Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Ice Badgers’ unbeaten streak finished

[media-credit name=’DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]klubertanz2_dm_416[/media-credit]The wheels came off the No. 1 Badgers' carriage this weekend as the team with the nation's longest unbeaten streak lost to WCHA cellar dweller Michigan Tech Friday night. Wisconsin followed the 4-2 defeat with a 7-0 walloping of the Huskies Saturday night, regaining momentum going into the holiday break.

The Badgers lost the battle of special teams Friday night, giving up two shorthanded goals and a power play goal and going 0-for-8 themselves with the man advantage.

"We lost the battle of human nature," Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said afterward. "This happens at every level. It's tough to battle human nature and not start believing what people are telling you."


Only two minutes into the game, the Badgers found themselves in a hole. Husky senior forward Chris Conner scored a shorthanded goal, something he did eight times just two years ago, and gave his team the early lead.

"He's done that all year for us," Michigan Tech head coach Jamie Russell said. "The games he hasn't shown up on the score sheets he's had five or six scoring chances with his speed and skill. He's obviously a real offensive spark plug for us."

With the Badgers on the power play, Conner took a pass from Jake Wilkens, skated in on Badger goaltender Brian Elliott, and put the puck through the five-hole for the score.

The Badgers played on their heels throughout the game, something this hard-nosed team hasn't had to do much of this season.

In the second period, Wisconsin got on the board with a goal from Tom Gilbert in a four-on-four situation. Forward Ross Carlson hit Gilbert with a pass at the top of the right circle. Gilbert fired a shot through the legs of Tech netminder Michael-Lee Teslak to tie the game at one apiece.

Once again, however, a shorthanded goal would put the Badgers behind. Conner hit center Brandon Schwartz in stride, who caught Elliott off guard with his shot and pounded it in.

In the third frame, as the Badgers continued to look sluggish, the Huskies struck again when Nick Anderson scored on the power play to give his team a two-goal lead.

Ross Carlson scored on a cannon of a shot four minutes later to cut the lead in half and energize the Kohl Center crowd.

In the end, his goal would not be enough. Wisconsin continued to stumble through the rest of the period, and when they were forced to pull Elliott, Schwartz scored his second goal of the game on the empty net to close it out.

"Our effort was terrible tonight. I'm embarrassed [and] disappointed," senior captain Adam Burish said. "You don't have to look any further than [assistant captain Tom Gilbert] and I here. We didn't have that group ready to play tonight. We weren't ready to play either."

The captains had their team ready to play Saturday night, as Wisconsin pounded Michigan Tech in a match that resembled a Reggie Dunlop-led Charlestown Chiefs rumble more than a college hockey game. The two teams combined for 145 penalty minutes, including 98 in the third period.

During a Tech power play, the Huskies gave up the puck to Badger forward Joe Pavelski, who skated into the Husky zone along the left side and made the perfect pass to Burish. The senior one-timed the puck past Teslak, who left just enough space between his right skate and the post for the puck to slide through.

Robbie Earl scored just over two minutes later to put the Badgers up 2-0. Earl gathered up a loose puck in the offensive zone and shot it past Teslak once again.

A Jake Dowell goal three minutes later resulted in a trip to the bench for Teslak, who was replaced by Rob Nolan.

The Huskies didn't get a shot off until 13:37 into the first period, a period that saw Tech shoot just four times. They finished the game with just 17 shots total.

Nolan played well until the third period, giving up just one goal to Kyle Klubertanz, his second of the season. Things started to unravel for the freshman in the third, however, as the Badgers added three more goals from Earl, Klubertanz, and Jack Skille.

With the win, the Badgers all but erased the memory of the previous night's shocking upset, playing the physical defensive game that earned them the No. 1 ranking in college hockey to that point in the season.

"If you're going to win, you have to go to that level and be willing to sacrifice and have ice bags on your body after the game," Eaves said. "Tonight we rose to that level again."

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