Badgers Remain Undefeated in WCCHA | Home Against Minnesota
The Badgers opened up the second half of the season with a couple of emphatic wins against WCCHA foe Gustavus Adolphus College this past weekend on the road. Still undefeated in conference play, the Badgers look to keep their winning ways going against rival Minnesota as the Gophers come to town for a regular season clash on 1/20 and 1/21 at the Shell.
In game one this weekend the Badgers looked to shake off the rust of the long winter break and get back to scoring. It wouldn't take long for the Badgers as Brendan Doherty cut through the defense with a couple of nifty moves and stuffed it short side high making it 1-0 Badgers just under 5 minutes into the opening period. About the halfway mark of the frame, Gustavus would net the equalizer off a rebound chance, knotting the teams at 1-1. Nearing the end of the period, the Badgers would take a one-goal lead as Ty Bailey found the back of the net with assists going to Tommy Deverell and Owen Phelps! After the first, it is 2-1 Badgers.
The second was all Badgers as we peppered the Gustavus goalie with shots, testing him with every chance. Dominic Valentini would be the guy to add to the Badger goal total at the 11-minute mark in the second! 3-1 good guys with assists going to Travis Kernen and Ian Barbour. Just 5 minutes later, Deverell would net his first of the second half off a point shot to make it 4-1! Ty Bailey and Valentini would get the assists on that goal. The 4-1 lead would hold for the visitors heading into the second intermission.
The third would start a similar way as Valentini netted his second goal and third point of the night just over 4 minutes into the final frame, making it 5-1 Badgers! Ty Bailer and Barbour would receive the assists for Dom's second goal of the night. The Gusties weren't going down easy though as they potted their second of the game shortly after off a good faceoff play, making it 5-2. As the period winded down, the Gusties would get their third of the night to make it 5-3. However, the Badgers would cap off their first victory of the weekend as Kernen found the back of the net again to make it 6-3! Ty Bailey and Valentini would get the assists for the final goal.
Goss played phenomenally in net posting 20 saves on 23 shots. The Badgers outshot the Gusties in game one by a total of 58-23.
Game two proved to be all Badgers as they came out flying in the first. After back-to-back penalties, Kernen netted the first of the contest off a Jake Bailey pass to make it 1-0. After the next faceoff, Kernen was set up by Feldt to make it 2-0 halfway through the first period! That lead would hold heading into the first break.
The second started out just as hot as Barbour would take the puck end to end by himself to make it 3-0 good guys! Pitts finally got the monkey off his back after undressing the Gustie goalie to make it 4-0! Feldt and Gunderson would snag the apples on Pitts' goal. The four-goal lead would last til the end of the period, a commanding lead with 20 minutes to play.
After about 12 minutes of play in the third, Feldt would find Gunderson on a zone entry who would fire it to Vance waiting on the backdoor to extend the Badger lead to 5-0! To cap the weekend, Padilla would fire home a one-timer to make it 6-0 Badgers! The series sweep makes the Badgers 12-0 in WCCHA play thus far and 17-4-0-1 on the season.
Goss had 43 saves in his shutout effort, but the number may have been slightly inflated. Nevertheless, Sean played great coming up with some huge saves throughout the game!
The Badgers are set to host the Golden Gophers of Minnesota this coming weekend in Madison on Friday and Saturday! Both games will be at the Shell with Friday's puck drop at 8:30pm and Saturday's at 11:00am! This is a pivotal weened for both teams as the number of ACHA Central Rankings begins to dwindle. Currently, the Badgers are ranked 10th and the Gophers are ranked 11th in the Central. And, with this being another WCCHA matchup, it could have playoff implications for the Carla Berg Cup!
We hope to see everyone at the rink this weekend!