Feb. 6, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Like many members of both Wisconsin hockey teams, junior Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) reminisced about his childhood years after hitting the ice in the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic Saturday night, the first hockey game at Camp Randall Stadium.
Smith, however, had an outdoor experience that will forever remain in his collegiate hockey memories as he led the Badgers with two goals in Wisconsin's 3-2 victory over Michigan in the winter showdown.
Not only did he play a key role in obtaining the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Game Trophy, Smith extended his game-winning goal tally to four goals.
Smith may have been the one to seal the deal, but he believes his teammates and their ability to set up both of his power-play goals were the key element in his own ability to find the back of the net.
In Smith's first goal of the game with just 5:02 left in the contest, it was senior Michael Davies (St. Louis), who, according to Smith, had a pass of perfection.
"It's so exciting, but I have to give credit to the power play," Smith said. "Michael Davies sent that through the lane so pretty. He's so talented. Really the play was to go back down to Blake (Geoffrion), but they took that away and I was lucky enough to get open."
Heading into tonight's showdown, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award candidate was the top defenseman in the country with 31 points. After Smith's two goals on Saturday, it is safe to say that he is not only living up to his award candidacy, he proved that he has what it takes to maintain his defensive scoring lead.
The roles were reversed the last time these two teams met on Nov. 28, 2009 when Michigan defeated the Badgers 3-2 in Ann Arbor. For Smith and the rest of the Badgers, today, they entered the rink on a mission.
"For redemption on the last time we played Michigan is just huge," Smith said. "We had a few bad passes here and there, and they capitalized and it put us in a little bit of a slump, but me and my boys rallied and we got two lucky power play goals at the end. It was an exciting showcase."
Despite the neck-and-neck competition that was going on in the rink, the players could not help but want to join in with the fans during the traditional Camp Randall, "Jump Around."
"We all wanted to jump around. Just seeing the 55,000 fans was unbelievable," Smith said. "I have no words to describe that."
Smith may not have had the opportunity to "Jump Around" with the fans, but he definitely gave teammate Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, British Columbia) something to jump about after Smith capitalized on a pass from Schultz to seal the 3-2 victory. Not only were fans jumping for joy, Schultz put on a show as he did a two-footed hop to Smith to congratulate him on the game-winning power-play goal.
Smith will enjoy "jumping around" with teammates and fans for the remainder of the night, but on Monday, it's back to business.
"We want to beat every team," said Smith. "We didn't have the chance to do it until now and we came back and we beat Michigan and it was a great redemption."
Allison Metcalf, Wisconsin Athletic Communications