

The NCAA says Lee took a required course too late. Lee has appealed, and now that the appeal is official, Lee can practice with the team. I might've missed it, but I didn't see any expected timeframe for a decision by the NCAA, although Eaves did say that the UW would appeal further if Lee's appeal is rejected.

I feel bad for Lee, as it sounds like he tried to do everything right. I hope this gets straightened out soon.

Baggot: Michael Davies Status Update

Andy Baggot has an update for us this morning on senior forward Michael Davies who was a healthy scratch last weekend against Colorado College. If you read the blog you probably saw that I had steam coming out of my ears over the decision to sit Davies.

Mike Eaves claims that he has seen some progress from Davies in two practices since the decision to sit his top returning goal scorer. "He's just got to keep building on that and then we need to make a decision,'' Eaves said.

Eaves was asked if he'd previously settled for less than the maximum effort from Davies. "We've always battled it,'' Eaves said. "This is another attempt on our part to make that happen in terms of reaching his potential.''

Let me state this for the record again, I understand why Eaves sat Davies last weekend. I understand why he has sat him in the past. I still disagree with it. We have seen two years in a row how thin of a line it is to get into the NCAA tournament. We CANNOT afford to be sitting our top goal scorers because of Eaves thinks he's this bad ass disciplinarian. Last season all we needed was one, ONE more win or tie and we would have been in the NCAA tournament. Eaves needs to find better ways to motivate his players, especially players that are proven goal scorers.

Friday night we had plenty of chances to score goals, but we didn't because there is, and has been a severe lack of goal scorers on our roster since Joe Pavelski went to the NHL. Realistically, the only proven goal scorers on our roster this season are Michael Davies and Derek Stepan. Do you honestly trust ANYONE else to put up goals on a consistent basis? Other top teams in the country have 4-5 big time producers. Players like Bohmbach and Street and Geoffrion and Mitchell are very nice forwards don't get me wrong. But those players are not top end point producers at this level.

After a game where we put up 40 plus shots and lost, and a game where we only scored one goal, it would be an absolute travesty if Michael Davies is not in the lineup this weekend at Mankato. I find it funny how after our anemic performance offensively last weekend all of a sudden Eaves says that Davies is starting to "get it." What a cop out. Eaves realizes this team is going no where offensively without Davies.

Eaves did the same thing with Tom Gorowsky up until his senior season. I realize that Tommy wasn't the greatest skater but he proved throughout his hockey career that he was a big time point producer at every single level. Eaves continued to sit him. What did Goro do with extended playing time? He produced at a high level.

The fact remains that this team is absolutely loaded and there is no question that at a big time program like Wisconsin, the "what have you done for me lately" attitude applies. Yes Eaves won a championship, but a ton of the players that led them to the title were Sauer recruits. Since the title all we've done is crap in our pants. This is a HUGE season in terms of Eaves job status.

Go Badgers

Photo by Melody Hasse

chuckschwartz@live.com

Around the WCHA: First Full Docket

Last week’s results

Denver split w/ Ohio State: 2-0, 0-4
UW salvaged 1 pt from CC: 2-3, 1-1
Duluth swept Mankato: 5-2, 3-2
North Dakota took 3 pts from minnesota: 4-0, 3-3
St. Cloud won/tie w/ Union: 3-3, 3-1
UAA beat Rensselaer and lost to Robert Morris: 3-0, 3-5

Denver’s freshman goalie Adam Murray is really struggling, his GAA is 4.72. Gwoz is going to have to wise up and bench him if he can’t pull it together w/ conference play starting, and super soph Joe Colbourne is out indefinitely w/ a broken finger. North Dakota crushed the gophers on Friday and it appears that Alex “Soft Goal” Wangas might be splitting time in net going forward (probably their only hope of winning). Duluth takes an early WCHA lead.

