Dowell nets 2 to lift UW

first_imgAfter failing to hold a lead late in Friday’s game, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team (3-1-2, 2-1-1 WCHA) learned a few valuable lessons that they took with them into Saturday’s contest.”I thought that we didn’t play on our toes [Friday],” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “We played on our heels, in terms of the mentality. That’s a lesson in itself, to play with the lead, to keep doing the same things, to be intelligent about certain areas of the game.”The second-ranked Badgers certainly played on their toes Saturday, pulling out a 5-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth (1-1-2, 0-1-1 WCHA) after skating to a 2-2 tie the night before.The Bulldogs scored first Saturday as UMD forward Michael Gergen snuck a rebound shot past Elliott for a power play goal.The Badgers tied things up with freshman Ben Grotting’s first goal of the season and later took the lead when center Ben Street took a pass from Blake Geoffrion and fired it over UMD goaltender Alex Stalock’s shoulder.Minnesota-Duluth capitalized on another Badger penalty in the second period as center Matt McKnight evened the score at two goals apiece.That would be all the scoring the Bulldogs would get the rest of the night. Wisconsin, on the other hand, would not be content on sitting on a one goal lead.”I think that was something that we as players were stressing the whole night,” UW forward Jake Dowell said. “Once we got a lead we were trying to stress that we need to not [only] hold the lead but to play to win, not to play to not lose.”Freshman defenseman Jamie McBain would collect his first goal as a Badger with only 11 seconds remaining in the second period. After a clearing attempt by UMD went straight to McBain, the youngster held the puck near the blue line as the 14,116 fans in the Kohl Center urged him to shoot.”It was pretty much just instinct,” McBain said, “but you obviously hear the crowd.”The third period was the Jake Dowell show. With his father in the stands for the first time in more than a year, Dowell made sure he gave his dad and the rest of the Badger fans something to cheer about.Dowell’s first goal of the night and fourth of the season came on the power play, as he fought for the puck in front of the net and eventually poked it past Stalock to give Wisconsin a 4-2 lead.His second goal of the period was just as scrappy. Dowell controlled the puck after a deflected pass by teammate Andrew Joudrey and, with his back to the goal, backhanded it into the net. “I don’t mind getting in and playing dirty and playing physical,” Dowell said. Friday night’s result was not quite as positive for the Badgers, as they squandered a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes to play in regulation.”The lesson we can learn from this is how we play when we have a lead in the third period,” Eaves said. “We talked about doing the right things, but we didn’t execute the same way that we did earlier in the game.”After a scoreless first period, sophomore Tom Gorowsky’s power play goal put the Badgers on the board. The goal was Gorowsky’s first as a Badger.The Bulldogs soon responded with a goal of their own. Mason Raymond eventually ended up with the puck after Wisconsin’s Andrew Joudrey was unable to clear it out of the zone. Raymond’s backhander found its way past Elliott to tie it up.On yet another power play, the Badgers took a late second period lead. With all four Bulldogs bunched up in front of the net, Joudrey found the puck as the rebound came out to center. His shot found its way through traffic, and the Badgers took a 2-1 lead. Freshman Mike Davies was credited with his second assist of the game on the play.”It was nice to see the power play have some success,” Eaves said. “That contributed in a very positive way.”Unable to kill off a power play and hold a lead late in the game, the Badgers gave up a goal late in the third period. Minnesota-Duluth’s Josh Meyers went five-hole to tie it up.”Any time you give up a lead, it’s disappointing,” Joudrey said. “When you have a lead in the third period, you just can’t hang on, especially in this league. Even when you’re ahead, you have to play to win. We need to have that mentality in the third period when we have a lead that we can’t take our foot off the gas.”Despite playing what they felt was some of their strongest hockey of the night, Wisconsin was unable to come up with a goal in overtime.”There were a couple things that, once we got to overtime, I thought we did a nice job,” Eaves said. “I think we played some of our best hockey in overtime. We readjusted and we played well.”last_img

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