The NCAA tournament for Wisconsin was over as soon as it started on Friday night in Cincinnati with 5-2 loss to North Dakota.
What's the Impact
Wisconsin made a quick exit on their quest for a Frozen Four appearance and a national championship. UW earned one of the four No.1 seeds in the tournament by winning the Big Ten tournament, but in doing so handed North Dakota a spot in the 16-team field. Had the Badgers not won the Big Ten tournament, it may have been a different story.
Who was the Weekend MVP
Rumpel was challenged all game long, but he stood strong until the final minutes when he was pulled. Rumpel stopped 30 of 33 shots against him. Because of the penalties, North Dakota put 23 of their shots on net in the second and third period.
Three Areas of Concern
Penalties:Staying out of the box was an issue for the Badgers, who were whistled for seven penalties. While they killed off each penalty, the extra effort used killing off penalties took away from the Badgers' efforts to get an offensive attack going.
Helping Rumpel:Rumpel has been stellar all season, which is something positive the Badgers have for next year, but the Badgers didn't help his case against the UND attack. With lazy passes and slow recoveries, the Badgers didn't get in front of enough pucks to help the junior goaltender. The Badgers did finish with 10 blocks, but it was the blocks they did not get in front of that cost them the game.
Offense: Wisconsin's passing wasn't as crisp as it needed to be to advance. At times, passes in UW's own zone were slow and not on target. With slow passes, penalties and untimely turnovers, the Badgers offense was not able to put much pressure on North Dakota goaltender Zane Gothberg. UW had 24 shots on goal, but many didn't make good scoring chances. Eleven of the Badgers' shots came in the first period while they had just five in the third.
Three Areas of Excitement
Comeback kids:Starting out quickly hasn't been this team's forte, however, the Badgers were able to claw back into the game numerous times. Every time UND scored, a Wisconsin goal was right behind. Getting down a goal five minutes into the first period, UW came back six minutes later. In the second period, Barnes brought the game even at 2-2.
But combined with untimely penalties, the Badgers could not tie the game after a puck bounced off Mark MacMillan into the net with 1:44 to play.
Power play:Wisconsin was able to convert on one of three power plays on Friday night, which helped keep the game close. With a 19 percent conversion rate, getting one to go in early helped the unit's confidence. Obviously this will be an area to improve for the 2014-15 season.
Penalty killing:Despite going to the box twice in the first and four times in the second and just once in the third period, the Badgers were able kill off each one. The Badgers were whistled for tripping and holding a combined three times, which could have been because they were a step slow.
"You're last game is always a tough game, especially for our group of guys," said Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves. "We've got nine seniors that gave us great leadership this year. But as we said to these young men, they've left nothing inside of them and for that reason alone they can walk out of this building with their heads held high."