Wisconsin (4-20-4, 2-10-2-2 Big Ten) visits co-Big Ten leader and 17th-ranked Michigan (17-11-0, 9-5-0 Big Ten) for a Friday-Saturday series at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Friday's game begins at 6:30 p.m. CT and airs on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports Detroit Plus, while Saturday's tilt is a 3 p.m. CT start on BTN.
Games 29-30 | Wisconsin (4-20-4, 2-10-2-2 Big Ten) vs. No. 17 Michigan (17-11-0, 9-5-0-0 Big Ten)
Game Notes Complete men's hockey game notes in printable PDF format.
MICH Last Meeting:L, 6-0 -- Michigan jumped to a 2-0 lead 2:03 into the game, led 4-0 after one period and never looked back in a 6-0 blanking of UW on Jan. 24 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Joel Rumpel started the game, but was pulled after the second goal allowed for Landon Peterson. Rumpel returned to the net for the start of the second period and finished with 25 saves. The loss marked the third modern-era shutout loss to the Wolverines and first since March 1, 1969, a 2-0 loss in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The loss also gave Michigan a sweep after a 7-4 victory the night before. In the first game of the series, UW jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the second period, but allowed Michigan to take the lead, 6-4, with three goals in a 2:03 span of the third period. Michigan added an empty-net tally for the final score. Rumpel made 31 saves in the game, while Joseph LaBate (two), Grant Besse and Jedd Soleway scored for UW.
MICH Series Notes:The teams meet for the 131st and 132nd time ... UW is 7-8-2 against Michigan under head coach Mike Eaves, including 2-3-1 in Ann Arbor ... UW lost and tied in Ann Arbor last year, dropping a 3-1 decision and tying 2-2. Michigan won the shootout that followed the tie ... the last Badger to hail from Michigan was Temperance, Michigan native, defenseman Jon Krall, who played for the Badgers from 2000-04 ... UW head coach Mike Eaves' brother Murray played for Michigan (1978-80).
KEY NOTES TO CONSIDER UW enters the weekend coming off a split last week against Michigan State. The Badgers won the first game last Friday, 2-1, before falling 3-0 to the Spartans on Saturday.
Michigan also split last weekend, playing a home-and-home series with Ohio State. The Wolverines lost the opener last Friday, 5-3, at Ohio State, before grabbing a 5-2 victory Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
UW's victory last Friday gave it a modest two-game winning streak, the first for the Badgers this season. UW had last won two consecutive games last March 15-22, 2014, when it won three-straight contests.
Fifth-year senior defenseman Chase Drake (Mosinee, Wisconsin) scored one of UW's two goals last Friday in UW's 2-1 victory. The goal snapped a 21-game goal-scoring drought for Drake, who had last scored Nov. 7, 2014 against North Dakota. Drake had two goals in the game against UND and now has three on the season. He has five points in 28 games this year. Drake owns six goals for his career.
Defenseman accounted for both UW goals last weekend, the first for any UW rearguard in four games, with junior Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) tallying last Friday's game-winner for his fourth goal of the season. UW's leading scorer on the blue line with four goals and 11 points, Schulze ranks fifth on the team in scoring.
In his career, Schulze boasts 34 points, which ranks third among current Badgers.
Schulze's nine Big Ten points ranks fourth among league defenders, while his 11 overall points share seventh.
Schulze has eight points in his last 10 games with points in six of the 10 contests. Schulze chipped in last weekend with an assist on Friday.
Senior goaltender Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) ranks fourth in the nation with an average of 31.154 saves per game. Rumpel has made at least 30 saves in 15 games this season. He had eight games with at least 30 saves all of last year in 29 appearances. He also has five games with at least 40 saves this season after having just one all of last season and two for his career prior to the start of the 2014-15 campaign. He had nine games of 30+ saves during both the 2012-13 (29 GP) and 2011-12 (26 GP) seasons.
Rumpel sits fifth on UW's career victories list for goaltenders with 53 wins. He is two victories away from tying for fourth all-time with UW All-American goaltender Kirk Daubenspeck, who had 55 victories in 121 games played.
UW CAREER VICTORIES
Rumpel has 656 saves on 723 shots faced over the last 18 games he's finished. He has averaged 36.4 saves on 40.2 shots against during the stretch.
Rumpel has allowed two goals or less in three of his last four games and now has a total of 55 career games allowing two goals or less. Rumpel has played seven games this season allowing two goals or less, 17 last season, 20 as a sophomore and 11 as a rookie. Former Badger and current St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott played 61 games at Wisconsin allowing two goals or less. Rumpel has played 110 contests, while Elliott played 86 games.
Rumpel has started 21 consecutive games for the Badgers, equalling the longest such stretch of his career. Rumpel started the last 21 game last season.
