MADISON — Brian Elliott, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s star goaltender, will play 1 of 2 games this weekend, when the Badgers travel to face Michigan Tech, head coach Mike Eaves said following practice Wednesday at Capital Ice Arena in Middleton.
Elliott participated in a complete practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring his left knee in practice four weeks earlier. Elliott had taken part in limited practices Monday and Tuesday.
“He’s going to play this weekend,” Eaves said. “… As of right now, he’ll play one of the games.”
Eaves was not sure whether Elliott would play Friday or Saturday night, but was confident that he would take part in one game this weekend.
“This situation is a little different from the first one,” Eaves said, referring to the right foot injury that limited Elliott before the season, but did not keep him out of any games. “He was able to push himself more from a physical standpoint with his foot than he has been with his knee…
“To ask him to play two games would be too much. But I would be willing to say right now that he’ll play one of the games this weekend.”
In consultation with goaltending coach Bill Howard, Eaves made the decision to play Elliott during Wednesday’s practice.
“He did the goalie part and then during practice I talked to Howie,” Eaves said. “We had kind of thought that if he could get through the goalie practice and practice than that would be a good indicator for this weekend.”
Elliott leads the nation in wins (18), winning percentage (.864), goals-against average (1.40) and save percentage (.944). He played every regular-season minute in net prior to his Jan. 18 injury and the third-ranked Badgers are 18-2-2 with him, and 2-5-0 without him.