Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin heads West in search of first victory

The Wisconsin men’s hockey team will travel to Colorado this weekend to face off against Colorado College and Denver as the Badgers continue to chase their first win of the season.

Typically, the Badgers spend their weekends playing the same team on the same ice in a two-game series, but this road trip is unusual. Wisconsin (0-6-0) will first take on Colorado College (2-7-0) Friday night and travel to Denver to play DU (6-3-0) the following night.

Wisconsin has not played since two weekends ago when they fell twice to North Dakota. Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said the Badgers have had a good couple of weeks of practice and are ready to get back on track.


“We’ve done things in practice that put us on the edge of gaining confidence,” Eaves said. “We have good energy, we’ve worked hard, we beat the snot out of each other, so we’re ready to play somebody else.”

Sophomore forward Grant Besse agreed, saying that his team has continued to improve since their last game.

“Overall, I think we’ve gotten better over these past two weeks, so that’s a positive,” Besse said.

One way the Badgers will try to get things going this weekend is switching things up at goaltender. Eaves announced after practice Wednesday that Landon Peterson starts in goal Friday night against Colorado College and Joel Rumpel will be in net in Saturday night’s matchup with Denver.

Peterson has only started one game this year for Wisconsin, as opposed to Rumpel, who has started five. In the one game Peterson started, the senior goaltender played well, making 30 saves and giving up just one goal.

Eaves is hopeful that changing things up in goal could give the Badgers a needed boost.

“Sometimes when a hockey team hasn’t won, it’s just good to have a change,” Eaves explained. “[Peterson’s] a battler, and that might be a good thing for us right now to help us get over the hump here. It might be a good jump start for our team.”

Eaves also confirmed Wednesday that the Badgers will be without freshman defenseman Jack Dougherty on the trip, who is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.

Wisconsin has counted on Dougherty to play heavy minutes so far this season and now the Badgers will rely on a freshman with even less experience to replace him. Eaves said freshman Cullen Hurley will play in place of the injured Dougherty. Hurley is yet to take ice this season, making this weekend his first time playing college hockey.

According to Eaves, he would’ve preferred to wait until the second half of the season to play Hurley so that he could have more time to get settled in, but he is still confident the inexperienced defenseman can rise to the challenge.

“We’d still like to have Jack in there because we have a little bit better idea of what we’re going to get, but Cullen has been working hard,” Eaves said. “These kids will surprise us. That’s the fun part about working with kids this age.”

With a goaltender playing only his second game of the season and an injury-riddled defense, the Badgers are going to need to generate goals in order to come away with wins against Colorado College and Denver.

The Badgers’ captain, fifth-year senior defenseman Chase Drake said they are focused on doing whatever it takes to put the puck in the net. According to Drake, it doesn’t need to be fancy.

“Something that we’re trying to build off of is that every goal doesn’t have to be a highlight reel goal,” Drake said. “Any goal is a good goal is what we’re preaching right now.”

Another obstacle for the Badgers this weekend will be playing on an unusually large sheet of ice Friday night against Colorado College.

“It could be the Pacific Ocean, it’s so big,” Eaves said Monday of Colorado College’s rink.

Besse said it will be a little different than what the Badgers are used to, but getting to skate on it twice before the game should make it a lot less of an issue.

“Obviously, when you’re playing on a rink that big, it’s going to take a little while to get used to it, but I think going out there and practicing on it Thursday will be helpful,” Besse said. “I don’t see it being too much of a problem.”

The puck will drop at Colorado College’s “Pacific Ocean” sized rink Friday at 8:30 p.m. central time and at 8 p.m. the following night for Wisconsin’s game against Denver.

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