Sophomore Frankie Simonelli got the scoring started for the Badgers Friday night in a 4-2 win. Photo: Nicole Haase.
Wisconsin Knocks Off Bemidji 4-2 Friday Night
Wisconsin came into Friday night's road series at Bemidji with just one road win this season. The Badgers also hadn't won a game this season on a 200x85 foot NHL size ice surface.
None of it seemed to matter as the Badgers baffled the Beavers for much of the night en route to their second road victory of the season.
Things looked shaky early on as the Badgers took four penalties in the first period, putting the WCHA's worst penalty kill to work way too often in the early stages of the contest.
Wisconsin managed to get through it unscathed, and that confidence propelled the Badgers to their ninth victory of the conference season.
The Badgers received goals from Frankie Simonelli, Justin Schultz, and Michael Mersch during a dominating second period. Badger captain John Ramage iced the game for Wisconsin with an empty netter in the third.
Freshman net-minder Landon Peterson stopped 28 of 30 shots in the win.
Bemidji controlled the play much of the first period with the Badgers spending eight minutes in the penalty box.
While Wisconsin was able to kill all four penalties off, the Beavers were first to get on the board 17:10 into the period.
With a faceoff in the Badgers zone, Bemidji center Shea Walters won the draw clean back to Beaver defenseman Jake Areshenko. The freshman fired a shot towards the Badger cage that slipped through multiple bodies out front, banked off the far post and found the back of the net.
Badger goaltender Landon Peterson who was making his second straight start was screened on the shot and didn't pick it up until it was too late.
The second period was another story all together.
The Badgers came out of the gates flying in the second stanza and were rewarded with a flukey goal by sophomore Frankie Simonelli.
The Badger defenseman fired a shot on the Bemidji net that went high and wide off the glass. The puck took a funky hop and shot right back out towards the front of the net. An unsuspecting Bemidji goaltender Dan Bakala inadvertently got in the way and the puck bounced off the back of his leg and some how found its way into the net.
The Badgers controlled play much of the rest of the period and jumped up to a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later. With Mark Zengerle out front screening Bakala, Schultz threw a shot on goal that beat the senior net-minder and gave the Badgers a lead they would never relinquish.
Wisconsin's third goal which ended up being the game winner came on a beautiful line rush.
Zengerle brought the puck into the zone down the right wing and sent a cross ice pass to Tyler Barnes. The sophomore winger slowed things down and found a streaking Michael Mersch trailing the play late.
Wide open coming into the zone, Mersch took his time and fired the puck high and hard over the glove of the outstretched Bakala.
Bemidji came back inspired in the third and cut the Badgers lead to one just one minute forty seconds into the final stanza.
With Peterson hugging the post Bemidji's Jamie MacQueen somehow managed to poke the puck across the line as Peterson reached to cover the puck.
Bemidji controlled much of the play in the third but Peterson stood tall making a number key saves including one on Beaver leading scorer Jordan George to hold the Badgers lead.
Ramage would ice the game with an empty netter with 32 seconds remaining.
Box Score from CollegeHockeyStats.net
|1st Period (20:00)||
|WIS-1 Eric Springer (2-Checking from Behind) BMJ 0x1||5:12|
|WIS-2 Ryan Little (2-Interference) BMJ 0x2||8:57|
|BMJ-1 Jordan George (2-Interference) WIS 0x1||12:53|
|WIS-3 Joseph LaBate (2-High-Sticking) BMJ 0x3||14:59|
|BMJ||1||-||0||6x6||Jake Areshenko (3) (Shea Walters)||17:10|
|BMJ (+): 8,11,4,15,7,G33 WIS (-): 8,25,27,6,9,G30|
||2nd Period (20:00)||
|BMJ-2 Jordan George (2-Interference) WIS 0x2||1:33|
|WIS||1||-||1||6x6||Frankie Simonelli (5) (Joseph LaBate, John Ramage)||3:57|
|WIS (+): 27,16,21,8,55,G30 BMJ (-): 28,4,13,15,8,G33|
|WIS||2||-||1||6x6||LL||Justin Schultz (14) (Michael Mersch)||6:08|
|WIS (+): 6,27,9,8,25,G30 BMJ (-): 7,4,11,29,22,G33|
|WIS-4 BENCH (2-Too Many Players) (Served by Matt Paape) BMJ 0x4||13:52|
|WIS||3||-||1||6x6||GW||Michael Mersch (12) (Tyler Barnes, Mark Zengerle)||19:47|
|WIS (+): 25,7,9,24,4,G30 BMJ (-): 28,15,8,9,14,G33|
||3rd Period (20:00)||
|BMJ||2||-||3||6x6||Jamie MacQueen (3) (Ben Kinne, Jeff Jubinville)||1:40|
|BMJ (+): 17,9,12,5,25,G33 WIS (-): 20,7,21,55,19,G30|
|Timeout - Bemidji State||18:20|
|Timeout - Wisconsin||19:04|
|WIS||4||-||2||6x6||EN||John Ramage (3) (Mark Zengerle)||19:28|
|WIS (+): 55,9,14,6,27,G30 BMJ (-): 9,16,28,29,14,22|
|WIS-5 Eric Springer (2-Interference) BMJ 0x5||19:32|
||End of Game||
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