Badgers Fall to Eventual Champs in Carla Cup Playoffs
This past weekend, the Badgers traveled to Blaine, MN for the annual WCCHA Carla Berg Cup Playoffs. Coming in as a 5 seed in the Krach rankings, the team's quarterfinal matchup provided a chance for revenge against budding rival, UW-Eau Claire. The game started out as promised, high speed, high intensity. Both teams struggling to find the back of the net. That was until UWEC went up 0-1 with 12:38 left to go in the first. It wasn't until a penalty for each team made play 4-on-4 that the Badgers would even the score as Parker Storck netted his first of the tournament unassisted. That score would stand heading into the first intermission. The even affair would continue for the first half of the second until John Simon found the back of the net with 8:08 to play in the period. His goal was also unassisted. The Badgers would hold onto this lead heading into the second intermission. It didn't take long for UWEC to even things in the third as they made the most of a breakaway with 14 minutes to play tying the game at 2 a piece. Later in the period, as the Badgers were on the power-play, UWEC would net another breakaway to go up 2-3 with 6:46 left. Then, another unfortunate bounce would lead to the Blugolds' third breakaway of the night and the trend would continue; 2-4 with just under 4 minutes to play. After a timeout by Coach Garvey, the Badgers would regroup and begin their attack again, but it was too little too late. Jake Cohn scored with :42 seconds left to make it 3-4 but that would be all for the quarterfinal, sending the Badgers to the consolation bracket.
In the Consolation semi-final, the Badgers squared off against the University of North Dakota; the pair's first game in two seasons. After a hot start from Parker Storck, the team would ride a 1-0 lead into the third. The floodgates started to open after Storck scored his second of the game with 17 to play in the game. From there, John Simon, Jake Cohn, Luke Schammel and Storck would score busting the game open to 6-0. Parker Storck records a hattrick and Sean Goss collects another shutout for his impressive 2019/20 campaign. Unfortunately, due to things getting chippy in the third, the Badgers lost Ripley, Elder and Ranheim to various injuries.
The Badgers looked to finish off their tournament with a big win against Minnesota in the Consolation final. And the boys came to play in their final game before the Central Regional field reveal. After the first, the Badgers held onto a 1-0 lead. Storck would keep his hot streak rolling as he would score his 5th goal of the tournament and Jake Feldt would follow suit, netting the nastiest deflection off a Gentges shot. After the 2nd, it was 3-0 Badgers. Goss continued to stand tall in net, and Jake Cohn would add another to his weekend to make the final score 4-0 Badgers.
Boasting a 2-1 record with a +9 goal differential for the weekend, the Badgers now play the waiting game as the ACHA Central Regional Rankings will come out this Thursday. Currently ranked #10 in the region, the Badgers are hoping their efforts are enough to earn a top 12 finish. This would send the Badgers to their first Regional tournament ever! Regionals are the weekend of February 28th-March 1 in Allendale, MI. Stay tuned for updates from the team! Until then, Roll Badge.