WCHA Top Performers from last weekend

D Chay Genoway (North Dakota): 3 goals and a force on the PP.
F’s Justin Fontaine, Mike and Jack Connolly (Duluth): 8 goals on the weekend, but it appears Duluth doesn’t have much else.
G Scott Gudmandson (UW): Yeah I know its only been one week, but Scott leads the WCHA in GAA (0.93) and save % (.969).

This week’s schedule

UW @ Mankato – I want to say sweep, but Eaves is 1-7-2 at Mankato, so a split
North Dakota @ UAA – Split
Denver @ minnesota – DU splits again, crushing Wangas, but lose if Murray plays
Duluth @ St Cloud – 3 pts for St Cloud if they shut down Duluth’s trio
Tech @ CC – Tech takes 3 pts on the road

Expansion Corner

Bemidji was off last weekend, but has a pair at N. Michigan this weekend.

Nebraska Omaha won the Ice Breaker a few weekends back and won/tied against Colgate last weekend (1-1, 4-1). They have the weekend off before starting CCHA play.

WCHA Women

minnesota swept the Duluth Foreign Legion: 3-1, 3-0
Ohio State took 3 pts from Bemidji State: 5-2, 2-2
Mankato took 3 pts from North Dakota: 4-2, 1-1

This weekend…

Ohio State @ UW
minnesota @ St Cloud
Bemidji State @ Northeastern
North Dakota @ the DFL

The Badger Women open a four weekend home stand, and definitely need to get things going. W/ the lady gophers’ sweep of the DFL they are way ahead in the WCHA standings already.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don Granato . . . (aw, hell)

You know me; I'm a big Don Granato fan. Loved watching him play for the Badgers and enjoyed seeing him coach in Chicago (the Wolves won both games I went to, guess I should've gone to more games). Plus he's a nice guy who always has time to talk to Badger fans. And so the first thing I said when I saw that he had been fired as the Wolves head coach was "aw, hell".

I don't really care who they hire to replace him, so I haven't looked around at any rumors, but I saw an article that said that replacements were expected to be released tomorrow. *shrug*

I'm sure he'll get another coaching gig somewhere, and I wish him the best of luck in finding a new job.

Chris Chelios will make his Wolves debut on Friday

It is an honor for us to have him. We are very excited to have someone of Chris’ stature join our team. He will be an excellent example for our young players to watch, both on and off the ice.

-- Wolves General Manager Wendell Young

I've got no goal, just keep playing. I'm not going to come out and jeopardize this team's success. It's a challenge. I want to see if I can play.

My son's as old as some of these kids, but it's going to be fun. They're very respectful kids and I intend to have a good time with these guys.

-- Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios has signed a contract with the AHL's Chicago Wolves and will make his debut on Friday v. the Manitoba Moose (Allstate Arena, 7:30 PM).

Wolves press release
Canadian press

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts on Opening Weekend

I’m disappointed after the opening weekend. I’ve never felt this deflated two games into a season, usually it doesn’t even happen. The past few seasons, I was very positive until the very end. I think the Drive for .500 by Christmas proves that.

I have to wonder why Eaves didn’t schedule a real exhibition last weekend in preparation for the opening weekend of play. CC already had three games under their belt and while that didn’t matter on Friday, I think it did Saturday night. Instead of playing a Red/White scrimmage, why not play someone, even St. Norberts. Get the team ready for 60 minutes of a real game.

The real reason I’m disappointed is that Friday was a continuation of the 2nd half of last season: pissing away a game that the Badgers should have won. I don’t care if it was the 1st game, they can’t afford to lose these games this season or any season, first game or last game of the season. You can’t outplay the opponent consistently and come away w/ a loss. Saturday they came out flat, seen that too many times for my enjoyment as well.

