Wisconsin's critics will point to its current five-game winning streak as a very soft part of the schedule. While true, it's very important to win those games, and so far, the Badgers have taken care of business.
UW (9-5-1, 2-2-0-0 Big Ten) remained undefeated at home this season, winning its eighth game of the year at the Kohl Center, 5-0, over Alabama-Huntsville (1-18, 1-11 WCHA) Friday night.
The Badgers received goals from five different players in the rout, and were able to put up a season high 55 shots in front of 9,098 fans.
Keegan Meuer got the scoring started for the Badgers in the first period, notching his second goal of the season. The goal came on a night in which Meuer saw his playing time increased with Nic Kerdiles gone at the World Junior Championships in Sweden.
"It was good to go out there and have a solid start," Meuer said. "It was a fortunate bounce for us and we were able to get a quick goal there to start and you get that confidence back."
Redshirt freshman Morgan Zulinick gave Wisconsin a 2-0 lead later in the period, the first goal of his UW career. The goal comes just one weekend after he was healthy scratched by the coaching staff in an effort to jump start his offense.
"I felt I played better than I've been playing," Zulinick said. "I got that goal and it was kind of a load off the back. After that, I had a little bit more confidence. I play with great guys and they help me out."
The Badgers would receive third period tallies from Grant Besse, Tyler Barnes and Michael Mersch. The late goal from Mersch extended his goal scoring streak to six games.
Joel Rumpel earned a shutout in the victory, turning aside nine shots. The shutout was the eighth of his Badger career. After the game Rumpel noted the challenges of not being tested often.
"Obviously the team was great in front of me," Rumpel said. "It is a little tough when you only get no shots the first period and three shots in the second. You have to stay in it a little bit, try not to fall asleep. The team kept all the shots to the outside so that helped too."
Wisconsin proved it was the more talented team Friday night, but Rumpel said the Badgers better come to play Saturday because Huntsville will come out with more urgency in the finale.
"They are coming off of a long break too," Rumpel said. "So the second game will be a better view of what kind of team they are. I know that our team will come out hard like they will and that will be key to fending them off another night."
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