"When you play two-thirds of the game, odds are you aren't going to win most of the time."--Ryan Little
Ain't that the truth.
Friday night saw another 40 minute effort out of the Wisconsin hockey team, which isn't good enough to win games consistently in the best league in college hockey.
The Badgers' came out flat against Minnesota State Friday night, and it cost them. The Maverick's built an early 2-1 lead and ended up knocking off Wisconsin 4-2 in the series opener.
Wisconsin has yet to put together a full 60 minutes this season, and it shows in their paltry 1-6-2 record.
"We're all over the map," Little said. "Start of the year, we came out flying in the first couple periods for the first two or three games and fell off the last period and now we're on the other end of the spectrum."
The record is ugly, but there's a lot of season left. Wisconsin has yet to play a game with their full complement of forwards. Friday night the Badgers' were without Nic Kerdiles (NCAA suspension), Mark Zengerle (finger injury), and Morgan Zulinick (knee injury).
Saturday is another opportunity for the Badgers to get back on the horse and earn some much needed WCHA league points against Minnesota State.
"I know no one in that room is going to give up, the coaching staff's not going to give up, the leadership group's not going to give up," Little said.
"That's our only option right now. We're pretty close to rock bottom and we've got to dig our way out."
1-0 Minnesota State--2:11--Margonari (Leitner, Jutzi): Matt Leitner carries the puck into the offensive zone and cuts to the middle drawing Badger blue-liner Chase Drake with him out of position. Leitner then feeds Margonari with a nice pass and he was able to do the rest, roofing one over the glove of Badger goaltender Landon Peterson.
1-1 Wisconsin--3:22--Mersch (Lee, Meuer): With the puck bouncing around out front, Derek Lee bats the puck out of the air at the Minnesota State net. Stephon Williams makes the initial save, but Michael Mersch is there to bang home the rebound for his seventh goal of the season.
2-1 Minnesota State--10:18--Leitner (Margonari, Palmquist): Margonari circles around the offensive zone and finds a streaking Leitner cutting down the slot. Wisconsin's defensemen (Jake McCabe) fails to pick up Leitner and he's able to redirect Margonari's pass past Peterson for the 2-1 advantage.
2-2 Wisconsin--11:57--R. Little (Un.): Wisconsin alternate captain Ryan Little forces a turnover on an effort play and fires a shot on goal. Mavericks goaltender Stephon Williams isn't able to close his five hole in time and the puck sneaks across the line to tie things up at two.
3-2 Minnesota State--5:48--Hayes (LaFontaine, Palmquist): LaFontaine finds a wide open Eriah Hayes trailing the play on a line rush, and the senior winger uses Wisconsin's Sean Little as a screen to fire a wrist shot past Peterson.
4-2 Minnesota State--19:15--Zuck (McInnis, Elbrecht): Empty net goal by Zuck to ice the victory for Minnesota State.
Bucky's 5th Quarter (Johnson): Badgers' Tripped Up By Minnesota State 4-2 Friday Night
Wisconsin State Journal (Baggot): Loss to Mankato leaves UW 'pretty close to rock bottom'
Mankato Free Press (Frederick): Maverick's end losing streak in Madison
PucKato (Frederick): Freddy's three thoughts of the game
UWBadgers.com: Wisconsin falls to Minnesota State, 4-2
MSUMavericks.com: Four Different Players Score as Minnesota State Downs Wisconsin