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Unbeaten streak ends as Wisconsin loses 2-1 to No. 8 Miami

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Miami (Ohio)  8 Miami (Ohio) 2, Wisconsin 1
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 12,037
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1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Miami (Ohio)
1 1 0 2
0 1 0 1

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 Scoring Summary
1st 3:13 MIA Czarnik (Barber, Caito)
2nd 8:35 UW Mersch (Lee, LaBate)
2nd 16:07 MIA McKenzie (Gacek, Kuraly)
 Goaltender Summary Min GA Sv
MIA McKay (4-2-2) 60:00 1 33
UW Rumpel (5-6-3) 59:01 2 30
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 32 34
 Power Plays 1-3 0-5
 Penalties-Minutes 8-16 6-12
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Jan. 19, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- While one streak may have ended, Wisconsin (9-8-5, 6-5-5 WCHA) has already begun looking ahead to its next, after it lost to No. 8 Miami (13-6-5, 8-4-4 CCHA) in a 2-1 contest on Saturday night.

Losing its first game in nearly two months, UW's 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) came to an end inside the Kohl Center, but not without a competitive and spirited effort, as the Badgers took the RedHawks down to the final whistle.

"We can play at a higher pace now," Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) said. "This weekend brought our team to a new level."

"It's time to start a new streak," Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) said.

 Fast Facts
• Mersch tied the game at 1-1 in second period for team-leading 13th goal of season.
• Wisconsin's 34 shots were the fourth-most allowed this season by Miami. UW led 34-32 in shots in the game.
• Rumpel makes 30 saves in loss for Badgers, falling to 5-6-3 on season.

A power-play goal from Austin Czarnik in the first period gave the RedHawks the early lead, but the Badgers fought back in the second period, as Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) scored his 13th goal on the season to tie the game.

A total of 66 shots on goal were recorded between the two teams on the night, with the Badgers tallying 34 shots to the RedHawks' 32. The 34 shots from UW was the fourth-most allowed this season by Miami.

Curtis McKenzie was behind one of the few shots that found the net, scoring the game-winning goal late in the second period and helping the RedHawks split the series in Madison after losing to the Badgers the night before.

Coming off his sixth career shutout and third of the season, goaltender Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) was back in the net for UW a second-straight night. The sophomore recorded 30 saves and kept the Badgers in the game with a number of impressive stops.

"I'm not sure what happened on the second goal, but there were a couple times he came up with three or four saves in succession and covered up and did another good job for us tonight," UW head coach Mike Eaves said. 

The first to get past Rumpel for a score was Czarnik, netting his ninth goal of the season on the Miami power play at the 3:13 mark of the first period. After coming up with the initial save, Rumpel end up on his back, allowing Czarnik the put-back score to give Miami a 1-0 lead.

"They were a team that lost last night and they came out with a little burr in their fanny," Eaves said. "But, I thought it evened out after that.

Mersch answered at the 8:35 mark of the second period, tying the game back up at 1-1. The junior forward picked the puck up in front of the net after an initial save by Miami goalie Ryan McKay, then chipped it up over the top of McKay for the score. Derek Lee (North Vancouver, British Columbia) and Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.) were each credited with assists.

It would be the only time Mersch would get the puck past McKay all night, despite getting other chances that included a pair of power-play opportunities and a late drive to the net around a falling Miami defenseman. But  it was that kind of night for McKay in net, as the Miami goaltender outdueled Rumpel with 33 saves of his own and held off a late offensive rally from the Badgers with 14 saves in the third period alone.

At the 16:07 mark of the second period, Curtis McKenzie put the game away, scoring the game-winning goal off assists from Alex Gacek and Sean Kuraly to give the RedHawks the 2-1 lead and eventual victory.

"[Miami] is a good skating and skilled team and we picked it up a little against them," Zengerle. "It was two pretty hard fought games that could have gone either way both nights. Hopefully we can piggyback off this series as far as pace, speed and energy go." 

Wisconsin remains at home and hosts Alaska Anchorage at the Kohl Center next weekend, Jan. 25-26. Opening faceoff next Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Saturday night is set to begin at 8 p.m. (CT).

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