I’m sick of the dump and chase. Anyone else out there feel the same way? Why don’t other teams do this every time down the ice? Why do our forwards or dmen skate to the blue line w/ open ice in front of them and still dump it into the corner? Countless times this weekend I watched guys get to the blue line w/ space to still carry the puck in and make something happen, but instead its dumped in. Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but it looked like CC did a great job of defending the dump and chase Saturday, the Badgers couldn’t get anything going. They knew it was coming, because what else would Eaves do? Where is the adjustment in offensive strategy?

Speaking of strategy, the PP was horrible. No one in front of the net, and in typical Badger fashion pass the puck around and around and around until it skips over a stick and over the blue line. When I watch other teams’ PPs I never see this. Teams like Denver or North Dakota have dynamic PPs where guys are moving around and the passes aren’t moving solely on the outer boundary of the offensive zone. I’m beginning to realize how important Jamie McBain was to the PP last season, he ran it like a well oiled machine. One of the offensive blue liners needs to step up ASAP and be that guy and I didn't see it this weekend.

I’m worried about the offense too, after Geoffrion went out w/ injury on Friday, the only line gave me any hope was Bohmbach/Stepan/Smith. On Saturday, it wasn’t much better. Street’s line wasn’t bad, but John Mitchell looked lost out there, Grotting was doing more for the team than Big John. The team needs to finish, I’m always amazed that all the other teams have a bunch of guys around the net regularly on rebounds, and Wisconsin players are still standing by the boards.

Michael Davies needs to pull himself together and get in the lineup right now until the lines click and the goals start flowing the team needs all the skill it can find, but it starts w/ the player. If Davies isn’t going to do it in practice, well that sucks for him. This is his last chance, not only at Wisconsin, but I can’t believe that an AHL contract will be sitting out there for a lazy, apathetic player who doesn’t bring their best effort every night. Come on Michael!!! The fans want to see you out there, time for you to want to see yourself out there and start busting ass.

As for goaltending, I liked Gudmandson on Saturday night. Only goal he let in was on a 5 on 3. Bennett wasn’t bad, but his glove side appears weak, and I’m not a fan of his wanderings. As I discussed w/ 60 and Mr. 60, he reminds of Alex Stalock. If you read the blog, you know I’m not a fan of his wanderings. It doesn’t help when teammates aren’t ready for a long pass from their goalie.

I should cover the positives too. The freshman looked good. Huge fan of Craig Smith, he plays much bigger than his size and like 60 said, he isn’t outstanding at anything, but good at everything. Justin Schultz and John Ramage did not look like the freshmen on the blue line this weekend.

Andy Bohmbach was arguably the best player on the ice throughout the entire weekend. As I mentioned earlier, his line was the best all weekend too, and the only one getting regular chances against CC. It looked like Ben Street was trying too hard on Friday, but it was great to see him back out there. He just needs to find some linemates to get going. Derek Stepan had some sick moves throughout the weekend, he is a special player.

I loved the intensity to start the game on Friday too. Ryan McDonagh’s huge hit set the tone, but then they didn’t keep it up. Things started to unwind after the intensity was benched; that intensity shouldn’t be getting a breather until the final buzzer.

All in all, starting the season out by losing a game like they did regularly down the stretch last season is a bad omen. I know it’s the opening weekend, and things will get better, they have to w/ so much talent on the team, but it needs to click quickly. While Mankato isn’t anything special the season, the Badgers don’t play well there, and then they return home for some tough games against New Hampshire and minnesota. I’m beginning to question Eaves’ coaching too, I want to see some creativity on the PP and something other than the dump and chase. If the well is dry, do you keep going back to it hoping there will be water?

I guess it all came to a head for me Saturday night sitting there, because it was like I was watching last season’s team, struggle w/ the same things that last season’s team struggled w/ and the memory of another game handed to an opponent (Friday night) was very fresh in my memory instead of months in the past.

31 months...

...since the Badgers won a game in OT. March 17, 2007 to be exact. Ben Street scored in OT to beat St. Cloud in the 3rd place game of the Final Five.

