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Ten Badgers record a point in 4-3 win over U.S. Under-18 squad



Dec. 31, 2011

Wisconsin 4, USA Under-18 3
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.
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1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Wisconsin 1 2 1 4
USA Under-18 1 1 1 3
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 Scoring Summary
1st 03:53 USA Silk (Kerdiles)
1st 13:11 WIS Mersch (Ramage, Lee)
2nd 04:45 WIS Lee (Schultz, Zengerle)
2nd 18:44 WIS Meuer (Paape, Faust)
2nd 19:55 USA Vatrano (Kerdiles)
3rd 06:43 WIS Schultz (Simonelli, LaBate)
3rd 10:51 USA Carrick (Matteau)
 Goaltender Summary
Min GA Sv
WIS Thompson 20:00 1 3
WIS Peterson 20:00 1 11
WIS Rumpel, W 20:00 1 3
USA Rutledge, L 59:36 4 21
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 25 20
 Power Plays 1-4 0-2
 Penalties-Minutes 2-4 4-8
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MADISON, Wis. -- Returning to the ice for the first time in over two months, junior Derek Lee (North Vancouver, B.C.) scored a goal and recorded an assist to lead the Badgers (7-9-2, 4-8-2 WCHA) to a 4-3 exhibition match win over the USA Under-18 team (4-7-1 NCAA, 1-5-1 NCAA DI).

Wisconsin trailed early after a USA goal 3:53 into the first period. Brendan Silk netted the goal for Team USA but assisting the play was Badger recruit Nicolas Kerdiles, one of two points for Kerdiles on the night.

With 6:49 left in the first period, Lee found his first point of the night as he assisted on a Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) score to tie the game. Junior defenseman John Ramage (St. Louis) centered the puck from the top of the far circle to a cutting Mersch through the slot. Mersch put the puck top shelf for the score.

“It felt good. Getting on the score sheet is always nice,” Lee said. “It felt good to get the rust off and get back into the swing of things with the guys.”

 Fast Facts
• Playing in his first game since Oct. 28, Derek Lee scored a goal and recorded an assist.
• All three Badger goalies played an even 20 minutes, each allowing one goal.
• The Badgers are now 3-0 all-time against the USA Under-18 squad.

Junior Mitch Thompson started the game for Wisconsin Saturday and recorded three saves while surrendering one goal in the first period.

“The telling tale of how much he enjoyed the moment was during the introductions – he wasn’t fidgeting in the net at all, he waited until they said everything and then he just glided out there to enjoy the moment,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “He got the game puck tonight as the starting goalie and the winning goalie, so good for Mitch.”

Wisconsin took the lead early in the second period and never looked back. With 15:15 remaining in the second, Lee put the puck in himself off assists from junior Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, B.C.) and sophomore Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.).

With just under a minute and a half left in the second, sophomore Keegan Meuer (Madison, Wis.) made it a 3-1 game. Team USA came back just over a minute later though and netted a goal with five seconds left to put the game at 3-2. Kerdiles picked up his second assist on the night with the score.

Freshman Landon Peterson (Oregon, Wis.) played in goal the second period for Wisconsin. Like Thompson, Peterson also surrendered a goal but saved an impressive 11 shots in the period.

Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Schultz put the Badgers back up by two 6:43 into the third period off assists from sophomore Frankie Simonelli (Benseville, Ill.) and freshman Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.). Schultz took the puck at the top of the near circle before rocketing a shot perfectly past a USA defender, a Badger skater and the USA goalie for the score.

Team USA scored again with just over nine minutes remaining, but the Badger defense stood strong for the remainder of the period and Wisconsin skated away with the 4-3 victory.

“What we as a coaching staff wanted to get out of this event tonight was to play a high-energy, emotional team, and that’s what we got,” Eaves said. “It was a really good way to jump back in the pool.”

Freshman Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) played the final 20 minutes for the Badgers, giving up one goal while saving three shots. Rumpel also grabbed the win.

Wisconsin now moves to 3-0 all-time against the U.S. Under-18 squad.

The Badgers are back at the Kohl Center for a pair of games Jan. 6-7 against RIT. Both games start at 7 p.m. The games are the first for the two teams since they met in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals, a game the Badgers won to advance to the 2010 NCAA title contest.

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