Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big weekend for Schultz leads to win, tie

When pondering where Wisconsin was going to replace the huge void of points that left the program after last seasons National Championship run, most of the talk centered around a heralded freshman forward class and what current forwards in the program were going to step up to the dish.

Maybe the defensemen were overlooked. Friday night vs eighth ranked Michigan junior defenseman Jake Gardiner recorded what we thought was the first hat trick by a defenseman since Barry Richter in the early 1990's. We later learned that his first tally would be awarded to senior captain Sean Dolan.

Not to be over shadowed, silky sophomore Justin Schultz (pictured) made sure the long streak of no defensemen with hat tricks came to an end on Saturday burying the biscuit three times en route to a dominating 4-1 victory over Michigan State leading Spartan coach Rick Comley to proclaim that Schultz is "dynamic."

In Andy Baggot's game article, he talked to Barry Richter who had this to say about Schultz big night: “He’s a special player,” Richter wrote of Schultz in a text message, “so I’m happy it was him.”

On the weekend, Badger defensemen recorded 7 out of the 8 goals. Like already mentioned, Gardiner was credited for 2 goals on Friday with forward Sean Dolan getting credit for a goal and Justin Schultz adding one as well. Freshman defenseman Frankie Simonelli scored the only goal not scored by Schultz on Saturday.

Currently Schultz (19 points in 16 games) and Gardiner (18 points in 16 games) are #1 and #2 respectively in points scored by defensemen in the country at this point in the season. I would expect to see them stay at or near the top of that list all season long if they continue to play the way they are on the offensive side of the puck.

Friday Night: Wisconsin 4, Michigan 4

WSJ (Baggot): Badgers tie Michigan -- and still haven't won in OT since 2007 Badgers open College Hockey Showcase with a tie against Michigan Game Statistics Photos Post Game Press Conference Wolverines earn tie at Wisconsin in battle of power plays Wisconsin rallies to tie Michigan

Saturday Night: Wisconsin 4, Michigan State 1

WSJ (Baggot): Schultz's rare hat trick carries the day Badgers prevail over Michigan State, 4-1 Game Statistics Quotes Post Game Press Conference Spartans fall to Badgers, 4-1 Photo Gallery Schultz hat trick helps Wisconsin beat Michigan Sate, break winless streak

Photo courtesy of RedHeat15