Bucky Takes First Game In Best Of Three Series 3-1

The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs fell to the University of Wisconsin Badgers 3-1 at the Kohl Center last night.

It was my first time at the Kohl Center, which was actually a pretty nice facility.  The WIFI actually worked, which is always a plus, but the Dogs came out flat, which is never okay.

I had high expectations for this game, mostly because the Dog's success lately.  I would hardly consider myself alone with these expectations, as it was almost as though a whole new team had been born starting in the Bemidji State series and moving all the way through last weekend...

(Photo: Dale Steenberg)

When the puck was dropped, UW took complete control.  Bucky pinned the Bulldogs deep within their own zone for the first five minutes of the game.  It was hard to watch.  No matter what the Dogs did, UW would turn the puck around and fire it right back in, making UMD's defenders work like the Budweiser Clydesdales without a break.

Wisconsin captain and senior defender John Ramage put this into perspective well at the end of the game, "We wore them down.  They had a couple shifts that were a minute/minute and 30 (seconds of) just grinding them down.  That wears on a defenseman.  Mentally, it really wears you down."

Despite UW's strong effort, Dan DeLisle scored the first goal of the game.  It was a shot that went down behind the net.  Caleb Herbert chipped the puck up in front of the net and DeLisle, who was standing all alone in front, took a quick shot and put it by Badger goalie Joel Rumpel.

Unfortunately, that would be all of the scoring for the Bulldogs, who even struggled on the man-advantage tonight.

Wisconsin would get two goals in the second period from Nic Kerdiles and John Ramage to take the 2-1 lead, and Mark Zengerle finished the night's scoring off with a full-ice, empty-net shot from deep in his own zone.  Honestly, it was one helluva shot.  I couldn't make it if I had a dozen tries.

To sum up the Bulldog's playing for the night, I would simply say they were out-played.  Aaron Crandall played very well, making big saves and keeping the game a lot closer than it probably should have been.  UMD just simply lacked the fast-paced game they embrace.

Bulldog scorers like Tony Cameranesi and Austin Farley were forced to battle in the corners and play UW's game.

Another issue I found was faceoffs.  Although the final score sheet read UW won 30 faceoffs to UMD's 25, it seemed as though the Dogs lost a lot more than that.  Winning the faceoffs and the battles in the corners really decided the outcome of this game.  It gave UW puck possession and allowed them to create scoring chances.

But, tonight is a new night.

I'm told that Joe Basaraba, who was sick last night, will play tonight.  He skated Friday morning but was scratched on the night.  I couldn't tell you what to expect out of him because I'm not sure how healthy he actually is.

It's do or die time for the Bulldogs.

Here we go.

Game will be on WISC & My9 in Duluth.  I'll be live tweeting as best as I can as well.


Bulldog Seniors
Photo: Dave Harwig

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