Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wisconsin 3 - Minnesota (Sucks) 2

Box Score

Quite the sloppy game at the Target Center tonight, but UW comes away with the victory. The Badgers had a lot of help from a two-goal performance by Craig Smith- who is doing his best to strengthen his case for the WCHA Freshman of the Year award.

I felt like it was a game with a lot of good and a lot of bad- like I said, this was a sloppy game. There were a lot of really bad, undisciplined penalties by both teams. The gophers took a lot of bad penalties in the first, and UW certainly returned the favor in the second. But, there was also a lot of good intensity and when the Badgers were passing well, they looked pretty darn good.

The rodents took the lead with a shortie off of a very poor turnover by Justin Schultz at the blueline. However, Schultz acquitted himself with a nicely excecuted power play, setting himself up at Wangas' weak side and getting an excellent pass from Michael Davies. In between these two goals, Craig Smith had tied the game with a very nice transition goal on the power play. Ben Street took an errant gopher shot that wound up back in the neutral zone, and dished it on up to Jordy Murray, who had Smith on Wangas' left side on an odd man rush.

Some controversy, as the rodents were on the disappointing end of three close calls/goal reviews. The first was a no-brainer: Goody got his stick back after a Jacob "I guess I should've transferred to UW" Cepis breakaway shot hit the crossbar and his leg. The second was tricky. Towards the end of a 5x3 power play, the gophers Mike Hoeffel thought he had banged a rebound past Goody, but he was determined to be in the crease. The differences between the college and NHL rules for crease violations aren't known by everyone- so I do understand the whining that is due to come from rodentsota- but the facts are the facts: the rules dicate that it was a crease violation, thus no goal. Unless the refs just had the rule wrong. But that's crazy talk. I mean, it's not like a WCHA ref would ever screw up a replay. Right?

The third was a close call, after tying the game off of the faceoff in the third, the goofs thought they had a goal, but the net had clearly come off its moorings beforehand, much to Don Lucia's chagrin. Frankly, all three of these "controveries" are pretty open and shut if you ask me, so the outcry ought to be pretty small.

UW broke the tie late in the game with Craig Smith's second goal. Captain Kickass gave a nice feed from the boards to Smith, who sat uncontested just behind the hash marks. Smith had plenty of time to settle the puck and fired a twisted wrister past Kangas for the GWG.