Wisconsin's season ends in NCAA opener - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin's season ends in NCAA opener

Wisconsin junior forward Jefferson Dahl Wisconsin junior forward Jefferson Dahl
Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves
Wisconsin senior defenseman John Ramage Wisconsin senior defenseman John Ramage

Manchester, NH (WQOW) -- Wisconsin's bid for the hockey program's seventh national title ends before it can really get started.

Wisconsin figured it needed to do two things to be successful against UMass-Lowell. One was control the River Hawks transition game, the other was to solve goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. The Badgers did get a goal past Hellebuyck, but Wisconsin gave up way too many odd man rushes.

"We're not a team that usually gives up those types of situations and I think maybe at the start of the game we were a little too hyped up, ready to go," says sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe. "We didn't have balance on our floor check and we got caught a couple of times and they capitalized."

Senior John Ramage adds: "I think it's more of an onus on the defenseman reading off of the play and make sure they we always have two guys back at all times. I think a couple times we got caught up and they took advantage."

"They're young men. They wanted to do so well, they wanted to win for each other. And sometimes young men get out of their comfort zone and do things that they shouldn't, and we paid a high price for it in the game. They got the lead and played with it," says head coach Mike Eaves.

Wisconsin does have plenty of good scoring opportunities tonight. One comes in the first period when Jefferson Dahl was awarded a penalty shot. 

"I was looking five-hole a bit right away, but we knew he would drop," says Dahl. "We talked about how he holds his glove a little lower, so I thought I could try to get him over his glove, try to get him to bait. Looking back at it, I didn't get it up as high as I wanted it to and I caught him in the stomach."

The Badgers did generate some pressure in the 3rd period, paying off with a Nic Kerdiles. After that, Wisconsin had a couple more chances, but none wound up in the net.

"John (Ramage) has a great shot in the slot, puts it over the net. Nic Kerdiles has a pass given to him by Mark (Zengerle) that hops over his stick. Those are two quality scoring chances," says Eaves. "I think the goal gave us a little juice, but it was getting out of that hole again that we couldn't."

With the loss, Wisconsin says goodbye to three seniors: Ryan Little, John Ramage and Derek Lee. But that means the core of the team is returning and the future does look bright for the Badgers. 


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