Men's hockey: UW in showdown final

Badgers dominate Western Michigan 4-1

The top-ranked Wisconsin men's hockey team scored four unanswered goals as the Badgers defeated Western Michigan 4-1 in the first round of the Badger Hockey Showdown Friday night at the Kohl Center. The Badgers will face Northern Michigan, which defeated Wayne State 6-2 Friday, in the showdown championship game Saturday.

Western Michigan senior forward Mike Erickson scored the Broncos' lone goal midway through the first period but UW senior center A. J. Degenhardt scored an unassisted goal early in the second to tie the game at 1-1.

A tripping penalty called on WMU sophomore defenseman Jonathan Lupa put UW on the power play midway through the second, where junior forward Robbie Earl netted the eventual game-winner with help from sophomore forward Joe Pavelski. And with four seconds left in the second period, Pavelski notched a goal to give UW a 3-1 cushion. Earl and senior defenseman Tom Gilbert provided the assists.

Senior forward Ryan MacMurchy added an insurance goal on the power play seven minutes into the third to give UW the 4-1 win. Sophomore defenseman Kyle Klubertanz and junior defenseman Jeff Likens added the assists.

Wisconsin's defense limited Western Michigan to just 17 shots on goal; UW junior netminder Brian Elliott recorded 16 saves. UW peppered Bronco sophomore goalie Daniel Bellissimo with a season-high 48 shots throughout the night, as he made 44 saves (including 17 in the second period) and gave up four goals.

The Badgers improved to 15-2-2 overall with the win, while Western Michigan fell to 4-10-3.

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