Wisconsin dropped Saturday's contest to Colorado College 3-0, falling to the Tigers for the second straight night. The real news though was the status of the Badgers' top line center.
Things went from bad to worse Saturday night for Wisconsin, as they learned that they will be without leading scorer and top forward Mark Zengerle for the foreseeable future.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves announced after the game that Zengerle broke his finger and would be out indefinitely.
The injury seemed to occur in the second period when Zengerle blocked a shot while the the Badgers were short handed. The Rochester, N.Y. native finished his shift, but quickly went to the locker room with trainer Andy Hrodey.
Zengerle would not return to the contest.
After the game Zengerle told Bucky's 5th Quarter that he knew it was broke instantly. In fact, he used the term 'mangled' when describing what his injured finger looked like immediately after the injury.
Zengerle also noted that it's expected he'll be out five-to-six weeks while the injury heals. That would put his timeline to return sometime in mid-December.
Zengerle was admittedly frustrated talking about the injury, but noted that there was nothing that he can do at this point.
The Badgers had been struggling offensively with Zengerle in the lineup, so his loss isn't going to do much to help things. Through six games Wisconsin is just 49th in the country in scoring, averaging a meager 1.83 goals per game.
Eaves noted that obviously Zengerle's loss makes things even tougher for an already offensively challenged Badger club.
"Well, it just makes it more difficult, if you want to make a blanket statement, it just makes it more difficult for us to score goals than it has been," Eaves noted after the game.
The junior center was leading the Badgers in scoring coming into the night with two goals and four assists through the first five games of the season. Zengerle was also riding a five game point streak heading into Saturday.
Arguably the most important player on the Badger roster, Zengerle was the top returning scorer in college hockey heading into the 2012-13 campaign. As a sophomore one season ago, Zengerle recorded 13 goals and 37 assists for 50 points in 37 games for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin has a bye week next weekend, and are headed to Minnesota after that to take on the highly ranked Gophers. Zengerle obviously won't be in the lineup for the Badgers for that series, so it's time for other guys to step up.
"Losing a guy like Mark (Zengerle) is a big impact on the team. He is a great player, but we can’t worry about what we could or couldn’t do without him," Junior winger Tyler Barnes said after Saturday's game.
"You know he is out for right now, so let’s get back together as a team and come together and play hard."
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