Herald Sports has been bringing you grades all season long after each football game, rating each unit on a scale of one to five. Here’s a look at how the Wisconsin men’s hockey team fared against No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth after tying game one 3-3 and dropping game two 4-2.
Offense – 3.5 out of 5
Wisconsin’s offense could not have looked better Friday night in the 3-3 tie. The Badgers jumped ahead early, leading 2-0 after the first period.
However, UW didn’t score again until 28 seconds into the third period, when sophomore forward Mark Zengerle centered the puck to junior defenseman Justin Schultz, who was waiting in the slot and simply had to knock in the puck.
In game one, the Badgers created 24 shots on goal and followed up in game two with 31.
In game two, Wisconsin’s offense started off slow. On the few chances they had through the first two periods, no one could get the puck in the net. As a result, the Badgers went into the third period down 4-0.
But in the third, with the aid of a string of UMD penalties, UW had 17 shots on goal and capitalized on two of them, cutting the Bulldogs’ dominating performance to a two-goal game.
Defense – 3 out of 5
Led by Schultz, the UW defense is generally pretty solid, but in game two a defensive breakdown between defenders Joe Faust and Jake McCabe allowed the Bulldogs to beat the defense and score.
Throughout the series, the defense did look strong, but the Badgers ultimately allowed 36 shots on goal Friday night and 29 the following night. Additionally, the Bulldogs also scored seven goals in the process.
Goaltending – 2.5 out of 5
While both Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson are freshmen, it definitely did not show this weekend.
Rumpel got the start both nights and had a solid game one. The Swift Current, Saskatchewan native made 33 saves and faced two goals that would be hard to stop at any level.
But the following night was not a career night for Rumpel. He allowed all four goals UMD scored in game two and was pulled halfway through the second period after the fourth goal. During his 30 minutes minding the net, Rumpel made only 14 saves.
Peterson came in and was immediately solid for UW. He also had what was arguably the save of the weekend as he dove across the crease for an amazing glove save, keeping UMD at bay through the rest of the second. Peterson finished with 11 saves throughout the rest of the game.
Surprisingly, it was when the Badgers had no one in goal that they were most successful offensively. Wisconsin skated with an empty net for 5:42 to end the game. Consistently having the man advantage, the Badgers were able to stay deep in the Bulldogs’ zone and come away with two goals. On the few occasions UMD got a shot down the ice and really put the game away, they consistently missed the net.
Penalty kill – 4.5 out of 5
The penalty kill probably had one of its best series of the season. UW skated with a man down a total of nine times over the course of the weekend and UMD only capitalized once with the man advantage in the second period of game two.
Power play – 4 out of 5
The power play also looked its best all season, but unfortunately for UW, the puck just would not go in. The Badgers went 3 for 15 on the power play. Two of those goals came from freshman forward Brad Navin, the first of his career.