When the Badgers’ old winning formula of outshooting and outscoring their opponents by a wide margin was slowed, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team found a new way to win: be resilient.
Facing a No. 9 ranked Yale team that outshot the Wisconsin Badgers Hockey team 42-22, a depleted Badgers team hung on to win the final Badger Hockey Showdown in a shootout. Senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion got the winning shootout goal as UW overcame a shorthanded roster, sloppy first period and a game misconduct to Jordy Murray to hang on to a 2-2 tie through overtime to force the shootout.
UW head coach Mike Eaves said he was happy with what the Badgers showed him during the tournament.
“Well, I am, because I think we were a resilient group this weekend,” he said. “I mean, we played this game with five defensemen and basically five defensemen last night too. I think the fact that we had to mix our lines up and try to find chemistry as we ran along… but I think the resiliency of this group was something that I think showed up.”
Holding on to a 2-1 lead in the third period, Yale’s Brian O’Neill scored a power play goal with 2:37 to play to tie the game. The Badgers missed opportunities earlier to take a bigger lead when Ben Grotting fired a shot off the post on what should have been an easy goal, as well a botched breakaway by Aaron Bendickson.
So with three of its young guns missing due to the World Junior Championship, it was two seniors who stepped up to push Wisconsin (13-5-2) to a six-game unbeaten streak. Seniors Michael Davies and Geoffrion scored in the shootout, while Yale’s third shooter, Denny Kearney was the only player to convert for the Bulldogs.
I was great to see the Badgers return to championship form. In fact, I am going to purchase some Badger Hockey Tickets right now. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!