Wisconsin hockey notebook: With Kerdiles in Sweden, LaBate gets opportunity at center

Larry Radloff Photography

An injury to Sean Little also opens the door for one of the two freshmen --- either Aidan Cavallini or Corbin McGuire -- to make their UW debut.

One final blog post as we wrap up 2013 here at Bucky's 5th Quarter. According to the Wisconsin State Journal's Andy Baggot, junior Joseph LaBate is going to get an opportunity at center this weekend when Wisconsin hosts Alaska-Anchorage in a non-conference series.

The move to the middle for LaBate comes with sophomore Nic Kerdiles absent from the lineup as he's over in Sweden with Team USA at the World Junior Championships.

LaBate is no stranger to the position, as he was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks as a center in the fourth round of the 2011 draft following his senior season at the Academy of Holy Angels in Minnesota.

While he's primarily played the left wing while at Wisconsin, LaBate did see some time in the circle as a freshman due to injures. In his first season for the Badgers, LaBate played six games at the position, including the exhibition vs. the U.S. NTDP U-18 team.

While LaBate has been a winger exclusively this season and last, he will jump in on draws from time-to-time. Over the past two seasons LaBate is 30-37 on faceoffs

One other big piece of information that came out today was the news senior forward Sean Little will miss the next few weeks due to a shoulder injury. That gives an opportunity to one of two freshmen who have yet to make their Wisconsin debuts -- either Aidan Cavallini, or Corbin McGuire.

Projected lines vs. Alaska-Anchorage:

Grant Besse-Mark Zengerle-Tyler Barnes
Morgan Zulinick-Jefferson Dahl-Michael Mersch
Brad Navin-Joseph LaBate-Jedd Soleway
Matt Paape-Keegan Meuer-Aidan Cavallini/Corbin McGuire

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)

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