Friday, January 26, 2007

Wisconsin vs. MSU-- Friday

Here's the live update of tonight's game between Minnesota State and Wisconsin. Keep hitting refresh for the most recent updates.

We're about 15 minutes from puck drop.

6:54-- In case anyone was wondering, the pre-game meal at the Kohl Center was definitely as good as advertised. There was a plate of crackers and various spreads, make-you-own Caesar salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken, fried fish, and really good bars for dessert.

6:57- The crowd here at the KC is pretty decent. It's about half-filled, which isn't terrible for 10 minutes before a 7:00 pm Friday face-off. Brian Elliott's dad drove down from Canada and is in attendance. I saw a couple Minnesota State fans that made the trip, but I was too busy scrambling to get everything set up to really look.

6:59- Wisconsin's fans clap along to "Welcome Sandman" as the Badgers come out. It's like being in St. Cloud.

7:01- Apparently Mike Za-kerry-iss is starting in goal for Minnesota State.

7:03- The arena isn't entirely full(and I can't really see the third level), but it is very loud. Wisconsin's fans seem excellent.

1st period

20:00- The puck drops and we're under way.

19:04- First whistle in play. MSU wins the face-off and gets the puck in deep, but UW breaks it out and dumps the puck in. After throwing a weak pass out in front, Zacharias covers.

18:06Zach Harrison takes the games first shot. It's an easy stop for Elliott. A missed neutral zone pass by Wisconsin leads to icing.

17:58- Matt Olinger takes the games first penalty when he takes a Maverick down in teh corner. The call is interferenc.e

MSU struggles to get the puck in the zone to start the powerplay, and finally go off sides, with 1:24 remaining in the powerplay.

MSU gets their powerplay set up, but can't get anything out of it and Wisconsin clears.

Travis Morin hits the pipe after a nice pass from behind the net by Mouillierat. A big break for Wisconsin, and the Badgers manage to kill the penalty off.

15:27- Geoff Irwin takes a slapper from the point and Elliott easily stops it. They just showed on the scoreboard that UW swept Michigan in men's and women's basketball, to the pleasure of the crowd.

A weird dump-in from the point almost catches Zacharias off guard, but the puck goes just wide. Wisconsin's cycle produces a nice shot from the slot that also goes just wide. UW controlled the play against MSU's fourth line there.

Somebody showed up(late, typical Gopher fan) in the student section wearing a Minnesota shirt, and was greeted with an "Asshole" chant.

13:36-Kael Mouillierat drags a Wisconsin player down from behind in the Wisconsin zone and gets called for the penalty.

Jon Kalinski gets another shorthanded breakaway and can't score. This time he tried to shoot it, and Elliott got a piece to knock it away.

11:42- MSU skates the puck to the other end and the net gets knocked off. 6 seconds left in the penalty and the Mavericks should kill it off.

11:01-MSU's third line controls play in the Wisconsin end and gets a shot off their cycle, which Elliott gloves.

10:04-Matt Ford hauls down an MSU player in the MSU zone to pick up a holding penalty. The play was very similiar to the previous penalty call.

Travis Morin takes a shot from the point that Elliott saves, then a rebound kicks off the UW defender and Elliott stopped the rebound.

UW cleared the puck and it got caught on the back of the net, which Zahcarias covered.

It took until midway through the first for the first "Gopher rejects" chant.

MSU's second unit struggles to get the puck into the zone. Nick Canzanello lets a puck go through his legs, which leads to him getting "Sieved" by the students.

Wisco kills off the penalty.

7:35-Wisconsin intercepted a pass in the neutral zone while MSU was changing and had a 3-on-2, but the right winger went offside, forcing a whistle.

6:56-Matt Tyree wrists a shot from the blueline that Elliott easily stops. He has 7 saves now, while the Badgers don't have a shot on goal yet.

6:31-Brian Kilburg hooks Jack Skille in the corner and gets called for the penalty.

6:25-Wisconsin gets a great chance as they win the face-off, and fire a shot from the point that Mike Davies deflects, but Zacharias reaches behind him to grab it.

Wisconsin gets their first shot on goal on a shot from the point. Zacharias controls the rebound and MSU clears.

Mike Zacharias makes a great save on Ross Carlson in front. Davies made a great pass from the corner to Carlson in the slot, and Zahcarias was avble to hold on.

4:46-MSU clears teh zone once, then Blake Geoffrion dumps it in and Zacharias covers the puck.

Wisconsin wins the draw and shoots just wide. MSU kills off the penalty.

3:17-After getting stuck in their own end for about a minute, UW is forced to ice the puck.

2:54-A sloppy breakout pass by Jon Kalinski leads to a turnover and a shot by Andrew Joudrey, but Zach gloves it easily.

2:19-UW dumps the puck into the corner, which catches the cameraman off-guard, forcing him to flinch as the puck hit the glass. The UW students were amused.

1:56-Ben Grotting gets tripped by Steve Wagner on a rush up the ice and UW gets their third powerplay.

