UMD falls to Wisconsin in playoff opener
By: By Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram
MADISON -- Two second-period goals led No. 14-ranked Wisconsin to a 3-1 win over Minnesota Duluth to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men's first-round playoff series Friday night before 8,228 fans at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers (18-12-7) can close out the best-of-three series in Saturday's 7:07 p.m. game. The Bulldogs (14-18-5), who had a five-game unbeaten streak snapped, must win Saturday or have their season end.
Wisconsin controlled the game's first six minutes, leading in shots on goal 8-1, and constantly testing goalie Aaron Crandall.
A nice-passing rush led to a 1-0 UMD lead at 7:38 of the opening period. Senior winger Dan DeLisle got to a Caleb Herbert rebound, wide open in the slot, and buried an attempt for his third goal of the season. Because winger Joe Basaraba was unable to play after being sick this week, coach Scott Sandelin did some line juggling before game time, which included moving DeLisle to the Herbert line.
The Badgers had the first four shots on goal of the game and had an 8-1 edge before UMD went 9-2 over the final 14 minutes.
Goals early and late in the second period provided Wisconsin a 2-1 lead. Just five seconds into a 4-on-4 shift, after a faceoff in the Badger offensive zone, freshman Nic Kerdiles drove a shot from the mid-slot for his seventh goal of the season at 6:21.
Defenseman John Ramage launched an attempt from just a little further out, on a power play, to put Wisconsin ahead with 4:29 remaining in the period.
The Badgers kept UMD from mounting any kind of an offensive push in the second period.
Wisconsin added an empty-net goal with 21.6 seconds to play in the game and led in shots on goal 33-27. Goalie Joel Rumpel got the win.