Team of the Week: Wisconsin

College Hockey News from CHN

October 17, 2018
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by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor (@CHN_AdamWodon)

Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry got off to a strong start.

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In Tony Granato’s first season at Wisconsin, two years ago, the Badgers shot out of the gate and nearly made the NCAAs.

That raised the expectations last year, and when the team brought in All-America goalie Kyle Hayton as a grad transfer, it seemed the pieces were in place. After all, in 2016-17, the team save percentage was .885; it seemed that any improvement would put the Badgers into the NCAAs again.

None of that worked out. Hayton struggled all year, as did his theoretic backup Jack Berry. The team save percentage was even worse, .884.

Of course, it wasn’t all their fault. There was youth, there was inexperience, there were mental breakdowns all the time, at just the wrong time. There was a lot the coaching staff needed to clean up. But make no mistake, it’s hard to gloss over a save percentage under .900 in this day and age. Getting that save percentage up was a high priority.

The Badgers brought in Finnish freshman Daniel Lebedeff to help in that regard, but Berry got the start opening night against Boston College, and promptly shut them out. No easy feat. That earned Berry a second start, in which the numbers didn’t look as sterling, but he was nonetheless solid in a 7-5 win. Save percentage for the two games — .919. Better.

The back-to-back victories, against a Boston College team expected to be back in the hunt for a Frozen Four bid this year, validated all of the offseason hard work the team put in to help overcome last year’s shortcomings and work in a new crop of talented freshmen. And it earned Wisconsin the first CHN Team of the Week honors for this season.

“The first period of Friday, both teams were …

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