The current streak for Rumpel is the longest for a Badger since Shane Connelly started the last 30 games of the 2008-09 season in goal. Prior to that, the longest such streak was Brian Elliott starting the first 22 games of the 2005-06 season.
Sophomore forward Grant Besse (Plymouth, Minnesota) had his team-leading 21st point of the season with an assist last Friday in UW's 2-1 victory. He has points in nine of his last 12 games, putting up seven goals, six assists and 13 points during that stretch.
Besse leads the Badgers in goals (10), assists (11), points (21) and shots (84). He also leads the team in Big Ten play in goals (seven), assists (seven), points (14) and shots (46).
Besse's 21 points are tied for 16th overall among Big Ten skaters, while his 14 Big Ten points are tied for eighth when just league games are taken into account.
Besse had eight goals and 14 points in 36 games played as a freshman.
In Big Ten play, three UW rookies rank among the top eight in the league in scoring, with Cameron Hughes (Edmonton, Alberta) sharing fourth with eight points, Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) tied for sixth with seven points, and Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minnesota) tied for eighth with six points. Dougherty also shares sixth among all Big Ten defenseman in league games with his six points.
Hughes has points in each of the last seven weekends, tallying eight points over his last 13 games. He has points in four of his last six contests, including three goals and five points during the six-game stretch.
Wisconsin only has one senior and one junior among its top 11 scorers, with senior Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minnesota) ranking second on the team with six goals and sharing second with 15 points, and junior defenseman Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) fifth on the team with 11 points. There are three sophomores and six freshmen among UW's top 11 scorers.
UW's penalty kill has been key to its success this season. The Badgers are 3-6-2 when having a perfect night on the kill.
UW is 1-14-2 when allowing at least one power-play goal in a game, with UW getting its first victory last Friday when allowing a power-play tally.
All four of UW's victories and three of its four ties have come when UW has taken more penalties than its opponent. The Badgers are 4-4-3 when getting called for more penalties than their opponent.
UW leads the league with 12.5 penalty minutes per game in league action and ranks third among Big Ten schools in all games at 11.0 penalty minutes per game.
Senior goaltender Joel Rumpel played in his 100th career contest at Wisconsin on Jan. 17, becoming just the sixth goaltender in school history to reach the mark. Graham Melanson (140), Duane Derksen (129), Kirk Daubenspeck (121), Bernd Brückler (114) and Dean Anderson (110) are the others. Rumpel has played in 110 career contests.
The Badgers have five players who have skated in 100 career games, led by Seniors Joseph LaBate (143), Brad Navin (134), Matt Paape (116) and Joel Rumpel (110). Junior Kevin Schulze (106) also belongs to the club.
UW had 11 Badgers with 100 career games played last season and eight on the 2012-13 team who skated in 100 career games. The 2011-12 squad finished the season with just two skaters who played in at least 100 career games.
Junior defenseman Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) leads the nation with an average of 2.61 blocks per game, 0.02 shots-per-game better than Dartmouth defenseman Andy Simpson's 2.59 mark. Schulze's 73 blocks are one shy of the national lead.
As a team, UW ranks 12th in the country with an average of 14.43 blocks per game.
Sophomore forward Jedd Soleway ranks seventh in the country in faceoff win percentage at .600. Soleway is 150-100 on faceoffs after going 10-7 last weekend on faceoffs. Miami senior forward Blake Coleman leads the nation with a .631 winning percentage (268-157).
A total of 11 Badgers have made their collegiate debuts this season. Three UW freshmen --forward Alex Shuchuk, defenseman Jake Bunz and goaltender Gabe Grunwald-- have yet to see game action.
Ten Badger freshmen played in UW's game on Oct. 11 at Alaska Anchorage (Tim Davison, Matt Ustaski, Keegan Ford, Cameron Hughes, Jake Linhart, Ryan Wagner, Jack Dougherty, Jason Ford, Corbin McGuire, Adam Rockwood), the most freshmen in a game for Wisconsin since Jan. 18, 2004, when 10 Badgers skated for UW in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame at the Kohl Center (Brian Elliott, Matt Olinger, Ryan Suter, Jeff Likens, Jake Dowell, Andy Brandt, Robbie Earl, Andrew Joudrey, Mark Heatley, Ross Carlson). UW skated with 10 freshmen on Nov. 22 at Denver.
Freshman defenseman Keegan Ford (Waunakee, Wisconsin) departed the UW program and returned to the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints following UW's last regular-season game back on Dec. 6 against Penn State. Ford had two assists in 12 games for the Badgers. His brother, Jason, remains on the team.
Replacing Ford on the UW roster is Middleton, Wisconsin, native Jake Bunz. The defenseman, who wears No. 7, is the son of former Badger defenseman Garry Bunz (1984-87).
