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Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe, who many expect to have a breakout sophomore season won't play in the Badgers exhibition game Saturday vs the United States under 18 team. The story was first reported by the Wisconsin State Journal.
According to the report, McCabe has an undisclosed upper body injury, and could have played had the game counted in the standings. Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves told the WSJ that they are simply taking precautions with McCabe.
"We're just being smart about it,'' Eaves said.
The Badgers will dress fourteen forwards, seven defensemen, and three goalies for tonight's exhibition. Junior defenseman Chase Drake will fill in for McCabe on a pairing with Frankie Simonelli.
The State Journal also printed tonight's projected lineup, which is eerily similar to what I had projected weeks before the season started. Really, the only change was flipping left wingers Morgan Zulinick, and Joseph LaBate.
Wisconsin's projected lineup vs the U.S. Under 18 team:
Nic Kerdiles-Mark Zengerle-Tyler Barnes
Morgan Zulinick-Derek Lee-Michael Mersch
Ryan Little-Jefferson Dahl-Keegan Meuer
Joseph LaBate-Brendan Woods-Brad Navin
Matt Paape-Sean Little
Eddie Wittchow-John Ramage
Kevin Schulze-Joe Faust
Chase Drake-Frankie Simonelli
A few quick random notes:
-Game time tonight is 8 PM at the Kohl Center.
-USA defenseman #4 is Will Butcher from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The local product spurned the Badgers, and is currently committed to the University of Denver.
-Recruits from future Big Ten opponents to pay attention to in this game include #10 Evan Allen (Michigan), #7 J.T. Compher (Michigan), #22 Hudson Fasching (Minnesota), and #14 Tyler Motte (Michigan).
-One of the top uncommitted recruits in the country will be suiting up for the U18's today. His name is Connor Hurley and he's from Edina, Minnesota. He's filling in as an injury replacement before his high school season starts. I got a chance to scout him a few weeks back and he's the real deal. He's a former teammate of Wisconsin sophomore Joseph LaBate. He told the Hockey News recently that he'd like to make a college commitment in the Big Ten, or Hockey East.