The Wisconsin hockey roster continues its transition after a substandard 2011-12 campaign that saw the Badgers finish just 17-18-2, and miss the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Monday that freshman forward Tyler Lapic, and junior third string goaltender Mitch Thompson are leaving the program to pursue options at the Division 3 level. This news comes on the heels of freshman defenseman Patrick Daly telling Bucky's 5th Quarter last week that he would be transferring to D-3 St. Thomas.
Lapic, a 6'1, 200 lb. winger played in just four games last season for the Badgers and did not record a point. The New Prague, Minnesota native played for three franchises in the USHL before arriving in Madison. In his two seasons in junior hockey, Lapic recorded 27 points in 87 games.
Thompson is a walk-on goaltender from Onalaska who has seen action in just one game since arriving in Madison.
The State Journal reported that Thompson saw the writing on the wall with two freshmen goaltenders in Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson ahead of him on the depth chart and decided that he wanted to go somewhere where he could play. That place appears to be St. John's in Collegeville, Mn.
Lapic likely saw the writing on the wall as well. After playing in just a few games last season, Lapic wasn't expected to see much ice time next season with the Badgers losing zero forwards to graduation.
Another surprise in the Wisconsin State Journal report was the news of junior-to-be Gavin Hartzog transitioning to defense full-time next season. The Badgers tinkered with Hartzog on defense in practice last season, but never used him in that capacity in a game situation.
With the incoming freshman class for next fall expected to include just four members, that leaves the roster at a traditional 15 forwards, and 8 defensemen.That does not include the expected departure of Justin Schultz.
Wisconsin is expected to add a walk-on practice goaltender at some point this summer to replace Thompson.
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