Badgers rout St. Cloud

Special teams, Bruckler lead Wisconsin to 6-0 victory

The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team awoke from its past weekend doldrums in emphatic fashion Friday night, dominating host St. Cloud State for a 6-0 win in a WCHA matchup. The victory kept the visiting Badgers in first place in the conference standings.

A week after being embarrassed in their own holiday tournament, the Badgers skated the Huskies out of their building, punishing St. Cloud from start to finish.

Tom Gilbert and John Funk each had a pair of goals for Wisconsin, but it was the play of goaltender Bernd Bruckler, the Badgers' special teams and Jake Dowell's return that told the story.

Bruckler stopped 30 Huskie shots, including 13 in a second period when Wisconsin put the game away.

Wisconsin scored on all three of its power play opportunities and added a short-handed goal at 12:38 in the second period, when junior forward A.J. Degenhardt found the net to give UW a 4-0 lead.

Last week, as the Badgers struggled to officially tie lowly Yale before losing to Ferris State in the Badger Hockey Showdown, sophomore defenseman Jeff Likens and freshman center Jake Dowell were representing the United States at the 2005 Junior World Championships.

Dowell and Likens were each +2 on the ice Friday and Dowell tallied three assists on the Badgers' first four goals.

Bruckler did the rest, notching his third shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

Dowell's first helper came just 4:05 into the first period, helping sophomore center Andrew Joudrey set up Gilbert for a power-play score. Joudrey added his own goal 10 minutes later to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.

Gilbert was at it again just 20 seconds into the second frame with another power play goal off a Dowell assist. Dowell also picked up a helper on Degenhardt's short-handed goal at 12:38.

Funk's pair of goals came in the third period. Joudrey picked up an assist on the first, for a 3-point evening.

Wisconsin improves to 11-4-0 in the WCHA and 14-6-1 overall with the win. St. Cloud falls to 4-9-0, 8-11-2. The Badgers hold a one-point edge on North Dakota (10-6-1, 14-7-2) in the WCHA standings.

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