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Badgers ready to bounce back against Lake Superior State

Wisconsin is looking to rebound after a bye week and a forgettable trip to Boston.

Nic Kerdiles' point streak is now up to 16 games, just five away from the team record
Nic Kerdiles' point streak is now up to 16 games, just five away from the team record
Larry Radloff photography

The Badger men's hockey team could use some time off. Coming off a disastrous road trip to Boston, the Badgers (2-2-0) had a bye week to try and regroup and prepare for this weekend's home series against No. 12 Lake Superior State.

"Our guys are ready to do that," head coach Mike Eaves said at his weekly press conference on his team getting over its debacle in Beantown. "I think that's part of making last week very positive and moving forward. But the only thing that's really going to put that behind us when you get back on the ice."

Eaves pointed to the experience his team gained after going through its early-season struggles last season as one of the benefits of having a senior-oriented team.

"They understand some of that. They were saying the right things," he said. "Based on their work effort last week and what we accomplished they had moved on and were getting prepared for Lake State."

One of the few positives that survived the Badgers' losses to Boston College and Boston University was that Nic Kerdiles' scored in each game to extend his point streak to 16 games.

The freshman now has five points (2-3) in his team's four games this season, and has scored a point in each game dating back to Feb. 24. And is now within five games of the school record.

The holder of that record is Eaves himself, who scored 48 points in 21 straight games during the 1977-'78 season. While this is the second time in three years that his record has been threatened - Mark Zengerle scored in 20 straight games during the '11-'12 season - Eaves said it is really not on his mind.

"We talked about this with Mark two years ago, I really don't think about it," he said. "If it happens, tremendous. I'll be the first to shake his hand. But we're worried about Friday night and trying to be 1-0."

One key factor in getting to "1-0" this weekend will be goaltender Joel Rumpel. The junior did not travel with his team to Boston - where the Badgers gave up 16 goals in two games - after suffering an ankle injury prior to the trip.

The extra time off has given Rumpel more time to heal up, and Eaves said he is "hopeful" that his netminder will be able to give it a go this weekend, but said that his status will be determined by how much he is able to do at practice this week.

"Everything's moving forward [with Joel]," Eaves said. "The next couple of days will be important for this weekend to see where he's at. He'll get on the ice today and we'll go a little bit further and see how much he can handle."