Friday night, the Wisconsin hockey team blew an early two-goal lead and eventually fell, 5-4, in overtime. Saturday night, the Badgers were blanked, 2-0, by the same Colorado College team that came into the weekend on a three-game losing streak.
A tough weekend for the Wisconsin hockey team went from bad to worse Saturday night as the Badgers learned the fate of their junior center. Not only were the Badgers swept on their home ice, but they lost Mark Zengerle for the foreseeable future.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves announced after the game that Zengerle broke his finger and will 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.
The injury happened around the midway point of the period, and Zengerle did not return to the game.
Zengerle told Bucky's 5th Quarter after the game that he knew it was broke instantly after the play. In fact, he used the term 'mangled' when describing what his 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.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves noted that obviously Zengerle's loss makes things tougher for the Badgers offensively.
"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.
While Wisconsin was able to get off to an early lead on Friday, it was Colorado College who scored first in the series finale.
Shortly after a Wisconsin penalty expired, Tiger sophomore center Archie Skalbeck was able to corral a loose puck on the side of the cage and roof it over the shoulder of Badger goaltender Joel Rumpel.
The goal gave Colorado College some much needed confidence, but head coach Scott Owens noted after the game that his club likes playing in this environment.
"It's an easy building for us to get excited and motivated to play in." Owens said.
"It's a good environment, first class facility, fans are good."
Despite Owens kind words about the fans, Wisconsin announced a crowd of just 10,694 Saturday night. Far from what they'd like on the home opening Saturday of the season.
CC would extend their lead to two in the second period thanks to some help from the Badgers. Alexander Krushelnyski, who scored the game winner for the Tigers Friday night threw the puck on net and it happened to deflect off a Badger stick into the back of the net.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, that's kind of the way things went all weekend.
"It was a tough day at the office. It's like you are biking into the wind, swimming into the stream and it certainly felt like that today especially," Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves noted after the game.
Colorado College would put an exclamation point on the weekend late in the third on a power-play goal by Mike Boivin.
The Badgers out-shot the Tigers all night, but could never solve CC goaltender Mike Howe. Owens was happy with the way his senior goaltender stepped up on Saturday.
"I'm proud of our guys, I thought we played a good road game. Joe Howe stood in there very tall, and gave us a chance."
Owens also noted that the Tigers were lucky to catch the Badgers at a moment of weakness.
"I think when Zengerle is healthy, and (suspended freshman Nic) Kerdiles is back that they’re going to be a much better team, but we caught them at a good time."
Zengerle will be out for the foreseeable future, but the Badgers need to get back to work and focus on Minnesota.
"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 Tyler Barnes said after the game.
"You know he is out for right now, so we let’s get back together as a team and come together and play hard."
Wisconsin will have next weekend off before hitting the road and traveling to Minneapolis for a pair against the Gophers in two weeks. Eaves said it's a good opportunity for his club to go back to work.
"We are going back to work and we have two weeks of practice that we can pound and get better in certain parts of our game so when we go on the road after our bye week, we are ready to play, and hopefully will be able to do some good things."
||1st Period (20:00)||
|WIS-1 Michael Mersch (2-Interference) CC 0x1||19:45|
||2nd Period (20:00)||
|CC||1||-||0||6x6||GW LL||Archie Skalbeck (4) (Andrew Hamburg, Ian Young)||1:58|
|CC (+): 12,15,20,16,4,G31 WIS (-): 9,25,7,24,55,G33|
|CC-1 Peter Stoykewych (2-Cross-Checking) WIS 0x1||3:18|
|CC-2 Joe Marciano (2-Cross-Checking)||9:31|
|WIS-2 Brad Navin (2-Slashing)||9:31|
|CC||2||-||0||6x6||Alexander Krushelnyski (4) (unassisted)||15:50|
|CC (+): 16,17,20,25,4,G31 WIS (-): 8,15,12,24,22,G33|
||3rd Period (20:00)||
|CC-3 Eamonn McDermott (2-Holding the Stick) WIS 0x2||7:11|
|WIS-3 Jake McCabe (2-Elbowing) CC 1x2||16:15|
|CC||3||-||0||6x5 PP||Mike Boivin (2) (Eamonn McDermott)||17:48|
||End of Game||
|Colorado College Goaltending||1st||2nd||3rd||Total||Minutes||GA|
|Joe Howe (W, 2-0-0)||11||10||12||33||60:00||0|
|Joel Rumpel (L, 1-3-1)||7||7||0||14||39:57||2|
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