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Badgers swept away again; season in jeopardy

first_imgCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Just when it looked like the Wisconsin men’s hockey team would continue its dominance over No. 15 Colorado College, the Tigers turned the tables and earned their first sweep of the Badgers in five seasons. “It’s nice to watch the team come together a little bit; I thought we had a lot of people contributing differently,” CC head coach Scott Owens said. “We saw a lot of people doing good things; that’s the way you’ve got to win, especially against good teams.”Six different Tigers scored over the weekend, and Colorado College solidified its hold on fourth place in the conference with a 4-2 victory Saturday and a 2-1 comeback win Friday. With a pair of losses, the Badgers slid into eighth place and missed an opportunity to jump into the WCHA’s top five.”We can’t play average and win games,” Badgers’ head coach Mike Eaves said. “We have to have everybody do their part and be very good at detail in order to be successful.”The last time these two teams met on the World Arena ice, it was Jan. 14, 2006, and the eventual national champion Badgers clocked the Tigers 9-1. But Colorado College (16-10-2, 12-7-1 WCHA) got revenge with a series sweep that only adds to Wisconsin’s struggles this year (11-15-2, 8-11-1).”That was definitely in the back of our minds,” Colorado College forward Cody Lampl said of last season’s loss. “I felt like we were the aggressor with the physicality this weekend.”The Tigers found a great deal of success getting bodies in front of Badgers goaltender Brian Elliott in the early goings of Saturday’s 4-2 romp. Three minutes into the second period, Colorado College had built a 4-1 lead with a couple of rebound goals that left Elliott with no chance.”A good goaltender like this, we need the second, third and fourth chances, and those were the ones that went in for us this weekend,” Lampl said.Lampl got the Tigers on the board when he slapped home a rebound just 21 seconds into the game. Colorado College surged from there, getting subsequent goals from Chad Rau, Jack Hillen and Braydon Cox.”It’s difficult to defend when pucks are thrown at the net, because you never know where it’s going, and they did a good job with that,” UW senior center Andrew Joudrey said.A Jack Skille goal in the third period was all Wisconsin could muster in the final 37 minutes of Saturday’s game.”We played better in the third, but it was a three-goal game by then,” Drewiske said.Wisconsin was not quite as outplayed Friday night; rather, Colorado College stole the series opener with two late goals that left the Badgers as confused — and disappointed — as ever.”Two of the weirdest goals I’ve ever seen,” Eaves said. “Neither puck hit the back of the net; how do you explain that?”Trailing 1-0 with just seven minutes remaining, the Tigers broke through and tied the game when forward Bill Sweatt backhanded the puck from behind the net and hit the back of Andreas Vlassopoulos’ boot. Elliott was unable to stop the trickling puck, and the Tigers had finally knotted the score at one.If Colorado College’s first goal was strange, the second — and game-winning — score was downright freaky. With a rare power play in the overtime period, the puck was lost under Joudrey’s skate, and CC freshman winger Mike Testwuide took a shot at a clump of players in the crease.Replays showed the puck slide along the goal line and barely nudge the back of Elliott’s right leg pad, just enough to creep into the net for a goal. “One guy throws it out front, another one dribbles from God-knows-how far out and nobody can find it,” Eaves said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow.”In the first period, Ben Street helped the Badgers snap an 0-for-18 cold streak on the power play when he ripped a shot over CC goaltender Matt Zaba’s glove. The game’s first goal — scored at 11:46 — was set up by a couple of quick passes from Matthew Ford and Josh Engel, who each earned assists on the play.”With the power play, you need to make three or four good passes on the tape, and then it’ll work for you,” Street said. “That’s why I had all kinds of time on the backdoor to [score].”The Badgers may have been the better team Friday night, but as Joudrey attested, the effort is wasted if it comes without points, especially this late in the year.”As well as you can play during the game, if you don’t get the W’s, it doesn’t count,” Joudrey said. “That’s the biggest thing for us right now.”Drewiske maintains the team’s goals have not changed; with eight conference games remaining, including a pair of showdowns against No. 4 St. Cloud State, the Badgers believe there’s enough time to turn their season around.”The season’s not over,” Drewiske said. “We haven’t played as well as we’d like — yet — but we’ve got some games left.”last_img

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