Freshman forward Matt Ustaski (Glenview, Illinois) scored Wisconsin's first goal of the season with a tally at 2:31 of the second period on Oct. 11 at Alaska Anchorage. The goal, which tied the game at 1-1, made Ustaski the first Badger freshman since Michael Davies to score the team's first goal of the year. Davies opened the scoring for the 2006-07 season with a goal against Northern Michigan on Oct. 6, 2006, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Wisconsin won the game, 3-0.
UW returns its three goaltenders from last season, including Hobey Baker Award and Mike Richter Award finalist Joel Rumpel. The senior was third in the nation with a .789 winning percentage (21-6-1), 10th in the country with a 2.07 goals-against average and seventh with a .929 save percentage in 2013-14.
Some of Rumpel's numbers are among the best in UW history. His 51 career victories are tied for fifth all-time and are four away from tying for fourth for a UW goaltender.
Rumpel also boasts 10 career shutouts, which is second in UW history, six behind school record-holder Brian Elliott, who now plays for the NHL's St. Louis Blues.
The Swift Current, Saskatchewan, native owns UW single-season top-10 marks in victories, save percentage (three seasons), goals-against average (two seasons), win percentage and shutouts (two seasons).
He also posted one of the top-five goaltending win streaks in school history last season, earning victories in nine consecutive starts.
UW CAREER SHUTOUTS
Junior goaltender Adam Miller took the MCATs this past Tuesday. The Long Grove, Illinois native boasts two career appearances for UW.
The Badgers began the season with just 13 of their 26 players having seen collegiate action. Three of the 13 were goaltenders, leaving UW with 10 experienced skaters.
The 10 had combined for 59 goals, 117 assists and 176 points in 631 career games played entering the year, and went scoreless over the first weekend of the season.
2014 Second-Team All-American forward Michael Mersch wrapped up his four-year career at Wisconsin last spring with 67 career goals in 157 games played, while Mark Zengerle completed his four years at UW last spring with 162 points in 151 games played.
UW head coach Mike Eaves left campus after his playing days with 94 goals and 267 points in 160 games played.
UW's freshman class included 11 newcomers and two redshirts. The 11 true freshmen matched the 2003-04 team for the most rookies during the Mike Eaves coaching era (2002-present) and the second-most ever listed on a UW preseason roster. Only the 15-member 1974-75 Wisconsin freshman class, that happened to include Mike Eaves, has been larger. That team finished 24-12-2 and with a 19-11-2 WCHA mark to place fourth in the league.
Freshman forward Matt Ustaski, at 6-6, is the second-tallest skater in UW history. Only 6-7 goaltender Dave McNab, who is currently an assistant general manager with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, was taller.
Ustaski is taller than eight of the Wisconsin men's basketball team's 16 players.
Wisconsin will play with co-captains in 2014-15, as senior forward Brad Navin (Waupaca, Wis.) and senior defenseman Chase Drake (Menomonie, Wis.) will share the duties. Senior forward Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.) will serve as the assistant captain.
Wisconsin enters 2014-15 coming off consecutive conference tournament titles for the first time since capturing the 1982 and 1983 WCHA playoffs. The Badgers won the 2013 WCHA Final Five, then captured the inaugural Big Ten tournament in 2014. Both events took place at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The 2015 Big Ten Tournament takes place at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Senior forward Joseph LaBate, a 2011 Vancouver Canucks fourth-round draft pick, entered the season as UW's current career scoring leader with 25 goals and 65 points in 115 games played. LaBate scored 11 goals last season as UW's lone double-digit goal scorer returning.
Nine Badgers hail from Wisconsin, more than any other state or province. Other states or provinces represented included Minnesota (six), Illinois (four), British Columbia (three), Connecticut (one), Alberta (one), Ontario (one) and Saskatchewan (one).
Head coach Mike Eaves coached his 500th game at Wisconsin on Dec. 6 against Penn State. Recent U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Sauer coached in 841 games at Wisconsin, while Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Johnson directed UW for 565 contests.
All three Wisconsin coaches are NCAA champions as players for the Badgers. Head Coach Mike Eaves won the 1977 title, while assistant coach Gary Shuchuk won the 1990 NCAA crown and assistant coach Matt Walsh won the 1983 championship.
This marks the first time in the modern era of Badger hockey that all three Badger coaches are UW alumni. UP NEXT Wisconsin plays its last road series of the season at Michigan State, March 6-7 before returning home for two more games against Ohio State. Friday's series opener with the Spartans is at 6 p.m. (CT), while the Saturday finale is set for 6 p.m. (CT) and will appear on FS Wisconsin and FS Detroit+.