In a game which features Badgers versus Badgers, one would think it safe to bet on the Badgers winning. However, this was not the case Friday afternoon. The men's hockey Red and White scrimmage ended with a 1-1 draw.
The Red and White game gives the public a chance to see the team for the first time. It also gives head coach Mike Eaves a chance to test out lines and different packages before the team opens up its season.
Badger captain Rene Bourque led the Red team against his assistant captains Andy Wozniewski and Dan Boeser and the rest of the White team. The game was played in two 23-minute halves with a 15-minute intermission in between. Also, penalties resulted in penalty shots instead of the usual power play.
With 19 seconds left in the first period, freshman Matt Olinger was called for cross-checking. White freshman Matt Rowe was awarded a penalty shot and capitalized on it, beating rookie Red goalie Brian Elliot top shelf, giving the White a 1-0 lead heading into intermission.
Red tried to take advantage of a penalty shot of their own midway through the second period. Freshman Andrew Joudrey was called for hooking, thereby setting up sophomore Tom Gilbert with a penalty shot. Gilbert seemed to beat junior net minder Bernd Bruckler, only to have his shot ricochet off of the post.
At 17:35 of the second period, Bourque stole the puck and took it on a breakaway. He skated in and went backhand, putting the puck past Bruckler and tying the game at one.
There were no more scoring chances in the waning minutes of the second period and the game ended in a one-one tie.
The game featured some fresh faces on the ice. Elliot, who started in net for the White team, will probably see some action in relief of Bruckler at times this season. He made 19 saves in his debut.
Ryan Suter, who was drafted seventh overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2003 NHL Draft, started and contributed two shots for the Red squad. Freshman Robbie Earl, who played with Suter the past two seasons on the USA Hockey National Developmental Under-17 and Under-18 teams, did not fair as well as he was unable to mount a shot for White. Also, freshman walk-on and brother of former Badger Dany Heatley, Mark, suited up and took one shot for Red.
Bourque, the captain, led all players with seven shots as the Red out shot the White 29-20. The scrimmage helped give the Badgers a good first impression for the upcoming season. Much like last year, however, fans and analysts alike will be looking for a prominent goal scorer to emerge early on in the year. The Badgers open up their season next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska in the Maverick Stampede tournament. Wisconsin will face host Nebraska-Omaha at 8 p.m. Oct. 10 and will play either Minnesota or Maine Oct. 11.