Wisconsin clad in their white home jerseys came out and clearly took control of the game from the opening puck drop. Their energy and puck movement kept play in the SCSU end, except for the special teams play from seven penalties in the period.
Wisconsin scored three goals in the first, two of which were shots off of big rebounds from SCSU goalie Mike Lee. “the message is that you need to get pucks and bodies to the net and then make [Mike Lee] make saves,” said Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves, “Early in the game we were able to get pucks [Lee] did not control very well.” As a result, thr Huskies starting goalie was replaced by Dan Dunn at 15:21 of the first. Still the score at the end of the first period was 3-1 Wisconsin.
Through the second period, the Huskies continued to be outplayed, but no scoring occurred.
“Our tanks weren’t full tonight,” said SCSU coach Bob Motzko regarding the Huskies overall play. “Wisconsin earned the victory. To our guys’ credit, we made it interesting at points.”
Still, the game was tight into the third with the Badgers still coming strong but not showing anything on the scoreboard for their efforts. It was eventually SCSU who scored next at 4:16 of the third to trail 3-2. Wisconsin countered 2:38 later to regain their two goal lead. The Huskies still would not say die scoring with the extra attacker on a delayed penalty at 17:10 of the third to again pull within one again at 4-3. It was shortly thereafter that Wisconsin iced the victory with an open net goal.
The Wisconsin win crowns them the West Region Champion and ends the season for SCSU.
How College Hockey Works. It is easy to see the effects of the seniors on the Huskies team this year, and maybe no one more than Garrett Raboin. When asked about his time at SCSU, Raboin stated:
They are going to keep making number 7’s and I’m sure coach has somebody ready to throw out there next year. I can’t say enough, it’s a tough loss and it’s sad that it is over…it’s tough to be disappointed with my career at St. Cloud, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.As far as the importance of having highly regarded juniors return as seniors, Coach Eaves had some parting thoughts. Eaves believes as more and more early departing athletes return to campus, their stories get out of long bus rides, three games in three nights, and the general grind of the minor league system. As more alumni come back with the same experiences, more players like Blake Geoffrion will stay to play their senior seasons.