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10-22-2011, 02:39 PM
Oilers Chick
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Badgers vs. Sioux - 10/21/11

This was a great game last season. It got crazy in the second period, but the Badgers held on for the win - which against UND is not easy to do.

Here are some of my personal observations about the Badgers from last night. Please feel free to chime in with your comments.

While I was happy to see the Badgers get the win, the youth and inexperience were really evident, especially from the defensive corps. Some really bad mistakes such as neutral zone turnovers could've cost the Badgers dearly last night. You don't want that happening, and you certainly don't want that happening against a team like UND that can just burn you on them.

Joe LaBate was quite impressive. I couldn't stop watching his hands. They were just mesmerizing. You can tell that this kid is really skilled and as he continues to develop, he's just going to get better and better.

Justin Schultz hasn't missed a beat. He's simply picked up from where he left off. I was sorry to see his defensive partner Jake McCabe leave early in the game with an injury after UND's (and former San Jose Junior Shark ) Dan Senkbeil levelled him along the boards.

I thought Landon Peterson was a bit shaky early in the game, but he really settled down nicely by the time the third period came around. Made the saves he had to and did a good job of controlling most of his rebounds.

Michael Mersch seems to have improved his skating a bit, although IMO it still can improve even more. I just loved the way he played in front of the Sioux net last night. Always sniffing around for the loose change and just seem to be a thorn in the side of Eidsness (who got yanked in the 2nd period after letting in Derek Lee's goal), Dell and the Sioux defense. You gotta love a guy that crashes the net hard and often.

Aside from LaBate, the two other Badgers that really caught my attention were Tyler Barnes and Brendan Woods. Barnes didn't really impress me much last season, but he has sure picked things up! I realize that it's still early in the season, but Barnes can continue his strong play, he could be just what the doctor ordered in replacing Craig Smith. Barnes was very quick to loose pucks and he's moving the puck confidently and with more authority (for a lack of a better term). He made some really nice passes, especially on the Badgers' opening goal that Zengerle was credited for.

After watching what Woods could do last night, I can't believe that this kid was passed over in the 2011 Draft. Fortunately, he's eligible again in 2012. Woods is really crafty with the puck and he just made a really sick move one of the UND defensemen (forget off hand who it was. I want to say it was Forbort, but I could be wrong). I also like the way Woods skates. Has good speed and some giddy up.

Tonight's game should be a good one and the Badgers have to continue playing well like they did last night and make sure that the defense doesn't make any boneheaded plays/passes because you just know that the Sioux will be determined to leave Madison with a split and will not leave quietly.

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