Jan. 16, 2010

Colorado Springs, Colo. -The No. 3 Wisconsin men's hockey team (13-5-3, 9-4-2 WCHA) extended its unbeaten streak to seven games with a 4-0 shutout Friday night at No. 8/9 Colorado College (12-8-3, 8-6-3 WCHA). Junior goaltender Scott Gudmandson (Sherwood Park, Alberta) stopped 35 shots to backstop the Badgers, while sophomore forward Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) scored a goal and had two assists en route to the team's shutout.

The victory was also Head Coach Mike Eaves' 100th WCHA victory.

The action started early. After goaltender Scott Gudmandson (Sherwood Park, Alberta) stopped two quick Tiger shots on a 3-on-1, the Badgers went back the other way and took the early lead. Sophomore forward Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) found senior forward Michael Davies (St. Louis) as they headed into the CC defense. From there, senior tri-captain Ben Street (Coquitlam, British Columbia) got the puck and notched his seventh goal of the season just 43 seconds into the contest.

Less than five minutes later, Stepan made the score 2-0 with a shorthanded goal for the Badgers. Stepan stole the puck from a CC forward deep in the UW end, skated with it the length of the ice, then tried to hit a cutting Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario). The puck never reached Smith, but bounced off a Tiger defenseman and found the back of the net. The goal went unassisted.

This concluded the first period's scoring, but heading into the second, UW was skating with a comfortable 2-0 lead. The Badgers also had the advantage on shots-on-goal, 14-11.

Just before the halfway point of the second, Stepan contributed his third point of the game by assisting UW's third goal of the game. This time, he found junior defenseman Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) for his ninth goal of the season. Davies also notched his second assist of the game in the scoring sequence. The Badgers were now skating with a 3-0 advantage in the second period.

With 8:36 left in the second, Wisconsin added to its lead. Sophomore forward Jordy Murray (Faribault, Minn.) scored his sixth goal of the season after converting a blocked shot attempt by senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn.). Freshman forward Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) also had an assist on the Badger goal that put UW up 4-0.

This was all the scoring the second period would see, a period in which the Badgers were actually outshot, 17-8.

No more scoring was necessary to solidify the shutout for the Badgers. Neither team scored on the power play, but UW managed a short-handed goal in the game. Shots-on-goal totals in the game favored CC, 35-29, but the Badgers won the game, 4-0. The Badgers are now 13-0-0 on the season when scoring at least four goals.

Gudmandson turned away 35 shots, as his record climbed to 7-2-3. Colorado College goaltender Joe Howe absorbed the loss by stopping 25 Badger attempts, as his record fell to 11-7-3 on the year.

The two teams square off again tomorrow night as UW goes for the sweep in this crucial WCHA showdown. The puck drops at 8 p.m. CST.