Saturday, January 30, 2010

Duluth 4, Wisconsin 0

Ugh. What a frustrating loss tonight. Duluth came out hard as everyone figured they would and the Badgers had no answer. Junior goaltender Brett Bennett was pulled after giving up two goals on the first three shots of the game for Duluth and Wisconsin simply could not answer.

The Badgers could not not stay out of the penalty box all night, they were whistled for 13 penalties including a 5 minute major on Matt Thurber. One of Wisconsin's biggest strengths is the depth of their forward lines and with all of the penalties they simply could not get into a consistent rhythm. Wisconsin is fourth in the country in penalty minutes per game and that is simply unacceptable if we want to reach the level that we all know we can reach.

In what is becoming an increasingly alarming trend, the Wisconsin power play again looked awful this weekend. I don't understand what is going on because we have the personnel to have an effective power play. I think it may be time to switch Justin Schultz off the point on the first unit and try someone else back there. Maybe switch him out with any one of McDonagh, Gardiner, or Goloubef. Maybe even move Stepan to the middle of the umbrella, move Geoffrion up to Stepans spot and put big John Mitchell out front.

The loss is frustrating but taking two points on the road isn't terrible against a good Duluth squad. If anything this may be a nice wake up call for the boys to make them realize they aren't invincible and they need to play sixty minutes of hockey every single night if they want to win games in this league. This is only a minor setback on our journey.

Some additional reading material for you when you wake up Sunday:

USCHO Recap-Kevin Pates
USCHO Box Score
Badgers fall flat in finale vs. Bulldogs-Andy Baggot
Badgers fall to Bulldogs, 4-0
Bulldogs Bounce Back To Bounce Wisconsin