MADISON, Wis. -- Four different Badgers scored Friday night as Wisconsin (11-10-2, 6-9-2 WCHA) shutout Alaska Anchorage (6-13-2, 3-13-1 WCHA), 4-0, to open the weekend at the Kohl Center.
A first-period goal from Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) 9:04 into the game put the Badgers up 1-0 early. Although it proved to be the game-winner, Wisconsin added two goals in the second and a dagger in the third to seal the team's second shutout in the last three games.
The shutout was also the second for freshman goalie Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) in three games. With 23 saves, Rumpel became the first Wisconsin freshman to record two shutouts in a season since Terry Kleisinger in the 1980-81 season.
"He looks a lot more confident, for sure," Head coach Mike Eaves said of Rumpel. "He looks patient in there and his rebound control has been really good. There were some shots today that were tough shots and a lot of deflections that he moved and got the save on."
Zengerle's opening score came off assists from freshman Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.) and junior Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, B.C.). LaBate took an initial close-range shot on goal and when the puck deflected off UAA's goalie Chris Kamal, Zengerle was there for his 10th score of the season.
The Badgers struck quickly in the second period, scoring just 40 seconds in, courtesy of sophomore Frankie Simonelli (Benseville, Ill.). LaBate picked up another assist and Zengerle grabbed his second point of the night with an assist on the goal.
Just over eight minutes later, freshman Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) received a pass from Schultz and slid into the near circle before firing a shot for his third goal this season. Zengerle picked up his second assist and third point of the night on the score.
"Game-by-game my confidence is growing and I'm 100 percent back now," McCabe said. "I feel like I'm starting to figure out the college game finally."
With 36 points this season, Zengerle has already matched his point total from his freshman campaign, and has doubled his goals from five to 10.
With 4:22 left in the game, Schultz made the win all but certain for Wisconsin, scoring his 12th goal this season to put the Badgers up 4-0. The goal made the junior plus-4 for the night. Junior Derek Lee (North Vancouver, B.C.) notched an assist, his fourth in five games since coming back off an injury. Sophomore Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) also grabbed an assist.
With his goal and two assists, Justin Schultz now has 104 career points, tied with Rob Andringa for ninth-most among defensemen in program history. Schultz is now also tied for third all-time in goals among UW defensemen with 36.
Alaska Anchorage out-shot the Badgers 23-22 Friday night, but Rumpel was in perfect form, improving to 8-5-2 this season. The Seawolves were 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Badgers went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
"After we beat Mankato in Mankato last Friday we were talking about how we really need the win Saturday, and we didn't do it," Zengerle said. "I think now we kind of know how to do and what to do right."
Wisconsin aims for the sweep Saturday night at the Kohl Center when they take the ice at 7 p.m.
- Recording his second shutout in the last three games, freshman Joel Rumpel became the first Wisconsin freshman in goal to record two shutouts in the same season since Terry Kleisinger in 1980-81.
- With a goal and two assists, Justin Schultz now has 104 career points, tied with Rob Andringa for ninth-most among defensemen in program history. Schultz is now also tied for third all-time in goals among UW defensemen with 36.
- With three points Friday, Mark Zengerle matched his point total from last season (36) but has twice as many goals this year (10). • The Badgers are now 6-2-1 in their last nine games.