Losing their Footing

A poor opening 10 minutes, inability to capitalize and a quiet arena - three things No.3 Wisconsin wasn't hoping to get in its chase for a regular season title.

MADISON -Thursday night in Minnesota the Wisconsin basketball team blew its shot at a conference title with a disappointing showing against the Gophers.

One night later, the Badger hockey team may have done the same, and against another Minnesota team no less.

The Badgers slide started when Brendan Smith took a two-minute interference penalty just 90 seconds into the game. Though UW managed to kill the penalty, Wisconsin lost the jump in its skates and gave up a wrap-around goal to senior Ryan Lasch several minutes later.

In a game with heavy conference implications, Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves was disappointed with his players effort in the first ten minutes.

"The first 10 minutes, we didn't have a great start," he said. "For whatever reason, we were flat." Senior captain Ben Street echoed his coaches thoughts.

"It was kind of a weird start," Street said. "There was a penalty early. Jordy [Murray] kind of got caught in a long shift…the first ten minutes only a few players played. No one really got in the flow. It was pretty stagnant on our bench too."

Though Eaves believed UW picked up the intensity for the final 50 minutes of the game, Wisconsin still made enough mistakes to suffer a 5-1 loss to St. Cloud State.

The second mistake came when UW goaltender Scott Gudmandson came out aggressively to prevent a break away — but ended up turning over the puck to Huskie Garrett Roe for a wide open net.

Sloppy on defense for much of the night, Gudmandson was left in no-mans land when the defensemen let Roe slip between them.

"If I didn't clear that puck he would have had a clear cut breakaway," Gudmandson said. "It was a gamble…but he knocked the puck out of air and made a good play. If I had to do it again I probably would have gone out and tried to fire it."

Mistakes were also made on the penalty kill — St Cloud's Tony Moseywas left unchecked near the net — and in the third period when the final tally sapped all energy from the building.

Both Eaves and senior captain Ben Street believe the Badgers outchanced their opponent, but were unable to capitalize when presented the opportunity. For the Huskies part, no strong chance went to waste.

"Every time we made a mistake, we found the puck in our net," Eaves said. "We didn't capitalize on our opportunities. I think we will find in the game that we had a lot of good chances and didn't bury them."


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