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Wisconsin vs. Alabama-Huntsville recap: Badgers find way to win ugly

The Badgers took care of business Saturday night, defeating Huntsville and remaining unbeaten at home this season.

Larry Radloff Photography

It wasn't always pretty, but the Wisconsin men's hockey team got the job done Saturday night.

The Badgers (10-5-1, 2-2-0-0 Big Ten) eked out a 3-2 victory over Alabama-Huntsville to extend their win streak to six games while remaining undefeated at home on the season. Wisconsin's 9-0-1 mark at home is the best start at the Kohl Center in school history.

One night after putting up a season high 55 shots, the Badgers threw up 45 at Huntsville goaltender Carmine Guerriero, who kept the game much closer than it actually was.

"Give credit to their young goaltender," Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said after the game. "He fought off some screens and tips and such. He had the post working for him. Tonight was just us not being able to finish and their goalie playing well.

"We did a good job staying with it and we got the job done."

Jefferson Dahl and Joseph LaBate jump-started UW out to a two goal lead quickly in the first period, but the UW offense stagnated from then on.

The Badgers' power-play -- which has had its share of ups-and-downs this season -- reached a low point over the weekend, failing to record a single goal with the man-advantage in two games against the nation's worst penalty killing team.

Wisconsin was without Nic Kerdiles, who is in Sweden with team USA at the World Junior Championships. Kerdiles was replaced by Joseph LaBate on UW's top power play unit.

"It is just a matter of us getting reps together and getting used to each other," Eaves said.

The Chargers (1-19-0, 1-11-0 WCHA) did slightly better on the power play, as they cut the UW lead to one after beating junior goaltender Landon Peterson with a 5-on-3 advantage in the third period.

Senior Tyler Barnes put Wisconsin back up two with less than three minutes to play on what would end up as the game-winning goal after Alabama-Huntsville pulled back within one with less than 20 seconds to go.

The Badgers held on for the final few ticks of the clock and earned the sweep of the Chargers, who are playing in their first season in the WCHA.

Next weekend Wisconsin will play host to Alaska-Anchorage in the final non-conference series of the season for the Badgers.