When Wisconsin hits the ice this weekend vs. WCHA-leading St. Cloud State at the Veteran's Memorial Colsieum in Madison, it will be doing so without its full compliment of forwards once again. For the second consecutive weekend, Derek Lee is not expected to be available for the No. 14 Badgers, coach Mike Eaves said on Monday.
"I do not, to be really forward and up front," Eaves said when asked if he expects Lee to play. "Talking with (athletic trainer) Andy (Hrodey), we're hoping to get some real good progress this week, but I doubt that he'll be in the lineup."
The senior center injured his knee in last Monday's loss to Penn State and didn't make the trip over the weekend to Omaha, where Wisconsin swept the Mavericks.
The void without Lee is a rather large one, considering he leads the team in assists with 18 and is still fourth on the club in scoring despite missing seven games this season due to injury.
The North Vancouver, B.C., native missed two games vs Duluth in early October after a scooter accident forced him to the sidelines. Lee also missed three games for a concussion suffered against Alaska Anchorage in late January before sitting a pair of games due to the knee injury last weekend.
With Lee not available last weekend, Eaves elevated sophomore Brendan Woods to a line with wingers Joseph LaBate and Michael Mersch. The trio was outstanding in Friday's contest, registering three of Wisconsin's four goals, including Woods' game winner.
Expect that group to be reunited this weekend when St. Cloud comes to town.
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