Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Turris breaks out of slump

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The proverbial monkey is finally off Kyle Turris' back.

With a goal three minutes into the third period of Saturday
night's matchup against St. Cloud State, Turris broke a streak of nine games
without scoring a goal. If that slump doesn't seem too daunting, consider how
Turris started the season.

Coming to Wisconsin with the most preseason hype of any
player in recent memory — he was the No. 3 overall pick by Phoenix in the NHL Entry
Draft — Turris didn't disappoint early in the year. Through the team's first
four games, the freshman from British Columbia netted five goals, tallied seven
assists and at one point led the nation in scoring.

But then the WCHA season started, and the freshman phenom's
torrid pace cooled down. He managed to record just four assists through nine
games and had five games in which he didn't score a single point.


So it came as no surprise to see Turris get a bit more
excited Saturday than after any of his previous goals.

"It feels really good," Turris said of his goal. "It was
just a matter of time."

Turris jumped around between a few different lineups
Saturday, starting the night off on the top line with Ben Street and Podge
Turnbull, but he skated with Michael Davies and Aaron Bendickson when he scored
in the third.

The movement between lines allowed Turris to fire off a
game-high seven shots on goal, including three in the final period.

"I was getting lots of shots, I was hitting posts," Turris
said. "I was getting lots of great passes from [Street] and Bendickson and
Podge and Davies."

Finally, one of those shots went in. Bendickson and Davis
Drewiske were credited with the assist as Turris beat St. Cloud State netminder
Jase Weslosky to tie the game up at 3-3. Josh Engel would later add his second
goal of the game to give Wisconsin a 4-3 win.

"I think it was lucky," Turris said. "It kind of went
through his arm. I just tried to throw everything on net, tonight especially."

After the goal, the entire Wisconsin bench jumped up in
celebration, all knowing the pressure Turris had relieved with his goal.

"I think all you need to do is look at the bench after he
scored," head coach Mike Eaves said. "His teammates were still pounding him on
his shoulder pads."

Eaves said Turris' teammates empathized with the freshman,
as they have all been through ups and downs in their careers.

"That's a nice weight to be lifted off his shoulders," Eaves
said. "His teammates feel for him, because they know that he's a gifted player
and they … have all gone through similar kinds of slumps like that. For an
offensive guy, it's a struggle."

"Kyle is a great player," said forward Josh Engel, who
recorded two goals in Saturday's win. "He's going to be one of those great
players in the NHL, too."

Perhaps another reason for the Badgers' celebration after
the goal was what it meant for them as a team. When Turris has found the net
this season, Wisconsin is 4-1. When Turris is held without a goal, UW is just

"They were really happy for him," Eaves said. "They know,
too, that if Kyle's being productive, we have a better chance of being
successful on the ice."

Turris' score came at a crucial time in Saturday's game.
After jumping ahead to an early 1-0 lead, UW eventually fell behind 3-2 heading
into the final period. For a team that had recorded just one sweep prior to the
series, Eaves knew the third period would be the biggest of the weekend.

"This is our sixth period. This is the period when you grow
as a player," Eaves said. "If you want to become a champion player or a
championship-caliber team, this is the period where you have to show your

With his goal to tie the game, Turris certainly showed his
worth and reminded fans why he was so highly touted coming into the season. And
for Turris, he hopes the goal is a sign of things to come.

"I just got lucky on one, so hopefully they'll start coming
a bit easier," Turris said.

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