Yes, it was an exhibition game. Yes, it was against the University of Victoria (UVic) Vikes, a non-varsity, self-funded club that had to pay for its own flights from British Columbia.
But you know, sometimes, when you’ve had a couple of really bad years, including a horrorshow season that gets your old coach fired, a good old-fashioned blowout in front of your home faithful is just what the doctor ordered.
The Badgers, in a display of firepower not seen since a 10-3 beatdown of Colorado College in 1993, took the wood to our friendly neighbors to the north on Saturday, beating the Vikes 10-1. Poor UVic goaltender Scott Legault faced a total of 63 shots while freshmen counterparts Jack Berry and Johan Blomquist saw just 10 combined, with only Blomquist letting in a goal.
Junior Matt Utaski kicked off the shelling with a short-handed goal midway through the first period. The Badgers would score three more before the end of the period and the route was on.
When the dust settled, sophomore captain Luke Kunin led the way with a total of three goals. Seamus Malone netted two, and five other players (Dan Labosky, Ryan Wagner, Jason Ford, Will Johnson and Utaski) scored.
"Tonight was a night where you saw a lot of our skill players make plays," coach Tony Granato said in his postgame press conference. Noting that 25 players saw ice time, he added, "Everybody had a positive night, everybody did something really well; something we’ve asked them to do from a concept standpoint ... it was a good night for us."
The Badgers match up with Northern Michigan on Friday and Saturday at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Puck drops for both games at 7:07 p.m.