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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Eaves pleased with effort

Wisconsin fifth-year senior Ben Street scored the only goal in the Badgers\’ 1-1 tie Saturday night against Colorado College.[/media-credit]
Coming off an opening weekend in which he saw his team lose one game and tie another against WCHA rival Colorado College, Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves was encouraged by his team’s play but disappointed by the results.

“We would first of all say we were disappointed [by] only getting one point,” Eaves said. “Expectations were such that we wanted to get more.”

Despite the results of the games, Eaves expressed that he was pleased by his team’s effort throughout most of the weekend.


“Friday night was a game we very easily could have won,” Eaves said. “On Saturday, we were very poor in the first period but got back in the saddle and played it out hard and got a tie.”

Eaves and his staff also believe things could have finished much differently if it were not for a few unlucky breaks.

“We went back and looked at videotape, and we figure, over the course of the weekend, we had hit eight or nine goalposts,” Eaves said. “Some of those pucks could’ve-should’ve gone in.”

New Season, New Faces

Although the Badgers return many key players from last year’s team, there is still a battle going on for the spot vacated by the departure of goaltender Shane Connelly.

Eaves and his staff elected to start junior transfer Brett Bennett on Friday night and junior Scott Gudmandson on Saturday night. He was pleased with both of their efforts.

“I think the biggest surprise is the fact that there was so much talk going on about our young goaltenders, and they were a pleasant surprise,” Eaves said. “We saw two pretty good performances.”

Eaves also commented on the play of true freshmen Justin Schultz, John Ramage and Craig Smith.

“It was fun to watch them get their feet wet,” Eaves said. “It was kind of like watching a duckling getting into the water for the first time and realizing that he’s not going to sink.”

Injury Updates

Forward and captain Blake Geoffrion missed time Saturday with a concussion and defenseman Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch in the second game of the series.

“Brendan will be back in the lineup [this weekend] and Blake is day-to-day right now,” Eaves said. “I’m looking forward to getting them back in there.”

Geoffrion surprised many people when he decided to return for his senior year instead of opting to leave for the NHL. Eaves discussed what it was like playing without him.

“Blake is a guy that we count on for a lot of minutes,” Eaves said. “We ran into a storm the very first night by getting Blake dinged up.”

Eaves also briefly commented on the play of senior forward Ben Street, who saw his first action in nearly a year this weekend after missing most of last season with a leg injury.

“I think he was one of our bigger performers,” Eaves said. “He played like a guy who had missed a lot of games and really missed playing.”

Street scored the only Wisconsin goal in Saturday’s contest.

Looking Ahead

Next weekend, the Badgers (0-1-1) travel to the Verizon Wireless Center to take on Minnesota State (2-2-0). Eaves discussed the difficulties of playing at this particular venue.

“The way they play and the shape of the building makes [the rink] seem smaller because [the fans] are right on top of you,” Eaves said. “It’s a tough building to play and win in, as we know firsthand.”

Eaves is confident that between himself, his staff and his players the early season kinks the Badgers displayed against Colorado College will be worked out in time for this weekend’s series.

“We had some guys that played sub-par and we need to give them that feedback this week and make sure that we get up to speed,” Eaves said.

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