Notes: A Fitting Sendoff

No.3 Wisconsin knew it needed a better effort to get back in title contention and send the seven seniors on the squad out in the regular season home finale on a high note. What the Badgers got was a point from each one of them, and the group picking up the captain in a 7-4 shootout win over St. Cloud State.

MADISON - After devoting at least four years of work, sweat and time to a college hockey program, it seems unlikely that any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from the final game in front of a home crowd just because this particular Saturday was labeled "Senior Night".

On this rare occasion, however, the symmetry of Senior Night — all seven members of the graduating class scored at least one point and they accounted for 10 points in all — might have actually summed up the contributions from the veteran group this season.

On the season, Michael Davies leads the team in points with 40, while Blake Geoffrion is close on his heals with 36. Fifth-year senior Ben Street is co-captains with Geoffrion, while the understated game of Aaron Bendickson — wreaks havoc on the penalty kill, finishes checks despite his size — often sets the emotional tone for the rest of the players.

In what probably won't be the last game in front of the Kohl Center faithful, the collective effort would be a fitting way to go out.

"Everybody stepped up and chipped in," UW head coach Mike Eaves said. "The seniors got the 'hard-hat (award)' tonight." Street, who was sidelined with an ACL injury on Senior Night, changed the momentum and tone of the game with his buzzer beating break away goal to end the second period.

"Tonight, I just decided to make the most of it," Street said. "There is not point in being emotional that it might be the last home game, just seize the moment and make the best of it."

Gudmandson get's the nod

With playoff time quickly approaching, Eaves has decided to try and figure out who will be between the pipes each night for the stretch run.

Despite giving up five goals last night, Gudmandson was given the nod based on his body of work this season.

The junior net minder struggled Saturday, allowing several fluky goals and only finishing with 19 saves in 23 chances. Though requested, Gudmandson declined to appear for post game interviews.

"Goody struggled," Eaves said. "There is no question there. I thought the way he had been playing he earned it ... he would be the first one to tell you, for whatever reason he struggled. The thing I said to him after the game, back to work."

Lesson's Learned

After coming out flat for the first 10 minutes of the game Friday night, Wisconsin responded with a much more energized effort Saturday.

Even giving up a flukish goal in the first 1:10 of the game, the Badgers quickly responded with a power play goal of their own just over five minutes later.

For Eaves, the night was about learning how to avoid complacency. Speaking for the players, Street confirmed that the lesson learned from the weekend was clear.

"Obviously we are very happy with how we played tonight," Street said. "But overall on the weekend, that is not going to get it done, especially coming down to the end here. If you don't win Friday, you don't even play Saturday."


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