Apr 8, 2010, 7:50 PM EDT
The Wisconsin Badgers are headed to the National Championship game on the strength of defense, patience, offensive skill and some brutal frustration from the RIT Tigers as Wisconsin took out RIT 8-1 in the first semifinal game of the 2010 Frozen Four.
Wisconsin took the steam out of RIT almost immediately as John Mitchell scored 1:27 into the game to give Wisconsin a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Rangers prospects Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh teamed up to make it 2-0 halfway through the first. The second period would see things unravel fast for RIT as goals by Jordy Murray and a power play goal from Justin Schultz (thanks to help from instant replay) would make it 4-0.
Wisconsin would add a couple more power play goals courtesy of a five-minute major handed out to RITs Mark Cornacchia for hitting from behind. Michael Davies and Hobey Baker finalist Blake Geoffrion added those goals to make it 6-0 and the Badgers would not look back. Tyler Brenner scored late in the second for RIT on the power play to stop Scott Gudmandson’s shutout bid, but this one was already over as Wisconsin proved that both they and RIT are exactly who we thought they were.
Wisconsin set out in the third period to keep the game under control and they did just that in the methodical, blood-letting kind of way you’d expect from a defensively sound team that has a five goal cushion. RIT had some power play opportunities but were stonewalled before even gaining the zone. RIT goaltender Jared DeMichiel was pulled after Kyle Davies scored to make it 7-1 late in the third. Backup goaltender Jan Rapponen allowed a goal to Derek Stepan, his second, to provide the final number. Wisconsin will face the winner of Miami University and Boston College which is set to drop the puck shortly.
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