No. 8 Wisconsin Tops Hockey, 2-0
A pair of power play goals helps Wisconsin get past MSU.
Feb. 22, 2014
MADISON, Wis. - No. 8 Wisconsin scored a pair of power play goals and Joel Rumpel made 31 saves as the Badgers topped Michigan State, 2-0, on Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Joe LaBate and Michael Mersch scored for UW, which improved to 19-9-2 overall and 10-5-1-0 in the Big Ten. MSU is now 9-15-7 overall and 3-7-6-4 in the conference.
Trailing 1-0 in the first period, the Spartans appeared to tie the game on their first power play opportunity as Matt DeBlouw ripped a one-timer from the right point past Rumpel. The initial ruling on the ice was a goal, but after a lengthy review, the officials determined Lee Reimer was in the crease, nullifying the goal.
"I thought we dealt with the situation and just kept playing and getting stronger as the game went on," said Spartan head coach Tom Anastos. "We competed really hard and I thought we deserved better, but we didn't get it and that's a darn good team. Their goaltender played really well - we had chances that we just couldn't capitalize on. I'm proud of our team; I thought we played really hard."
The Spartans outshot the Badgers, 31-30, in the game, including by a 10-7 margin in the third period.
"I thought we played with a good pace and good energy tonight, unlike last night when it took us a while to get our legs back," said Anastos.
The Badgers scored a pair of power play goals on Friday and carried the theme into Saturday, striking on their first man advantage of the afternoon. With Dean Chelios off for tripping, LaBate got open in the slot and beat Hildebrand to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead at the 7:17 mark.
Mersch made it 2-0 just over four minutes into the second period as got open just outside the crease and put home a pass form Mark Zengerle. Spartan goalie Jake Hildebrand got a piece of the shot, but not enough as the puck just slipped past the goal line.
The Spartans had two power plays of their own in the second period and set up quality scoring chances on both man-advantage opportunities. A Matt Berry shot from the left side that rang off the post and a redirection by Villiam Haag on the doorstep almost put the Spartans on the board.
Michigan State continued to pressure the Badgers in the third, but was never able to solve Rumpel.
The Spartans will be off from Big Ten play next weekend, but will host the U.S. National Team Development Program in an exhibition game on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Munn Arena.