0:00-MSU surives the period. UW controlled the puck in the zone the entire time, but couldn't get anything through to Zacharias.

Overall, I'd say it was a pretty even first period, with possibly a slight edge going to Minnesota State. They had two quality chances, with Morin's goalpost and Kalinski's breakaway, while UW just had the one quality chance where Carlson got the puck near the bottom of the circle.

The between-period puck shooting contest was a new level of sad. It was a race to see who could score four pucks from various areas of the ice. It culminated in the two contestants trying, and miserably failing to score from center ice. After about 8 tries, black shirt guy finally put us out of our misery by scoring.

The touchless faucets at the KC bathroom apparently don't like me. It was like that one episode of the Simpsons where Bart sells his soul, and then the automatic door at the Kwik-E-Mart wouldn't open for him. I tried all three faucets and none would run for me, but nobody else had a problem. I had to sneak in after somebody else before the faucets realized whose hands were being washed.

First period stats:

MSU attemped 13 shots, had 3 blocked by the defense, one that missed the net and one that hit the pipe for 8 shots on goal, with one coming in the powerplay.

Wisconsin attempted 11 shots, with two blocked by the defense and 5 five missing the net for four shots on goal. 3 of their 4 shots on goal came on the powerplay.

2nd period

Interesting note: Nobody attempted a shot from wider than the face-off dots in the first period.

20:00-The two teams are back on the ice and we're almost ready to get started.

Wisconsin wins the draw and gets a quick chance off the draw. Jake Dowell fired a shot in and Andrew Joudrey got a great look at the rebound, but Zacharias had the angle cut down. MSU kills off the last four seconds of their penalty and are back to full strength.

19:07-Elliott makes a glove save on a short to the shortside by Travis Morin and holds onto the puck.

UW turns a three on two into a possible 2-on-1 but Canzanello makes a nice play to slide across and block any potential pass. MSU puts the puck deep in UW territory, and the Badgers are tired so they ice it and looks for a change.

Goal Minnesota State. MSU forces a turnover behind the UW goal and Geoff Irwin fires a backhand into the top shelf. Time of hte goal is 3:47 of the second period. Irwin from Trevor Bruess. 1-0 Minnesota State

UW comes back with a rush the other way, but can't get much out of it and Zacharias covers.

13:47-MSU gets a line change while UW is stuck out on the ice, giving MSU an advantage leading to an R.J. Linder shot from the point that misses. the net. UW gets the puck out and gets a change though.

UW cycles the puck in their zone nicely which allows Josh Engel to take a shot from the point, but it is blocked before ever getting through to Zacharias.

MSU gets bottled up in their own zone and their top line is gassed. It leads to a qualty shot from the point that Zach stops. MSU gets the puck out, but can't get the change. UW makes a pass from behind the net that misses everyone and goes down the ice allowing MSU to dodge a big bullet.

10:38-Davis Drewiske drops an MSU player in front of the net and is called interference. This is MSU's third powerplay of the game.

Kurtis Kisio fires a high wrist shot that Elliott stops off the faceoff then Travis Morin tries a wrapaournd that is stuffed. Kalinski makes a great stickhandling move to get through one defender but runs out of space in front of Elliott.

Goal MSU. Steve Wagner has his first shot from the point blocked, but gathers the rebound and fires another shot past Elliott. Time of the goal is 10:46. Wagner from Berge and Kisio. 2-0 MSU leads.

5:29-That was a long stretch of play without anything significant happening. It ended with MSU icing the puck.

Wisconsin gets a little pressure, but again, doesn't get anything through to Zacharias. R.J. Linder gets called for interference. UW gets their fourth powerplay of the game.

UW had a tic-tac passing play that got broken up by an MSU defender right before they hit toe. UW zings a shot from the point just wide. Again, two decent chances and zero shots on goal. Another shot from the point that Zacharias doesn't see until the last second, but he bats it away.

UW gets another great chance at the side of the net, but Zach cut off the angle and took away anything to shoot at.

MSU survives another penalty kill.

2:18 left in the period, by the way.

1:00- Travis Morin catches UW on a change and fires a slapper that Elliott just manages to kick away. Ross Carlson makes a nice play to get the puck out of the zone, but Steve Wagner does a nice job of making sure he can't break out on a 2-on-1. MSU is content to dump the puck back in and let time run out on the period.

Between period entertainment is little kid hockey. But instead of playing a real game, they're shooting pucks to raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. That's nice. "Hey kid, you better hit the net or some kid won't have a father-figure in his life." One of the kids clanked the post pretty solidly. The Next Phil Kessel drained two shots from center ice to raise an extra $200. Nice work, kid. The kid on the other side missed his two shots from center, and had to have his third shot tipped in. It's ok, kid. At least there's hope for you as a blogger some day.

2nd period stats:

Wisconsin attempted 22 shots, but had 6 blocked and 8 that missed the net for a period total of 8. They had five shots on the powerplay

Minnesota State attempted 15 shots, had three blocked, and one that missed the net for 11 shots on Elliott. Two of their shots were goals.

