Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hockey season-ending awards

Player of the Year: Michael Mersch

One of the few bright spots for the Wisconsin offense through the early part of the season, junior forward Michael Mersch netted 23 goals and added 13 assists to the team in scoring. His 23 goals were good enough for the second best tally in the WCHA and fourth best in the country.

While the first line stumbled out of the gates, struggling to find the back of the net, Mersch’s production from the second line was a much-needed boost for an under-performing team.


Known for his gritty goal scoring style, Mersch’s production didn’t stop when his teammates joined in on the scoring action as the season waned.

Instead, he continued to score, adding two goals in the final game of the regular season to give the Badgers a key win against St. Cloud State – propelling the team into the 4-seed for the WCHA playoffs.

Rookie of the Year: Nic Kerdiles

After missing the first 10 games of the season due to certain “code of amateurism” violations, freshman forward Nic Kerdiles didn’t skip a beat when he stepped into the lineup for the Badgers against No. 5 Denver Nov. 30.

Kerdiles quickly earned himself a spot on UW’s first line with junior center Mark Zengerle and junior winger Tyler Barnes and earned his first points for the Badgers on assists in back-to-back goals in only his second game with the team.

On the season, Kerdiles earned the second highest point total on the team after Mersch, scoring 11 goals and tallying 22 assists to give him 33 points.

However, his late-season scoring, in addition to a burst in production for the rest of the offense, helped lead Wisconsin to its first Broadmoor Trophy since 1998.

To end the season, Kerdiles has built a 12-game point-scoring streak that will extend into the season next fall, while also accumulating a 5-game multi-point streak along the way.

Should he continue to stay with the Badgers another year, a more experienced Kerdiles will play a vital role in UW’s success next year as they look to build on their first-round NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013.

Moment of the Year: Hockey City Classic victory over Minnesota

After a hard-to-swallow loss to rival Minnesota Friday at home, the Badgers defeated Minnesota 3-2 in stunning fashion at the Hockey City Classic on Feb. 17.

Played outside at Soldier Field in Chicago on a sunny day, both teams sported retro uniforms in front of a crowd of more than 52,000 fans throughout the course of the day.

It was the Badgers first outdoor appearance since they hosted Michigan at Camp Randall in 2010, and it was the Golden Gophers’ first outdoor appearance in the team’s history.

With temperatures hovering around freezing, both teams struggled to build any sustained momentum in the slushy conditions, but by the end of the third period, three shots had found the back of the net – enough to give the Badgers a vital momentum-building lead midway through the season.

Game of the Year: The Broadmoor Trophy Game

In what may have been one of their most complete efforts of the season, the Badgers took home one of the WCHA’s most coveted trophies. With a 3-2 win over Colorado College, Wisconsin claimed the last Broadmoor Trophy in the current WCHA and won an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

While three separate skaters scored – junior forwards Tyler Barnes and Sean Little, as well as freshman forward Nic Kerdiles – UW put up 33 shots on net to CC’s 22. And as the offense produced, the defense blocked shots to no end, only allowing a surging Tigers’ squad four shots on goal in the third period.

The Badgers killed off both of the Tigers’ power plays, allowing only two shots on goal on the man-advantage. The only area of the game where Wisconsin fell short was the power play – similar to the rest of the season. On four opportunities the Badgers only managed one shot on goal and couldn’t find the back of the net. Regardless of that minor pitfall, the Badgers held onto their lead for their first Broadmoor Trophy since 1998.

Most Improved: Junior forward Tyler Barnes

Wisconsin’s turn around from a 1-7-2 start to a WCHA playoff title season seemed to be mirrored individually by none other than Barnes.

Prior to the start of the season, Barnes was expected to be a big part of the Badger’s offense but, 11 games in, had only three points to his name. He didn’t make a noticeable mark on the stat sheet until late in the first half of the season, but it wasn’t until February that he started to produce consistently. From February through the end of the season – 18 games, 17 played – Barnes netted nine of his 15 goals on the season, four of which he scored in the Badgers’ three WCHA tournament contests.

Barnes credited some better in-game luck with a mixture of tough love and encouragement from Eaves for his personal improvement.

“It was a day-to-day thing,” Barnes said in a March 25 press conference. “It was both, and that’s really what I needed. There’s times when you can tell I need someone to pick me up a little bit, and there’s times when I need someone to get on me. And he was able to do all that and really keep me focused and keep me pushing forward.”

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