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Badgers down top-ranked Gophers 3-1



Nov. 11, 2011

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Wisconsin 3, #1 Minnesota 1
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Minnesota 0 0 1 1
 Wisconsin 0 3 0 3
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• Attendance: 11,445
Postgame Quotes
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 Scoring Summary
2nd 05:28 WIS Zengerle (Barnes, LaBate)
2nd 06:13 WIS Meuer (Mersch, Schultz)
2nd 11:06 WIS Mersch (Schultz)
3rd 18:51 MINN Hansen (Marshall, Haula)
 Goaltender Summary
Min GA Sv
MINN Patterson (L, 9-2-0) 59:38 3 18
WIS Rumpel (W, 4-1-0) 59:55 1 24
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 25 21
 Power Plays 1-3 0-2
 Penalties-Minutes 2-4 3-6
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MADISON, Wis. -- It always means a lot when the Badger and Gophers match up on the rink. It means a little more for Wisconsin when they meet at the Kohl Center.

And it definitely meant even more for the Badgers (5-5-1, 4-4-1 WHCA) facing a No. 1 Minnesota (9-2-0, 6-1-0 WCHA) squad Friday, emerging victorious 3-1 over the Gophers.

The win was Wisconsin's third this season over a top-5 team after sweeping North Dakota last month. The loss was the first in the WCHA for Minnesota.

"I thought our team stepped up well and we rallied around the passion and the rivalry," freshman Keegan Meuer (Madison, Wis.) said. "It's a good idea to ignore it, but if you embrace it and go at it with the right attitude like our team did tonight where you fight well you can play well if you rally around that."   

The victory also marked the Badger's first win over a No. 1 team since Wisconsin downed Denver March 20, 2010 in the 2010 WCHA Final Five consolation match.

 Fast Facts
• Freshman goalie Joel Rumpel is now 4-0 at the Kohl Center
Mark Zengerle, Tyler Barnes, and Justin Schultz all extended their scoring streaks to 10 games
• The win was the first for the Badgers over a No. 1 opponent since March 20, 2010 when UW downed Denver 6-3 in the WCHA Final Five

After 20 minutes of play to begin Friday's game, neither team showed any sign of giving in. The period was mostly back and forth, with each team evenly matched at five shots a piece.

The first five minutes of period number two were much the same until the Badgers finally broke through with a goal 5:28 into the period.

Freshman Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.) chipped the puck off the boards into the neutral zone to start the play. Sophomore Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) took it from there, skating hard down the left side, then hitting sophomore Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) at the far post for a tap-in two-on-one finish.

The goal for Zengerle and assist for Barnes extended both player's scoring streaks to 10 games.

Just 45 seconds later, Meuer ripped a shot on goal from the near circle. The puck deflected off the stick of a Minnesota defender, redirecting its path and giving Minnesota goaltender Kent Patterson little opportunity to react.

The puck ended up top shelf and gave Meuer his second goal of the season and the Badgers a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) and junior Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, B.C.) assisted on the score.

"It was real big, anytime you can jump on a team maybe they are a little down or shell shocked from the first goal and the fans get into it you can jump on them again," Meuer said. "There is something about the Kohl Center when the fans get into it and you start just pouring them on."

That assist for Schultz also extended his scoring streak to 10 games.

Just under five minutes later, Wisconsin took a commanding 3-0 lead over the top-ranked team in the country, courtesy of a goal from Mersch.

Taking advantage of a Minnesota shift change, Schultz found Mersch behind the Minnesota defense and in for the breakaway. After failing on an early break, Mersch found the five hole on Patterson for his fourth tally of the season.

Freshman Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan), making his first Friday start this season, played phenomenally, saving 24 shots for his fourth win this year.

"I felt pretty good out there it was kind of an easy job for me tonight," Rumpel said. "The team and our defense let me see every shot, they let me play my game and they cleared all the rebounds for me so that makes a goaltenders job pretty easy."

The only shot Rumpel didn't save came with just 1:09 left in the match when Minnesota's Jake Hansen put one in the back of the net on the power play.

Rumpel is now 4-0 at the Kohl Center.

Entering Friday's game, Minnesota had both the best power play and penalty kill in the WCHA. The Badgers failed to score on two separate man-advantages, but held the Gophers to 1-3.

Wisconsin was outshot by the Gophers, 25-21.

The Badgers go for the series sweep Saturday evening at the Kohl center beginning at 7:30 p.m. The game will broadcast live on BTN.

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