That makes the two period totals 19 shots for MSU and 12 for the Badgers.

So far the key stat of the game in my mind is that Wisconsin has attempted 33 shots, but only have 12 shots on net. They're generating offense but not getting any type of return on it.

Hearing the student section sing the Budweiser Song and the Alma Mater is pretty impressive. I'm used to see Michigan, where everybody really only knows one word to the song 'Varsity'. The UW students deserve a lot of credit for being as into this game as they are considering UW hasn't given them much to cheer about yet. Again, I'm very impressed.

TV indicates that Wisconsin has a fairly sizeable advantage in face-offs, which I would agree with.

3rd period

20:00- Puck drop and we're under way with the third.

Saying a two goal lead is the most dangerous lead is the dumbest cliche in hockey, but if UW can score here, they'd really have all the momentum going their way.

Goal MSU. Kael Mouillierat beats Brian Elliott with a long slap shot. Elliott must have just got handcuffed by the puck. Definitely not a good goal. Time of the goal was 1:54. Mouillierat from Brownlee. 3-0 MSU.

There's a weird energy in the building whenever MSU scores. I think the combination of Elliott being such a great goalie and MSU not being expected to do much means that whenever the puck does go in, everybody just kind of goes "What? Did that just really happen?"

17:01-Geoff Irwin takes a tripping penalty right after the face-off. UW gets a chance to get on the board.

That third goal really took some life out of the less hardcore students in the arena.

UW couldn't get anything setup on the first half of the poewrplay. Then they get it set up in teh second half an dthrow a shot on goal that almost gets through, but Zacharias makes a huge save.

Then there is a scrum in front and Chad Brownlee drops Jack Skille. Both players get roughing penalties. Skille was more deserving of a dive though. He didn't get pushed that hard by Brownlee after looking at the replay.

14:34-MSU kills off another penalty.

North Dakota is leading Minnesota and that draws a big cheer, though North Dakota winning really hurts both teams playing tonight in terms of the standings.

Geoff Irwin pokes the puck past a defenseman and fires a big slapshot, but Elliott stops it easily.

Goal UW. Ben Street bangs home a rebound past Mike Zacharias to get UW on the board. Time of the goal 7:52. Street from Tom Gorowsky and Aaron Bendrick. 3-1 MSU.

Jon Kalinski gets slammed back first into the boards very hard and is injured. It does not look good. Jake Dowell caught him as he was shooting and he slammed really hard into the boards.

As a note on that Wisconsin goal, that whole play started when Ben Street came into the zone and just threw a shot on net from the side boards. That created a rebound, which led to another rebound that Street banged in. I think Wisconsin would be more successful if they were less picky about their shots and went for more ugly goals like that.

Kalinski is helped off the ice, and though he is in a lot of pain, is staying on the bench and not going ot hte lockerroom which is a good sign.

11:30-A longshot from the blueline almost gets past Zacharias but he keeps it out. UW is really starting ot press now. It could be a long 11:30 for MSU to try and hold on.

10:28- Mouillierat tries to beat Elliott with the same shot he scored on earlier, but this time it doesn't work. MSU get the puck out of the zone, but UW breaks out on a 3-on-2 and they fire a high wrister from the blueline that Zacharias easily gloves. There's a little pushing in front of hte net but nothing comes of it.

9:48-UW works the puck out in front but Zacharias is quick to pounce on it. Nice work by Ross Carlson in the corner.

Great save by Zacharias on a one-timer on a UW player in the slot. He just got his right pad on it even though it was labeled for the corner. And then Linder made a huge shot block in front of the net. MSU is just barely hanging on here. Joe Piskula fans a one-timer that allows MSU to clear and change.

Kalinski is back out on the ice for MSU. MSU misses a chance to clear the puck and UW gets a great chance on a scramble in front that Zacharias keeps in front of him. MSU clears and dumps again. Zacharias finally covers up a lose puck and gets a whistle. Irwin and Drewiske exchange a few words.

6:11 to play.

UW gets another chance of a quick pass and shot that just misses. The last couple minutes have looked like a UW powerplay. Street's goal did a lot to change the momentum of this game. MSU ices it again.

5:08 to play in regulation.

Another MSU icing call. 3:37 to play. I'm sure the time is going much faster for Badger fans than MSU fans.

Kyle Klubertanz takes a shot that misses way wide. MSU's first line kills about 45 seconds in the Badger end. One minute to play.

Zacharias covers with 47.2 seconds left. It looks like we'll have a Badger timeout. The Badger faithful are reaching for their coats.

Elliott is out of the net before the faceoff. Morin wins the draw and Kalinski knocks it out to center. A shot gets through to Zacharias after being tipped, but he kicks it out. Joudrey misses a pass at the blueline to clear the zone and the game is over.

MSU wins game 1 of the series by a score of 3-1

I'm off to the locker rooms. There should be post game stuff later tonight.