Will children born on or after March 18, 2007 ever see the Badger Men win a game in OT?

The OT Futility Counter will NOT return, until I can find one that works properly.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dowell gets the "C" in Rockford

Jake Dowell, who had been serving as alternate captain, was named captain of the Rockford Icehogs yesterday. I have mixed feelings on this. It's really nice that the coaching staff and the team recognize his leadership abilities, but at the same time it also seems to be an indicator that they're not expecting him to go anywhere this season. I know, I know, Chicago has a ton of depth and they can't even keep Skille up on a permanent basis, but you know what I mean, right?

MHKY G2: Tigers 1 - Badgers 1

I was hoping we'd be at the other end of the spectrum, that the offense would come out and create things.

-- Mike Eaves, when asked if he overestimated the offensive potential of his forwards
Recaps: uwbadgers, cctigers, Baggot (WSJ), Paisley (Gazette), Worgull (BN), Worgull (USCHO), Wodon (CHN)
Postgame presser: uwbadgers


A couple of lineup notes from last night. Blake Geoffrion was out with a concussion, so Matt Thurber was in the lineup as a center. Also, Eric Springer replaced Brendan Smith on D.

The Badgers opened the game with the line of Murray-Street-P Johnson, but early in the 3rd Turnbull replaced Johnson and late in the 3rd Mitchell replaced Murray. IIRC (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), the other lines for most of the game were as follows:
Bohmbach - Stepan - C Smith
Mitchell - Dolan - Grotting
Bendickson - Thurber - Turnbull

McDonagh - Gardiner
Goloubef - Schultz
Springer - Ramage
On the radio during the 1st intermission, Oz said the Badgers played flat and weren't moving their feet. Umm, well, yeah. I guess I don't have much more to say than that.

But I liked Scott Gudmandson. A lot. I don't know anything about goaltending, but I thought he looked confident and poised, and I thought he made some pretty good saves. Nice job, Goody, you probably deserved a win.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MHKY G1: Tigers 3 - Badgers 2

We put 41 shots on the kid (and) only get two goals. We got to keep getting those pucks at the net, but we got to get there and bang in those rebounds. It’s frustrating when you feel like you did a lot of good things … and pretty much dominated the game for a lot of it and still come out with a loss.

-- Ben Street

Recaps: uwbadgers, cctigers, Baggot (WSJ), Paisley (Gazette), Worgull (BN), Worgull (USCHO), Wodon (CHN)
Box: collegehockeystats, USCHO
Photos: Schreiner (WSJ)

A quick preliminary for those who didn't see/listen to the game and who haven't read any recaps yet. Geoffrion got banged up (Baggot said he was woozy) in the 1st and didn't return to the game. Baggot says it's unknown if he'll be available tonight, but I'd be surprised to see him tonight because ya gotta be careful with that sort of thing. Also, if you noticed that Brendan Smith didn't play in the 3rd, Baggot indicates that Eaves benched him (ie not an injury).

Ok, moving on to the game. I think we probably should've won that one last night, but there were a few defensive breakdowns and some goaltending difficulties perhaps, and CC capitalized, and there ya go. Bummer.

But most of the first 2 periods were fun, and I saw a lot of things I liked. Just my opinion, of course, so take it for whatever it's worth. A lot of players looked like they were working hard and had good energy, and I liked that a lot.

There were a half-a-dozen players who caught my eye, and I'll go through them in order of when they caught my eye.

The 1st player I liked, of course, was Andy Bohmbach; I thought he looked pretty good. Timothy A says Bohmber's not a goal-scored (but I still like ya, Tim, I don't hold it against you), but I think in his mind Tim has Bohmber pigeon-holed as a gritty 4th-line type of guy, and I think Bohmber has shown he can finish and score some goals, and I think he also can create opportunities. He seems like a smart player who has decent vision on the ice. Tim's right that Bohmber is a gritty player and works hard, and that's part of why I like him -- he had some nice defensive work that led to offensive opportunities, he kept some offensive plays going when they looked like they were going to fall apart, and he works hard all game. But there's more to him as a player than that, and I'm wondering when Tim will see it. HEY TIM, WHATCHA THINK? (Poor Tim, you know I only call ya out because I like you.)

