UW men's hockey wins first game of the season, 5-3 over Ferris S - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW men's hockey wins first game of the season, 5-3 over Ferris State

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MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin men's hockey team (1-8-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) earned its first win of the season Saturday night, as the Badgers defeated Ferris State (7-7-1, 4-4-0 WCHA), 5-3, at the Kohl Center.

"The thing that our guys did is they built on little victories during the course of the game, and we kept building and we got stronger as the game went on,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. "You could feel the energy on the bench increase as the game went along."

The win also marked Badgers goaltender Joel Rumpel's 50th career victory, tying him with Mike Dibble for eighth all-time in program history.

Performances from first-year players Corbin McGuire and Jack Dougherty, along with impressive showings from more experienced players Grant Besse and Matt Paape propelled Wisconsin to its third win against the Bulldogs. The all-time series now favors UW, 3-2-1.

“I think Coach Eaves gave us the message [last night during our postgame meeting of] ‘It's really time to figure it out'” McGuire said.

"He wrote that on that white board in the locker room, and guys kind of looked at themselves and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it really is time to figure it out'. We won in a shootout (in the first game of the series), but it doesn't count as a real win. So it's really nice to go out there and get a real 'W' tonight.”

The Badgers entered the third period with a one-goal lead, needing just 20 minutes of solid play to secure the series win.

After Tyler Andrew knotted the score at 3-3 with a backhand goal, Dougherty gave Wisconsin a lead it would not relinquish.

Joseph LaBate, skating below the goal line on the power play, sent a pass to the slot that tipped of Brad Navin's skate and to a charging Dougherty, who wound up and blasted a slap shot past FSU net minder CJ Motte.

It was the Cottage Grove, Minnesota, native's first-career goal and his second point of the season.

“It was pretty exciting (to score), but I guess I was more satisfied with the win,” Dougherty said. "It couldn't have been more deserved – guys from the fourth line to the first line were playing their roles, and it really showed tonight. We really deserved to win that game, and it's really satisfying.”

With Dougherty's tally, the Badgers have scored on the man advantage in three-straight games and three times in their last 10 opportunities.

Late in the third period, Besse sealed the deal with an empty netter—his second tally of the game.

The sophomore scored previously in the first on a top-shelf bullet to tie the score at one apiece. It was the first time Wisconsin notched a goal in the first 20 minutes of a game in 2014-15.

McGuire and Paape each netted goals in the second to give UW an advantage entering the final frame.

McGuire registered his first-career goal and point, while Paape scored for the first time since Jan. 13, 2012 when he tallied at Minnesota State. The senior broke a 77-game scoreless streak with the goal.

“I heard right as I walked down here that it's been 77 games,” Paape said, "but I tell you what, it sure feels a lot longer than that.”

Aidan Cavallini found the scoresheet for the first time in his career with an assist on Paape's goal. The freshman led the team with a +2.

Rumpel made 30 saves in the contest.

“You can just put an A+ for his (Rumpel's) efforts this weekend,” Eaves said. "He was there when we needed him. Again, Joel is going to cover up a lot of mistakes that we make in front of him and he did that a lot tonight for us. He was a big part of the equation in asserting the victory.”

Paape reiterated Rumpel's importance to the team:

“The numbers don't show it with the wins, but he's (Rumpel) given us a lot of chances and kept us in games. That's what he's done for his four years here. You know what you're going to get with him. He's an outstanding goalie, and that's what we need out of him.”

UW's defensive play assisted Rumpel in the win, as the team blocked 16 shots.

Ryan Wagner helped to kill four Bulldogs power plays, including one in which he burned about 10 seconds holding the puck along the back boards of the FSU defensive zone.

Wisconsin remains at home next weekend, as it opens up the Big Ten conference season with a series against Penn State. Friday night's game begins at 8 p.m. and will air on ESPNEWS. John Buccigross will call the game, while UW Hobey Baker Award winner Blake Geoffrion will provide color commentary in his first-ever broadcast.

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