Series Split vs. Gustavus | Ohio State Week
In a series with a ton of postseason implications, the Badgers looked to continue the momentum after the first two weeks of the second half.
Game one was a hard-fought battle throughout its entirety. Both teams were going back and fourth, power-plays, penalty kills, and even strength. The Badgers opened the scoring for the weekend just over halfway through the first on a spin-around slap shot by John Simon after corralling a Jake Bailey pass! The shot was perfectly placed just over the right pad of the Gustie goalie. The 1-0 lead would hold for the rest of the period.
A slow start to the second frame would end up costing the Badgers, however. Gustavus struck back 3 minutes into the second to tie the game, and netted their second about 2 minutes later. A bad defensive turnover gave them the first one, a lucky bounce was the cause of the second goal. I guess the Gusties don't like holding onto a lead though, as they take a bad penalty to put the Badgers on the power-play with 13:55 left in the second. Wisconsin would make the most of the opportunity as Eli Padilla would tie the game at 2-2! Both teams would go back and fourth for the remainder of the period to enter the second intermission tied at twos.
Six minutes into the final frame, the Simon twins would use their chemistry to put the Badgers up 3-2! John gets his second goal of the night and Joe gets his first point of the weekend. We wouldn't see another goal in the game until Padilla would make it 4-2 with just over 5 minutes to go in the period! Badgers up 4-2! The Gusties wouldn't be able to get their goalie off for the extra attacker thanks to some stellar offensive pressure and defensive play by the entire team. The Badgers would win game one by a final of 4-2! Tyler Schreiter with the win between the pipes.
John Simon - 2G
Eli Padilla - 2G
Jake Bailey - 1A
Joe Simon - 1A
Game two was extremely similar to game one - high pace, high energy, and high intensity! Ty Bailey and the Badgers would open the scoring with 7 to play in the first to make it 1-0! John Simon and Lenny Nunn would pick up the assists on the power play opportunity. The Badgers would hold onto the one goal lead for the remainder of the period and into the first intermission.
The Gusties came out flying in the second, while the Badgers had a small slow start once again. After getting baited into a more physical, less fundamental shift, the Gusties would score to tie the game at 1-1. Another hard fought 10 minutes would go by before Gustavus would receive a lucky bounce to beat Goss again, going up 1-2. Another fluke play led to another Gustavus goal late in the period to make it 1-3 going into the second intermission.
The third would not disappoint as both teams would play hardnose hockey for the entire period. Hard hits, stellar defense, outstanding goaltending - the third had it all. Unfortunately, the Badgers couldn't find the back of the net, and GAC would add an empty net goal with just over 2 to play. 1-4 would be the final in game two.
Ty Bailey - 1G
John Simon - 1A
Lenny Nunn - 1A
With the split, the Badgers put themselves in a prime position to be a top seed in the Carla Berg Cup - WCCHA Conference tournament in Blaine, MN the weekend of 2/11 to 2/13. The split will most likely help boost the team's Central Regional Ranking as well. More to come of those!
This upcoming weekend, the Badgers host Big10 rival Ohio State for the final weekend of the regular season. The Buckeyes are currently 7-6 and ranked #14 in the SE Region. Game one is Friday night at the Shell. Puck drop is at 8:30pm. Game two is once again at the Shell starting at 11:00 on Saturday. Hope to see you all at the rink and end the regular season on a high note!