Wisconsin gets back on track vs. Lake Superior State
The competitive season still isn’t a month old, but the No. 13 ranked Wisconsin Badgers (3-2-1) faced a major crossroads Friday night.
What they see Monday morning looking back, might be a turning point.
Going into their second home series, UW faced with the very real possibility of falling into an early season funk. Instead, Wisconsin battled out of it at exactly the right time, Friday.
As much as the team tried erasing the memory of two discouraging losses to Boston College (2-2-1), it took exactly 16-seconds for those thoughts to rare their ugly head.
“It felt like we were in Boston again,” Badgers head coach, Mike Eaves, said. “The goals they scored were like the ones in Boston where it was hitting people. The first goal hit three people and then went in. The second goal was tipped in as well. The third goal, I think Petey would like to have back and a second try at it. It felt like holy-smokes we still haven’t got the demons from Boston out of our system yet.”
Wisconsin took time to settle back in – especially in goal where head coach Mike Eaves said before the game, he faced a rather unique situation with netminder, Landon Peterson.
“It’s interesting dealing with the psyche of a goaltender. I mean, goaltenders are kind of known to be kind of wacko and you can’t talk to them,” Eaves said after Wisconsin’s 9-1 win, Saturday. “It’s an individual sport within a team sport, it really is. And I think you have to handle it delicately.”
“But we talked about it as a team today before the game and the fact that this time period that we’re going through is a test for us. And there’s certain lessons that we can learn from what we’re going through right now. And I said for you Landon, this is a test for you; this is about as much as I’ve ever talked to a goalie while he’s not playing well.”
“And I said ‘this is a test of your perseverance and your resolve to clear your mechanism in your head and get back to the next puck.’ And I thought he responded very well (Saturday).”
Friday, before Wisconsin could hardly get into an offensive formation, Lake Superior struck. Just five minutes in and Wisconsin stared at a 3-0 defecit and had a big decision to make.
Then the tides turned. Wisconsin clamped down defensively. After allowing 14 shots on goal in the first, they stood in front of just 12 more through the final two periods, and overtime. Offensively, they started finding their zone.
“You think about it, we fired over 90 shots over the weekend and would’ve liked to have won that one (Friday) night, but in retrospect the way we tied it up and it was a real good emotional energizer. So all in all it was a type of weekend I think our boys needed to get going and to realize some things.”
In the game Friday, forward Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied an assist for his 123rd career point, tying Michael Davies (2006-10) for the highest career point total for a Badger under Eaves (2002-current).
Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) , who deposited a laser into the back of the Laker net Saturday night, extended his consecutive game point streak to 18-straight games.
Another bye week
Looking ahead, Wisconsin takes a break again this weekend before heading into what could be their toughest stretch of the entire 2013-14 season.
After going on the road to Ohio and facing a highly-ranked Miami team, Wisconsin will renew the border battle with the Golden Gophers when the current top-ranked, and unbeaten, Gophers host the Badgers to open Big 10 play.
Give us your vote and tell us where you think Bucky will be after their next two series on the road.