UW hits open ice, air in Colorado

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoAfter a grueling series in which the Wisconsin men’s hockeyfinesse players were bottled and bodied up by a suffocating North Dakotadefense, they head to Colorado College for open ice and air.The large sheet that No. 7 CC (5-3, 5-1 WCHA) skates on willplay into No. 9 UW’s strengths. “It gives our skill guys more time, that’s for sure,” seniordefenseman Kyle Klubertanz said. The series could very well translate into piles of goals,something that piques forward Ben Street’s interest.”Me being a forward, I’d love to get some scoring going,”Street said, also noting that the Tigers are talent-laden as well. “Everyone’sgoing to be chasing each other all over the rink so it’ll be tough.” It is particularly intriguing for Street and linemate KyleTurris, Wisconsin’s two leading scorers with 11 and 14 points respectively,because they were effectively shut down against North Dakota. For Turris, theNo. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the series was particularlyrough, as he was shoved around by Sioux defenders. “It was frustrating this past weekend because [North Dakota]did a real good job, but it’s something that us as a line and him as a playerare going to have to get used to and battle through,” Street said. “He’s going to adapt, I mean it’s not the first time it hashappened in his life,” UW head coach Mike Eaves added. To alleviate some of that pressure and wanting to switchthings up to find the right mix, Eaves will move senior Matt Ford to the frontline. “The way things went Saturday, because of the way Matthewhas been playing and the experience he brings, so perhaps that’ll be thechemistry we’re looking for with Ben and Kyle to see if we can get some offensefrom them,” Eaves said. The switch is an intriguing one, as it will put Turris andFord on the same line for the first time ever. In order for the newly alignedfirst line to have some success, they’ll have to get the puck past a talentedgoaltender.Freshman Richard Bachman has played an integral role inColorado College’s conference-leading 5-1 record. Last Saturday he stopped 34Minnesota-Duluth shots to earn WCHA Rookie of the Week. He’ll be matched upagainst another Player of the Week, Wisconsin goalie Shane Connelly. The UW junior had a tremendous weekend as he compiled 74saves, including a 43-save shutout last Friday. It was what Eaves has beensearching for from his starting netminder all season, and Connelly’s coachhopes it can continue. “We were looking for that kind of performance, and heprovided it for us. Now his next step is to continue on that path and beconsistent,” Eaves said. “That’s what makes good athletes great.” Wisconsin (5-3, 2-2) will also need to be ready to play onback-to-back nights — a feat this year’s team has yet to accomplish, accordingto Street. “We need to play both nights — we haven’t done that yet —and we need to play a full six periods too,” he said. “We’ve had a few lapsesthat have hurt us, and we’ll come in one night, maybe not too prepared, alittle too nervous or something and it has cost us.” As one of the handful of upperclassmen on the team, andleaders on offense, it is Street’s job to make sure that his teammates staylevel-headed following a dominating win or devastating loss. “What you did Friday night means nothing toward what you doSaturday night,” Street said. “Usually the games are so completely differentthat you’d think they were played months apart; tell the guys to get back toneutral here, we’ve got another game, a job to do — that’s the importantstuff.”Although the two teams face each other every year, sometimestwice, the Wisconsin players admit that they aren’t too familiar with ColoradoCollege. That’s because like the Badgers — they have seven freshmen playingregularly — the Tigers are young. “Idon’t really know too much about them,” Klubertanz said. “I heard they canskate, so we’ve just got to hit them; shut them down and hit them.”last_img

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