Friday, January 14, 2011

Badgers blanked at new Amsoil Arena

Some nights you just can't seem to catch a break. Friday night seemed to be one of those for the Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey team. Fifth ranked Minnesota-Duluth's two first period power play goals would hold up for a 2-0 WCHA victory.

Bulldogs goaltender Kenny Reiter (pictured), a junior from Pittsburgh got the shutout. Reiter also shut out the Badgers last season in Duluth at the old DECC. Reiter stopped all 22 Wisconsin shots on Friday night en route to the doughnut.

Wisconsin controlled play early in the game but Reiter came up with a few keys saves to weather the storm. Duluth would jump on the score sheet 13:17 in to the first period on the power play. Duluth forward Justin Fontaine, who was playing the point on the power play snuck in and found a loose puck in the slot and beat Gudmandson to give the Bulldogs a lead they would never relinquish.

Three and a half minutes later the Bulldogs would extend their lead, once again on the power play when Mike Connolly buried another power play goal.

The Badgers would regroup in the second period creating multiple scoring opportunities but were never able to find the twine.

Give credit to Duluth in the third period as they played smart, defensive hockey and shut down the Badgers. They worked the clock and limited the Badgers chances.

Reiter would finish the game with 22 saves. Wisconsin's Scott Gudmandson would finish with 25 saves on 27 shots.

An interesting note Friday night was the fact that Wisoconsin suited up 7 defenseman, inserting Joe Faust into the lineup. We found out why during the broadcast when it was brought to our attention by the UMD radio crew that the Badgers had been hit by the flu bug. Most notably, star sophomore Justin Schultz was feeling the affects of the virus. Schultz only played on the power play most of the first and second period and finally started to see a 5 on 5 shift late in the third period. No word on how many Badgers were affected.

The Badgers will be back in action on Saturday night to avenge the Friday night loss. I think it's safe to assume that senior backstop Scott Gudmandson will be back between the pipes for the Badgers.

chuckschwartz@live.com
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