Wisconsin's scoring ability -- or lack thereof -- remains a giant storyline, as UW was shutout for the second time in three games this season, falling to Northern Michigan on Friday night, 2-0.
Northern Michigan potted goals from Dominik Shine and Darren Nowick, and goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom turned aside all 18 shots he saw from the Badgers.
Wisconsin rarely challenged Dahlstrom, generating just a couple scoring chances on the evening. The Badgers shook up their lineup at various times in an attempt to kick-start the offense, but the pieces of the puzzle never came together at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
1-0, Northern Michigan (9:27): Dominik Shine (Shane Sooth): NMU takes the 1-0 lead off a faceoff play to the right of goaltender Joel Rumpel. Sooth won the faceoff back to Shine, who wristed a shot towards the Wisconsin goal. It appeared as if the puck hit the stick of UW defenseman Jack Dougherty, and was redirected past Rumpel and into the net.
2-0, Northern Michigan (14:15) PP: Darren Nowick (Gerard Hanson and John Siemer): Northern goes up 2-0 as they add a power play conversion. Hanson had the puck behind the net and none of the Badgers picked up Nowick out in front of the net, including the closest defender, Chase Drake. Hanson fed a pass out to Nowick in the slot who quickly whisked the puck past Rumpel.
3 stars of the game
1. Dominik Shine (Northern Michigan): Scored the game-winning goal and was probably the best player on the ice for the Wildcats all night.
2. Mathias Dahlstrom (Northern Michigan): Stopped all 18 shots he saw from the Badgers. Wasn't challenged very often, but when he was, he was very solid and didn't allow many second-chance opportunities.
3. Shane Sooth (Northern Michigan): Had an assist on Shine's goal when he won the faceoff clear back to Shine who was able to beat Rumpel on the shot. Sooth took a ton of faceoffs for Northern Michigan, winning 16 of his 24 draws on the night.
- I don't know if it's because there are so many new faces on the ice this season, but I've never seen a team that struggles so much to make and complete passes. Wisconsin has been brutal advancing the puck up the ice this season, and tonight was the most glaring example.
- Wisconsin was 0-5 on the man advantage, and really struggled to get things going. Northern Michigan played extremely aggressive on the penalty kill, and the Badgers couldn't get things set up.
- Assistant coach Gary Shuhuk was on the radio show after the game with Brian Posick (WIBA 1310) and said it best that if Wisconsin's top forward (Grant Besse) doesn't have a productive shift until the eight minute mark of the second period, things are not going to go well for the Badgers.
- You can probably count the number of Wisconsin scoring chances on one hand. Jedd Soleway had a rebound opportunity in the first period on the power play. Besse had a chance on a 2-on-1 break that was blockered away by Dahlstrom in the second. Other than that UW didn't have much in the way of offense. They had a flurry in the final 30 seconds with the goaltender pulled, but by then it was too little, too late.
- One of the most disappointing things has to be the lack of production in the third period. Wisconsin managed just five shots on goal in the final period, with the majority of them coming in that final minute. There was no urgency, no threat of offense basically the entire period.
- Rumpel made a huge pad save with around three minutes remaining in the second period going to his left. Freshman defenseman Keegan Ford did a nice job taking the stick away from the NMU player on the back door.
Tweet of the game
@AndyJohnsonB5Q pic.twitter.com/YDjyJccZqO— Matt Wellens (@mattwellens) October 18, 2014
Wisconsin and Northern Michigan will be back in action Saturday night at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter -- Follow @AndyJohnsonB5Q
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)