Carla Berg Final Recap | ACHA Regional Preview
After a hard-fought weekend by the boys in red and white, the Badgers would fall just short of repeating as Carla Berg Champions. The finals matchup was one of speed, skill, physicality, and misopportunity.
In the Final vs. the Tommies, the Badgers set the tone early, snuffing out any offensive prowess the Tommies showed all season long. The first period had some excitement as the Tommies believed to have netted the game's opening tally, but after discussion amongst the officials, the goal was wiped from the board as the net was off its moorings. The first would end in a 0-0 tie, although the Badgers seemed to have life going into the second.
In the second period, both teams showed much of the same - neither wanting to give an inch and looking to strike first. After a shot, a wild rebound, and a bouncing puck to the point in the slot, rookie defenseman Tommy Deverell scored to break the scoreless tie with just under 10 to play in the period! That score would hold firm as Goss held down the backend. 1-0 good guys going into the third!
However, in the third period, the bounces started to favor the Tommies. as the halfway mark of the period came and went, the Badgers were eyeing a narrow win as no offense was to be found for either team. A minute later though, the Tommies would net their first of the game, tying both teams at 1-1. A few minutes later, after a very controversial missed high-sticking call against the Tommies would lead to their first advantage of the game; 1-2 bad guys. On the next shift, a puck would go off the shinpad of a Badger defenseman in front of the net and sneak by Goss making it 1-3 as the period began to dwindle. Behind the 8-ball, the Badgers looked for life. With right around 2:30 to play in the game, Coach Garvey pulled the goalie off a Tommies icing play, setting up the man advantage late in the game looking to net a couple and get this tied up once again. Chance after chance, shot after shot, the Badgers couldn't find any luck. Finally, the puck would rebound out to the slot where a Tommies defender would shoot the puck all the way down the ice and score in the empty net. 1-4. The Badgers would give up another garbage time goal with just over a minute to go, dropping the final game of the tournament by a final of 1-5.
With the win, the Tommies secured their spot in the ACHA Central Regional, but they wouldn't need it. The final rankings determined that the Tommies were the #2 team in the Central behind only Lindenwood, sending them right to the National Tournament in Boston, MA in March. The rankings determined the Badgers to be the #13 seed in the Central, sending them to the Regional Tournament this weekend in Chesterfield, MO. With 3 wins this weekend, the Badgers can punch their ticket back to Nationals for the second year in a row, and the second time in program history!
This weekend's opening matchup brings a familiar foe back into the warpath for the Badgers, budding state rival Marian. The Sabres finished their season with a semi-final loss to eventual conference champion DePaul, who is also in the Regional tournament. While there was no regular season series between the Badgers and Sabres this year, the teams have gotten quite familiar with each other. Friday's matinee matchup will be the 7th time these teams have squared of in the past 4 seasons.
Last year, the Badgers lost in Fond du Lac but rallied back to tie in Madison the next day. The Sabres have played a couple of mutual games this year: 4-2 W over Minnesota, 3-4 L to Sault, and 6-8 & 3-4 L to Concordia Wisconsin. The Badgers will look to use their speed and skill to outmatch the typical physicality, slow-paced, small-area play of the Sabres. The Badgers are the second-lowest seed in the tournament, ahead of only Sault College. With a Badger win and a Sault loss, the team would face off against either Concordia Wisconsin on Saturday. However, with a Badger win and a Sault win, the team would play fellow 2022 National attendee Trine on Saturday.
It is win or go home time! The Badgers are looking to make another splash at Regionals and make it back to the National tournament! Game one is at 2:15pm CST from the Maryville Ice Center in Chesterfield, MO. Our calendar page has all the details. If you are traveling to Missouri and would like accommodations close to the team, please reach out to Ty Bailey. His info can be found on the Contact tab.
We will post any live stream links both here and on our social media, @WIClubHockey on Instagram and Twitter! We hope to see you at the rink!