The 2nd player who really grabbed my attention was Podge Turnbull. I hadn't been looking specifically for him, but he grabbed my eye on a number of occasions (especially in the first 2 periods), and I told Mr 60 a number of times that I thought he looked good. Podge looked like he liked being in the lineup and wanted to stay there. And based on his effort and performance last night, I think he should stay there. I told this to Mr 60, but I don't think he was listening to me, so I told nubeetle, and nu agreed.

I'm going to write a bit more about Turnbull than the other players b/c I think there's a good story here with him coming off somewhat of a rough season last year. I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Turnbull and didn't care for his play last year, but yesterday I remarked to Chuck that I was interested in seeing him play last night because I had heard from a friend of mine that for various reasons we might expect to see something more from him this season. Of course, by game time, I forgot that I wanted to watch him, but luckily Podge went ahead and reminded me by playing well enough to make me notice.

You know, when Turnbull got the nod over Davies, Eaves comments didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about either player, because he said that Turnbull "didn't exactly grab the position away from Davies, but did enough to merit the first crack at ice time." But now I think Turbull has grabbed the position from Davies. I think Davies will get into the lineup sooner rather than later, but I don't think it will be (nor should it be) at the expense of Turnbull, at least not based on last night.

Yeah, I know, I'm basing a lot on one game, but I have no reason to think that Turbull won't continue to play hard and play well like he did last night. I'll say this for Podge -- he's shown commitment to the program and to earning a spot on the team. Going into the offseason, Podge was looking at a team with 19 forwards, and he was on the outside looking in. But even before the numbers got trimmed to 16 (which is still a lot of depth), I hear that he was firm on staying with the Badgers and doing whatever it took to make the team. Ya gotta admire that. I'll admit to being somewhat skeptical on his chances, but despite not previously being a big fan of his, I can honestly say I'm happy to see him successful. Who doesn't like a story about a kid coming off a rough season, working hard, getting in the lineup, and winning over fans with his play? Personally, I love that kind of stuff.

The 3rd player I liked a lot was Derek Stepan. Honestly, can anyone say they don't like Derek Stepan? He gave us what we expected and hoped for based on his play last season -- he just keeps getting better. He's got moves, he creates opportunities, he's smart, and someday I'm going to give him a St. Stepan's Day Holiday. What else can I say?

The 4th player who caught my eye was Jordy Murray. He looked like he was playing hard, and I thought he made some good plays. I kept telling Mr 60, "I like Murray a lot tonight!" Again, I don't think Mr 60 was listening to me, but that's alright, I'll just keep telling others.

The 5th player I liked a lot was Craig Smith. This is only the 2nd time I've seen him play (Gandalf has seen him more), but he looked to me like he's a smart player. He looked smart on the ice and like he was seeing things well. And I get the impression that he's the type of player to work hard at all the little things. He might not be the fastest skater or the most talented player, but neither is Joe Pavelski. Now clearly Pavs has a lot of talent, but he's not the best at any particular thing -- he's smart and he works hard at all the little things, and those things combined with his talent make him extremely successful.

The 6th player who caught my eye was Justin Schultz. I thought he looked good for his 1st NCAA appearance. I don't think he looked out of place defensively, and he's got a heck of a shot. Cerniglia says it's the hardest shot on the team and that Schultz tries not to hurt teammates in practice, lol. You know, I like Schultz's pairing with Goloubef a lot. They both feel solid to me. And you know me; I'm already a huge Cody Goloubef fan. So now I'm a Justin Schultz fan too, and I gotta tell ya, I like 'em paired together.