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Wisconsin hockey recap: Badgers earn first win with 5-3 victory over Ferris State

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Corbin McGuire and Jack Dougherty scored their first collegiate goals as the Badgers earned their first victory of the year over Ferris State.

Larry Radloff Photography

Finally.

It took 10 games, but the Wisconsin men's hockey team has its first win of the season. The Badgers were able to battle past a tough Ferris State team on Saturday night to earn their first victory, 5-3.

Senior center Matt Paape, who scored his first goal in 77 games in Saturday's win, felt the Badgers deserved to finally get a win.

"It's been a long time coming," Paape said. "I know we've got a young team, but hats off to the young guys and the older guys for sticking through it, staying together, keep battling against each other each week in practice.

"It was definitely a good win for us, and it was nice to be able to earn it."

In a night of firsts, UW received first collegiate goals from redshirt freshman forward Corbin McGuire and freshman defenseman Jack Dougherty. Wisconsin also scored in the first period for the first time this season.

Some believed Friday's tie vs. Ferris State was a turning point in the season. If you ask head coach Mike Eaves, the video session following the game was the difference.

"It's something that needed to be done," Eaves said. "Because if we don't have that talk, we're fooling ourselves. Thinking that we have that tie, we win in a shootout, all is good.

"It was an honest talk. And that's the way you're going to grow, with being honest with each other."

Ferris State took a first period lead on Chad McDonald's eighth goal of the season. Wisconsin would bounce back later in the period on Grant Besse's second goal of the year.

Wisconsin and Ferris State would continue to trade goals, as the Bulldogs picked up goals from Austin Kosac and Tyler Andrew, and the Badgers were able to find the back of the net on conversions from McGuire and Paape.

With the score tied 3-3 late in the final period, Dougherty was able to put the Badgers ahead on a slap shot from 15-feet out. The conversion put Wisconsin ahead, and UW never looked back.

Dougherty was excited to finally get on the board, but was even more elated to get the first win of the season.

"I was more satisfied with the win," Dougherty said. "Guys from the fourth line to the first were playing their roles and it really showed tonight. I think we really deserved to win that game."

Saturday's victory was also a milestone for goaltender Joel Rumpel, who recorded his 50th win as a Badger. The win moves Rumpel into a tie with Mike Dibble for eighth all-time in program history.

Rumpel stopped 34 Ferris State shots on Friday night and another 30 on Saturday.

"You can just put an A+ for his efforts this weekend," Eaves said. "He was there when we needed him."

Wisconsin's performance was up and down all night, just as it was all weekend, but the Badgers are finally on the right track. It remains to be seen where this program can go the rest of the season, but tonight was a step in the right direction.

"It's a beginning," Eaves said. "We're not playing to the consistency level of the things we want to do, but it's certainly a beginning of going in that direction."

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