The Wisconsin men’s hockey team earned its first road sweep since early November and clinched at least third-place in the WCHA over the weekend.
Traveling to Anchorage, Alaska, the Ice Badgers won a pair over the struggling Seawolves ? 3-1 Saturday and 3-0 Friday.
Netminder Bernd Brückler solidified his bid for WCHA MVP, earning his second straight (and third career) shutout on Friday night and stopping 48 of the 49 shots he faced on the weekend. The weekend performance pushed Brückler into first place in the conference in save percentage (.926) and goals against average (2.16).
The Badgers’ power play, which had been unsuccessful in some 29 consecutive-chances (spanning seven games) going into the weekend, finally cleared a hump. An area of concern all season, the unit scored three times Friday night.
Robbie Earl put in a pair of goals on the man-advantage, bringing his season total to 14, and Jeff Likens iced that contest with a late power play goal. The goal was Likens fourth of the season.
Senior captains Andy Wozniewski and Rene Bourque each scored on Saturday night to give the Badgers the sweep. Wozniewski’s goal came on a slap shot with just two seconds left in the second period. Bourque’s game-winner was his 14th goal of the season.
Ryan MacMurchy added an empty-netter to cap the weekend.
Saturday night’s win gave the Badgers their 20th victory of the season. It is the first time since 2000-01 season that Wisconsin has tallied that many wins.
The University of North Dakota currently stands alone in first place in the WCHA and with 39 points the Fighting Sioux are out of the Badgers’ range. However, the Sioux’s sweep of Minnesota-Duluth over the weekend means that the Badgers will have a chance to move into second place with a sweep of the Bulldogs next weekend.
-compiled from staff reports