Wisconsin’s 1st Road Win, Shutout of the Season in 4-0 Victory
January 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Zengerle extends scoring streak to 20 games with goal and assist at Minnesota State
MANKATO, Minn. – Wisconsin’s 4-0 victory over Minnesota State on Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Center provided more significance than two much-needed points in the WCHA standings. The Badgers (10-9-2, 5-8-2 WCHA) leave with their first road win of the season, their first record above .500, their first shutout and a forward on the cusp of a long-held school record.
Sophomore center Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) scored a point for the 20th consecutive game at 11:09 of the first period to provide all the offense the Badgers needed. His ninth goal of the season came after freshman defenseman Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) took the scenic route around an MSU defender via the corner of the offensive zone and found Zengerle alone in front for the finish.
The goal followed stellar play in net by freshman goaltender Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan), who made a handful of big saves through the first 10 minutes to keep the game scoreless. Rumpel would eventually finish with 36 saves for his first career shutout, becoming the Badgers’ first rookie to blank an opponent since Shane Connelly did the same at Michigan Tech on Feb. 17, 2005.
Rumpel improved to 7-4-2 overall and 4-4-2 in WCHA action. Sophomore forward Jefferson Dahl (Eau Claire, Wis.) got Rumpel and the Badgers early insurance with his fourth tally of the season at 18:37 of the first stanza. Brothers Ryan and Sean Little (Fond du Lac, Wis.) set up the play, with Ryan playing his first contest since Nov. 19 and Sean collecting his first point of the season and second of his career.
A second-period goal by freshman forward Matt Paape (Appleton, Wis.) and a third-period power-play tally by Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) on a sharp-angle one-timer finished the scoring for the night. Badger special teams continued their solid play of late on the power play, going 1-for-3 and on the penalty kill, a perfect 5-for-5 on the night.
Wisconsin goes for its second consecutive sweep with a rematch against the Mavericks Saturday at 7 p.m. The game airs live on Charter Extra 87 in Wisconsin and on the radio at WIBA-AM 1310, with free streaming audio online at BadgerSportsNetwork.com.