Badgers Earn First Road Sweep With 4-2 Win
It was a night of firsts.
Jason Clark's first point of the season? Check. Sean Little's first goal of his Wisconsin career? Check. First road sweep of the season? Check.
Despite losing their team captain John Ramage just 7:51 into the game for a questionable contact to the head penalty, the Badgers were able to power through to earn a badly needed road sweep.
Wisconsin received some early goals from places they might not have been expecting them Saturday night.
Freshman Brad Navin tied the game at one with his third career goal. Sixteen minutes later sophomore Sean Little banged home his first career goal to tie the game at two.
Justin Schultz, who is no stranger to the score-sheet would put the Badgers up for good with his power play goal in the third.
Sophomore Michael Mersch would eventually ice the game with his empty net tally with a minute remaining in the contest.
Joel Rumpel, making his first start since suffering a gash above his knee last Friday night that required 20 stitches was solid in the series clinching victory. The freshman stopped 21 of 23 shots fired his way in the 4-2 win.
The wind was knocked out of the Badgers sails pretty early on in the contest on Saturday night.
After a faceoff in the Badgers zone, Ramage chased Bemidji forward Jamie MacQueen into the corner for the puck. Ramage delivered a cross check to MacQueen's shoulder that any other night would have drawn a two minute penalty.
WCHA officials Don Adam and Tim Walsh thought that Ramage had made contact to MacQueens head and issued him a five minute major and ejected him from the game.
Bemidji would score on the five minute advantage.
After Rumpel stopped a blast from the point, Beaver forward Ben Kinne corralled the rebound and banged it bast the sprawled out freshman net-minder.
The Badgers would bounce back in the second period with a goal from their fourth line.
Sophomore Jefferson Dahl found a loose puck in the corner and hit a circling Jason Clark out front. Clark's shot was stopped by Bemidji net-minder Dan Bakala but Navin was positioned perfectly on the back door and was easily able to deposit the rebound in the net.
Bemidji State would take advantage of another power play 7:39 into the second period. Again Rumpel was able to stop the first shot but no one picked up Jordan George on the back door. The Madison native was able to blast the rebound by Rumpel to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin would eventually tie up the game late in the second period with Little's first career goal.
Frankie Simonelli had the puck down below the goal line and made some nifty moves to avoid contact. The Sophomore defenseman then found a lane to the net and saw a wide open Sean Little sitting on the back door. A backhand pass in Little's wheelhouse later and the Badgers and Beavers were tied at 2.
The Badgers would go ahead for the first time in the third period on the power play.
The power play seemed to struggle most of the night but with time running out on their latest man advantage, Justin Schultz threw a wrist shot towards the cage that Bakala never seemed to see and it found the net to give Wisconsin a lead they would never relinquish.
Sophomore Michael Mersch added an empty netter with a minute remaining to seal the sweep for Wisconsin who needed one in the worst way.
Next weekend the Badgers will be back on the road, this time in Minneapolis as they take on league leading Minnesota.
Box Score from collegehockeystats.net
||1st Period (20:00)||
|WIS-1 John Ramage (5-CONTACT TO THE HEAD) (Served by Jefferson Dahl) BMJ 1x2||7:51|
|WIS-2 John Ramage (10-Game Misconduct)||7:51|
|BMJ||1||-||0||6x5 PP||Ben Kinne (10) (Shea Walters, Brad Hunt)||10:30|
|BMJ: 9,11,29,22,28,G33 WIS: 19,9,27,25,G33|
|BMJ-1 Jake Areshenko (2-Goaltender Interference) WIS 0x1||14:10|
||2nd Period (20:00)||
|WIS||1||-||1||6x6||Brad Navin (3) (Jason Clark, Jefferson Dahl)||2:48|
|WIS (+): 26,17,14,19,4,G33 BMJ (-): 7,5,25,6,13,G33|
|WIS-3 BENCH (2-Too Many Players) (Served by Jason Clark) BMJ 2x3||6:23|
|BMJ||2||-||1||6x5 PP||Jordan George (16) (Shea Walters, Brad Hunt)||7:39|
|BMJ: 28,11,9,25,29,G33 WIS: 12,18,27,24,G33|
|WIS-4 Ryan Little (2-Hooking) BMJ 2x4||10:58|
|BMJ-2 Brady Wacker (2-Tripping) WIS 0x2||14:22|
|WIS||2||-||2||6x6||Sean Little (1) (Frankie Simonelli, Keegan Meuer)||18:30|
|WIS (+): 18,27,12,19,20,G33 BMJ (-): 25,4,18,22,11,G33|
|BMJ-3 Jake Areshenko (5-Checking from Behind) (Served by Danny Mattson) WIS 1x4||19:22|
|BMJ-4 Jake Areshenko (10-Game Misconduct)||19:22|
||3rd Period (20:00)||
|WIS||3||-||2||6x5 PP||GW LL||Justin Schultz (15) (Jake McCabe, Mark Zengerle)||3:47|
|WIS: 6,19,9,7,25,G33 BMJ: 5,29,12,9,G33|
|BMJ-5 Darcy Findlay (2-Boarding) WIS 1x5||7:19|
|BMJ-6 Ben Kinne (2-Elbowing) WIS 1x6||9:39|
|WIS||4||-||2||6x6||EN||Michael Mersch (13) (Jefferson Dahl)||19:00|
|WIS (+): 25,14,6,9,27,G33 BMJ (-): 29,14,9,28,4,15|
||End of Game||
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