Stalock gives hockey team trouble all weekend

first_imgThe chances were there for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team to complete the sweep Saturday against Minnesota-Duluth.Goaltender Alex Stalock shut down every chance the Badgers had.Stalock single-handedly kept the Bulldogs in the second game of the series ? which UMD won 2-1 in overtime ? by making 31 saves to earn his team the weekend split.?That’s what a goaltender can do in this game. Goaltenders steal games,? UW head coach Mike Eaves said. ?He kept them around until they could get another goal. If we score a second one in the second period, at the end of regulation, we’re done; we’re happy and smiling. But that’s what a good goaltender will do for you.?Stalock, who last week was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, was impressive both nights, despite earning the loss Friday. On numerous occasions, the sophomore netminder used his athleticism to make acrobatic saves and stretch both sides of the net. At one point in the first period Saturday night, Stalock made several glove saves of shots by Craig Johnson and Blake Geoffrion to preserve UMD’s 1-0 lead.?He’s a fine goaltender, made some acrobatic saves,? Eaves said. ?As a coach of a goaltender like that, you kind of get gray hairs because you’re not sure how he’s going to make saves or what way he’s going to make saves, but he finds a way to make saves because of his athleticism.?The style of play Stalock utilizes is different, to say the least. Unlike his counterpart for the series ? UW’s Shane Connelly ? Stalock remained active behind the net, often skating to the corner to play the puck.Connelly, who stopped 29 shots Friday in Wisconsin’s 3-1 win, said he’s much more comfortable playing his style than that of Stalock.?I’m not going to be like Stalock, go into the corner, that’s not really my game,? Connelly said. ?I’m not as comfortable as he is in the corners.?The UW goalie admitted, however, that he could have been slightly more Stalock-esque in the first period when he allowed a short-handed goal. After the puck was sent out of the zone by the Bulldogs, the Badgers’ Kyle Klubertanz battled with Andrew Carroll in the corner behind Connelly. Instead of coming out to play the puck, Connelly let Klubertanz take care of it.?I decided to let Kluby take it, just figured he could get it, and it turned out to be a bad bounce,? Connelly said. ?Obviously if I had it over again I’d try to get out and make something happen, but that’s just the way things go.?Despite giving up the early goal, Wisconsin had plenty of chances to take the lead. In nearly all aspects of the game, UW played better Saturday than they did Friday, but whenever the Badgers threatened to go up on the Bulldogs, Stalock answered.?The bottom line is we played better tonight than we did last night, and we lost the game,? Eaves said. ?We created more scoring chances, had more jump, played overall a better game. In hockey vernacular, their goalie stole those two points, actually, by keeping them in the game long enough for them to get a shot that gets deflected in.?Stalock’s 2.13 goals against average is fourth best in the WCHA, but Wisconsin senior forward Matthew Ford praised Stalock after Saturday’s game as one of the best he and the Badgers have faced this season.?He’s right there at the top of the list with the goaltender from [Colorado College], Bachman,? Ford said. ?He plays a different style of game, but he played his game, which is playing the puck a lot; he likes to get involved, he likes to chirp, he likes to get in the mix of things. That’s what he did tonight.?last_img

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