Penalty Kill Dooms Wisconsin

Penalty Kill Dooms Wisconsin

No.5 Minnesota Duluth scored its first two goals in its new arena Friday night and shut down No.9 Wisconsin's potent offense for the final 40 minutes, ending the Badgers' seven game win streak with a 2-0 decision.

DULUTH, Minn. -In the first WCHA matchup at the new AMSOIL Arena, Minnesota Duluth (15-4-3, 10-3-2) prevailed over Wisconsin, 2-0. Minnesota Duluth scored two power-play goals in the first period, and held on to that lead for the victory.

Playing its first road series since Dec. 3-4, Wisconsin (14-8-3, 6-7-2) came out of the gate strong, registering an early 5-1 lead in shots. However, a Mark Zengerle interference penalty gave the Bulldogs a power play and a chance to get into the game. Justin Fontaine capitalized, converting a pass inside the left faceoff dot from David Grun to give UMD a 1-0 lead at 13:17 of the first period.

Then, Frankie Simonelli was sent to the box for holding. Again, UMD made it count, scoring a power-play goal at 16:43 of the first period when Mike Connolly picked up a blocked shot and scored to extend the lead to 2-0.

"They had a great start and we didn't. They won more races and battles in the first period," said Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves, as the Badgers fall to 2-3-2 away from the Kohl Center. "This was just a tough night."

Despite numerous chances for the Badgers the rest of the way, they were unable to find the net. The Badgers outshout UMD 11-7 in the second period, and recorded five shot on net in the third stanza. Minnesota Duluth held the shot advantage 27-22 for the game. Michael Mersch had a strong game for UW, leading the team with five shots on goal and taking part in most of UW's best scoring chances.

"Either they did a good job of blocking us out or we weren't good at getting to the net," said Eaves. "We never got a timely goal."

Wisconsin was 0-for-3 on the power play on the game, including a brief power play after a game misconduct to UMD's Justin Fontaine in the third period that was negated by a Wisconsin penalty shortly thereafter. Minnesota Duluth was 2-for-5 on the man advantage.

Wisconsin's Scott Gudmandson made 25 saves, yet fell to 10-7-1 on the season with the loss. Gudmandson was pulled for an extra attacker with 86 seconds to play, but the Badgers never got a shot.

Kenny Reiter recorded his first shutout of the season for the Bulldogs, stopping 22 shots and improving to 9-2-2.

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