Wisconsin 3, UAH 2

With the Chargers having played one of their best periods of the season, I started to think of what UAH’s season was looking like at this point.  I came down to it: we’re Gipsy Danger in Pacific Rim.  In amongst all the various imagery of that mighty Jaeger, it’s the one at the breach that does it for me: left arm ripped off, right arm wielding a sword, bent down on one knee, sword in the sea floor, weathering the storm.

That’s what last night felt like.  It’s what tonight felt like.

The Badgers scored two goals just :49 apart in the first five minutes of the game, and you could just feel it coming on.

It didn’t.  Carmine Guerriero (42 sv) just wouldn’t quit in this one.  When he saw them, he stopped them.  The boys did a fantastic job of guarding the house and keeping the Badgers from slicing through the slot for goals.  Many of those 45 shots-on were from well outside the prime real estate.  That’s exactly what they’re doing: weathering the storm.  Take all the shots you want from outside, guys: we’ll get Carmine and Matt lanes to see the pucks, and they will stop them.

The Chargers’ first goal came when Chad Brears found a little time and space near the net on a 5×3 power play.  The goal is his team-leading fourth of the season.

Now after pitching a phenomenal game, you’d hope that it would be a one-goal deficit in time to pull Carmine and get the extra skater on.  Unfortunately, Chase Drake found Tyler Barnes right near the net with time and space, and Barnes found a small 5-hole opening to put the Badgers up 3-1.  A few seconds later, Mike Corbett took his timeout and put a sixth skater on the ice.

It worked!  While the Fox Sports Wisconsin cameramen were too busy listening to the announcers’ non-pertinent commentary about one of their skaters trying to extend a goal-scoring streak to 7, Jack Prince sliced through the defense and beat Landon Peterson (18 sv).  Suddenly it was :18.4 left and a one-goal lead facing down six blue jerseys.

Alas, it was not to be.  But if you watch Pacific Rim, you’ll see that Gipsy Danger takes a beating, gives a beating back, and eventually wins.  That “eventually wins” isn’t going to be this year, but you can see it coming.  With the team struggling to score goals, it’s all about supporting Guerriero and Larose in net, keeping pucks to the outside, and punching back when you can.

I’m sure that nobody in that locker room believes in moral victories.  I know that I believe in the victories to come.  You can see them off in the distance.

[I tried vainly to find screenshots and video clips, but the studios have it locked down.]

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