Badger Hockey Showdown
Center • Madison, Wis.
Clarkson vs. Ferris State, 5:05 p.m. ET
Yale at Wisconsin, 8:05 p.m. ET
Third-Place Game, 5:05 p.m. ET
Championship Game, 8:05 p.m. ET
State, in the midst of an otherwise unspectacular season,
ended Wisconsin’s 15-game unbeaten streak to take
the title, 3-1. Tournament MVP Mike Brown made 38 saves
in the championship game, which was marred by some ugliness
late – six players were assessed a total of 84 penalty
minutes with 30 seconds remaining in the third period. The
Badgers played without head coach Mike Eaves and several
key players who were overseas at the World Junior Championship.
marks just the second time in the 16 years of the Badger
Hockey Showdown that a team other than Wisconsin has an
opportunity to defend its title from the year before. North
Dakota, which won the championship in 1999, returned the
next season only to lose to Boston University in the first
round (the Terriers beat Wisconsin for the title that year).
No team has won the Badger Showdown in back-to-back years
since Wisconsin in 2003-04.
Showdown’s first game could prove to be a goaltenders’
duel, with Clarkson and Ferris State both led by experienced
goaltenders. The Bulldogs’ Brown showed his ability
at the Kohl Center last season, while Clarkson junior Dustin
Traylen has sparkled on an otherwise disappointing Golden
Knight team this season. Traylen’s play down the stretch
was a big reason Clarkson reached last year’s conference
title game in Albany, and he’s been solid in the first
half of 2004-05 (2.68 GAA, .907).
while bringing in the worst record in college hockey, at
least plays an entertaining style. Beneficiaries of the
Bulldogs’ wide-open game include Christian Jensen
(seven goals) and Brad Mills (12 points) – although,
it should be noted, opposing teams benefit even more. To
the tune of 5.17 goals per game.
sound you just heard was Robbie Earl licking his chops.
He’s a dynamic offensive player, just the type who
can feast on Yale’s shortcomings, and he’s got
a point to prove. Earl could be in North Dakota right now
playing for the U.S. National Junior Team, but instead will
lead the Badger offense.
WE SEE IT
a deep year in the ECACHL, with five teams in the INCH Power
Rankings, so it would appear to be an opportune time to
catch two conference teams in one holiday tournament. Alas,
you have to sink to serious depths to find Clarkson and
Yale, who sit at 11th and 12th in the league. Neither would
seem to be a threat to win two games in Madison. Ferris
State has shown the potential to surprise – a 1-0
win over Michigan is among its wins this year – but
the Bulldogs have only put back-to-back wins together once,
and that was a series sweep of Connecticut. Everything,
from their strong first half, to the home-ice advantage,
to Earl and freshman Kyle Klubertanz not being in Grand
Forks, points to a tournament title for the Badgers.