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Offense explodes in 7-2 win over Mercyhurst



Nov. 25, 2011 

Wisconsin 7, Mercyhurst 2
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Wisconsin 2 1 4 7
 Mercyhurst 0 1 1 2
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• Attendance: 10,374
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 Scoring Summary
1st 13:20 WIS Dahl (Mersch)
1st 16:07 WIS Mersch (Dahl)
2nd 00:24 WIS Schultz (Simonelli, Zengerle)
2nd 14:28 MC Jones (Elliott)
3rd 00:26 WIS Zengerle (Schultz, Springer)
3rd 00:59 WIS Simonelli (Springer, Zengerle)
3rd 08:33 MC Elliott (Bahntge, Shiplo)
3rd 14:53 WIS Mersch (Barnes, Zengerle)
3rd 19:18 WIS Schultz (Zengerle, Barnes)
 Goaltender Summary
Min GA Sv
WIS Rumpel (W, 5-3-1) 54:37 2 21
WIS Thompson 5:07 0 3
MC Strang (L, 6-6-1) 40:59 5 8
MC Williams 19:01 2 6
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 21 26
 Power Plays 3-4 2-6
 Penalties-Minutes 7-25 4-8
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MADISON, Wis.--In one of the team’s most offensive performances of the season, the Badgers (6-8-1, 4-7-1 WCHA) took down Mercyhurst (6-6-1, 5-1-1 AH) in an goal-scoring onslaught, 7-2 Friday evening.

The win featured scoring from seven different Badgers, including a five-point effort (one goal, four assists) courtesy of sophomore Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.). Zengerle is the first Badger to collect five points in a game since Brendan Smith turned the trick against RIT in the 2010 Frozen Four.

Zengerle also pushed his point-scoring streak to 14 games, the largest such streak for a Badger since the 1989-90 season.

Junior Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, B.C.) also contributed a four-point performance with two goals and two assists.

Despite the offensive explosion, both teams spent the better part of the first 12 minutes of the game skating up and down the ice with few scoring opportunities.

With eight minutes remaining in the first period, sophomore Keegan Meuer (Madison, Wis.) was called for checking from behind and sent off the ice on a game misconduct. The penalty put Mercyhurst on the five-minute power play.

"We're on the bench telling our guys, we need to play harder, we need to pick it up,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “Classic Keegan, he wears his heart on his sleeve and goes way over the line and it hurts the team in that we lose him.

 Fast Facts
• Sophomore Mark Zengerle extended his point-scoring streak to 14 games, the longest streak for a Badger since the 1989-90 season.
• Junior goalie Mitch Thompson made his first career appearance Friday, saving three shots.
• Senior Eric Springer collected his first career multi-point game with two assists Friday.

It was the Badgers who would capitalize a man down though when sophomore Jefferson Dahl (Eau Claire, Wis.) put the puck in the net off a sophomore Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) centering pass to take a 1-0 lead. Schultz also assisted on the play.

Still on the penalty kill, Wisconsin struck again for a second short-handed goal with 3:53 remaining in the first. This time it was Dahl on the assist and Mersch with the goal.

“We had a little trouble getting going right away,” Dahl said. “But we were talking on the bench that we need to just keep sticking with it, keep fighting and getting the pucks in low and doing the little things. We got a few bounces our way and it started to roll from there."

The Badgers came out in the second period with plenty of energy, taking a 3-0 lead just 24 seconds into the frame. Sophomore Frankie Simonelli (Benseville, Ill.) put a shot on goal but the puck deflected off the post. Schultz was right there however and knocked the puck home for his fifth goal of the season.

Mercyhurst finally jumped on the board with 5:32 left in the second period on a power-play goal, and the Wisconsin lead was trimmed to 3-1.

Just as the team rocketed out of the first intermission, the Badgers stormed onto the ice to begin the third period and notched their fourth goal just 26 seconds into the period. Zengerle redirected a Schultz point shot for his second point of the game.

And just 33 seconds later, Wisconsin made it 5-1 off a Simonelli one time slap shot that chased Merchyhurst starting goaltender Max Strang.

With 11:27 left in the game, Mercyhurst knocked in its second power play goal and the Badgers led by three.

Wisconsin still had plenty of offense left however, scoring again with 5:07 left in the game. Sophomore Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) put a shot on goal but was rejected by Lakers goalie Jake Williams. The save deflected perfectly back door however where a waiting Mersch put the puck in the net for his third point of the night.

With just one minute left in the game, the Badgers went on their fourth and final power play, and 18 seconds into the man-advantage Schultz ripped a shot in from the point to give Wisconsin a 7-2 lead.

Freshman Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) collected 21 saves in just under 55 minutes on the ice Friday.

Junior Mitch Thompson (Onalaska, Wis.) came in for Rumpel for the final five minutes to make his first appearance as a Badger. Thompson finished with three saves.

“He was so excited,” Eaves said. “He was the last one to get unchanged in the locker room. He was literally sitting in his stall and soaking it all in. So Good for Mitch, he deserved it.”

Mercyhurst converted two of six power-play opportunities, while Wisconsin went 3-for-4 with the man-advantage. The Lakers outshot the Badgers 26-21.

Wisconsin fights for the sweep over Mercyhurst Saturday night at the Kohl center. Game time is 8 p.m.

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