Sunday, October 31, 2010

Badgers sweep Huskies 5-2, 4-1

Before getting on to the recaps, let me say this: I love Sean Dolan, and you should too. If you didn't see his SH goal last night, let me tell you that it was a thing of beauty. Dolan has really stepped up his play this year, showing skill and consistency, and his goal put an exclamation point on a nice performance by the PK units this weekend.

(As a side note, I forgot to mention Sean Dolan's goal last week. IIRC, he had a nice defensive play in the Badgers' zone, lifting a Denver player's stick, and the subsequent play culminated with Dolan's goal. I think Sean Dolan's progress over the years is a great story, and it's stuff like this that makes me love Badger Hockey.)

Friday: BADGERS 5 - Huskies 2

We outshot them in the first period, but we made two really poor plays on them attacking our blue line and as a result we gave up two goals. But we were doing some decent things, we just made two big mistakes. And I think it was just our ability to hang in there with it, and stay on course and keep working hard and try to work smart. Its interesting to watch this young group because we'll play pretty smart for a while and we'll get away from things that make us play well and we do some real dumb things, and that's just part of our youth that we have on our team. But as the game kept going they stayed with it and their persistence paid off for the tonight. -- Mike Eaves
Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps:
- uwbadgers: Badgers rally to defeat Michigan Tech 5-2
- michigantechhuskies: Wisconsin Rallies for 5-2 hockey win over Michigan Tech
- Baggot (WSJ): Rookies are key in Badgers' comeback
- Daily Mining Gazette: Badger Rally hands Tech first loss
- Bleach (USCHO): Wisconsin scores 5 straight goals, downs Michigan Tech
Photos: Schreiner (WSJ) - includes beautiful pics of one of Mersch's goals and PJ's goal
Game blogs: Capobianco (uwbadgers)
Postgame: press conference, quotes

The Badgers scored a lot of goals this weekend, and I can never remember them all. But I do remember that I liked PJ's goal -- his shots from further out don't seem to be as effective (he seems to like to shoot right into the goalie -- but he's a scrappy player and I like him closer to the net. I was also pretty impressed by Mike Mersch, and Craig Smith did a nice job skating by a couple of Huskies to get the empty-netter.

Saturday: BADGERS 4 - Huskies 1

Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps:
- uwbadgers: Badgers sweep weekend series with Michigan Tech
- michigantechhuskies: Badgers post 4-1 win over Huskies
- Baggot (WSJ): Badgers sweep Michigan Tech
- Daily Mining Gazette:
- Worfull (USCHO): Wisconsin sweeps Michigan Tech
Photos: Steenberg (uwbadgers)
Game blogs: Capobianco (WSJ)
Highlights: uwbadgers
Postgame: press conference, quotes

I'm happy with this weekend; can't complain about a pair of wins. It's nice to see the Badgers be able to come from behind (Tech was up 2-0 on Fri and 1-0 on Sat) to get the wins, and it's nice to see the Badgers win against a big, physical team, as sometimes those teams are problematic for them (eg Mankato, I hate playing them). Going forward, it would be nice to see the Badgers score first and hold on to the lead, which is something they haven't done yet against a quality opponent.

As far as goaltending from this weekend - I like Scott Gudmandson, but his rebound control left quite a bit to be desired on Friday. I thought Bennett looked good on Saturday and played with confidence. I'm happy to see the goaltender rotation again, as I thought it might be a bit soon to pick just 1 guy.

Oh, and regarding the Badgers' D, it's good to know that the Badgers' top guys can play a ton of minutes, but it gives one pause to see the Badgers go mostly with just 4 D (Simonelli and Faust got limited minutes) this early in the season. I'd like to see Simonelli and Faust get more experience, and if there's a lack of confidence in their abilities to play against Michigan Tech, what does that mean for upcoming games against top teams like UMD, UND, etc? I also have a hard time believing we're not going to need these guys down the road, as injuries usually pop up at some point.