Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Showstopping goal by Carlson highlights senior’s star game

[media-credit name=’BRYAN FAUST/Herald Photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]hockeybottom_bf[/media-credit]MILWAUKEE — There are several morale-boosting banners in the Wisconsin locker room here at the Bradley Center this weekend, but a few stick out.

One says, "Success doesn't come to you … you go get it." Another states, "You are judged by your character, not by your stats."

Nobody has ever questioned junior forward Ross Carlson's character. Thursday night he brought the statistics with him, scoring the biggest goal of his career and adding an assist on another that proved to be the dagger in a 5-2 victory over Maine.


"We were talking before the game, and I [asked if he was ready], and you could just tell he was focused," said senior Nick Licari, Carlson's roommate on the road. "He played a great game and was out there hitting guys and making plays. A couple bounces here and there, and he could have had a couple more goals."

A couple more goals couldn't have hurt the junior from Duluth, Minn., but the one he scored may have been the biggest of the game.

With the game tied 1-1 early in the second period and the Black Bears on a power play, Carlson wowed the crowd with the highlight of the Frozen Four thus far. He poked the puck into the neutral zone and chased after it, entering the zone one-on-one with Maine defenseman Bret Tyler.

The sophomore blue-liner may have nightmares about what occurred from there. Carlson tipped the puck toward the middle, leapt into the air over and around Tyler, regained his balance, spun and fired the shot through the legs of netminder Ben Bishop.

"I knew I was cutting to the middle, but I didn't know when or how," Carlson said. "The guy went flying and I flipped the puck up, knocked it down and shot it. It went in for me."

Success did not just come to him. He went and got it.

"He just plays with so much energy," Carlson's linemate Ben Street said. "It was a huge goal on their power play when it's still a tight game. That just sums up the type of player he is. He has been so instrumental lately."

Licari, who played for Duluth East High School with Carlson, said it had been awhile since he saw his roommate make a play like he did Thursday.

"I've seen some pretty crazy things out of him because I've known him so long, but it was a pretty unbelievable move," Licari said.

"I played in a state tournament and I scored a game-winning goal there, but this one is up there for us," Carlson said.

The goal not only helped the Badgers regain the lead, it gave them all the momentum they needed at that point. It got the mostly home crowd of 17,691 fans on their feet, and Wisconsin would hold the Black Bears without a shot for the rest of their power play.

"Anytime you score a goal shorthanded, the biggest thing is you have to bear down because you know they are going to come right back at you," UW captain Adam Burish said. "You know they're going to be ticked off."

"That was a good shift for them," Maine head coach Tim Whitehead said. "The shorthanded goal plus their next shift, that was a good swing."

Carlson helped create another big swing in the third frame.

Maine had just killed off nearly a minute of action where it was down two players in the penalty box and had gained a bit of steam. They cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:29, and it looked like it could be a whole new ballgame.

Instead, Carlson helped out again. Jack Skille flung the puck up the boards in the neutral zone to his linemates, Carlson and Street. Street blasted a shot and Carlson tried to corral the rebound.

He got the puck but fanned on his shot attempt, which sent him spinning. Somehow he got the puck to Street, who followed the play in and, on his second try, scored with Bishop sprawled out flat on the ice.

"The rebound came right out, and he hit it and it laid there right by the post, and it was mine to shovel in on the backhand," Street said.

"I was just spinning like a little top, and then I accidentally hit the puck and it worked out," Carlson said.

The goal put the Badgers back up by two and got the crowd roaring. Maine would not recover.

"I think it kind of broke their backs a bit," Street said. "It was good to have a cushion — a little room to breathe."

In the playoffs, teams expect their stars to shine. The Badgers' top players did that again — Elliott had 32 saves and Robbie Earl had two goals and an assist.

But Thursday was Carlson's time to shine.

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