Badgers Advance to Semi-Finals | Defeat St. Thomas
In the opening round of the Carla Berg Cup, the Badgers were looking to advance to the semi-finals for the first time since 2018. It would be a tough first round as the #4 and #5 teams faced off in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Tommies wouldn't have to worry about the bus legs quite like we did, but both teams got off to a slow start thanks to the game before going into a shootout and causing a major delay. Always a bad day to be a Gopher though! St. Cloud State awaited the winner of our tilt.
With Sean Goss between the pipes, and a solid lineup ready to go, the Badgers had one goal - advancing.
After a slow first 5 minutes, the Badgers would open the scoring as Eli Padilla would tip home a shot from Ian Barbour after John Simon won the faceoff on the left side. 1-0 Badgers! A few minutes later, John Simon would take a minor penalty for roughing that still has the coaching staff's heads shaking. No matter though, we killed it off and as our penalty expired, St. Thomas got one of their own for too many men. Our power play would get a few good opportunities but no luck putting one home. The 1-0 lead would hold for the rest of the period and into the first intermission.
The puck would drop in the second and not 3 minutes in, St. Thomas would strike on a tipped of their own, tying the game at 1-1. Three minutes later, the Badgers would go back to the power play. Travis Kernen would tuck one home after Lenny Nunn slap passes to him backdoor to put the Badgers up by one again. Badgers lead 2-1. Minutes later with the Tommies trying to even the score, a scrum ensued after the whistle sending both Quinn Friedow, originally called for tripping, and Jordan Gachman to the box, along with two Tommies. Both teams would play 5 on 5 but with a few men in the box each. Kernen would take a tripping penalty with 6:42 left in the second, we killed that. Then Jake Bailey would take one for high sticking right as Kernen's penalty expired, and we killed that one too. The Badgers would ride their 2-1 lead into the second intermission, gearing up the third to be a good one.
As the third period began, both teams came out flying looking to strike first and hold the other off to come out on top. John Simon would go to the box again early in the third after a questionable call once again. The Badgers penalty kill unit would remain perfect on the night, however. Nearing the halfway point of the period, the Tommies would tie it at 2-2 after a defensive zone breakdown led to a goal. The Badgers would strike back a few minutes later as Brendan Doherty had a nasty tip off another Nunn shot, this time with Andy Pitts giving the first pass. 3-2 good guys with just under 9 to play. Quinn Friedow would gather a boarding call late int he period sending the Tommies to the power play. The bend but don't break penalty kill of the Badgers would come in clutch again though, killing off the minor penalty - back to even strength with just under 5 minutes to go. St. Thomas would pull their goalie with just under a minute to play thanks to strong forechecking by the Badgers. Sean Goss would cap off the night with one huge last second safe at the goal line, giving the Badgers a 3-2 victory!
Eli Padilla - 1G
Travis Kernen - 1G
Brendan Doherty - 1G
Lenny Nunn - 2A
Ian Barbour - 1A
John Simon - 1A
Andy Pitts - 1A
Today the Badgers will face off against the #8 seeded St. Cloud State Huskies. Earlier this year, the two teams played right before Thanksgiving in Madison. Game one saw a late game push to tie by St. Cloud - 4-4 tie. Game two was all Wisconsin though, as they netted 4 goals in the first 6 minutes, chasing the starting goalie early. The Badgers would keep rolling, taking game two by a final of 8-1. Tonight's game is at 5PM on rink one of the Super Rink in Blaine, MN. The team will look to capitalize on a tired, battered Husky team and make it to the Carla Berg Cup Final for the third time. We hope to see you all at the rink!