By losing its first three games at the Kohl Center this season, the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team is challenging a dubious milestone.
The 1975-76 edition opened with five losses at home. The current Badgers enter their WCHA series finale with Minnesota State-Mankato Saturday night at the Kohl Center staring down the barrel of that reality.
The Badgers opened the series Friday night with their worst period of the season. The opening 20 minutes saw a distinct lack of emotion, smarts and attention to detail. Mankato built and 2-1 lead and ultimately pulled out a 4-2 victory.
UW coach Mike Eaves made multiple changes in his lineup for the series finale. The top two lines were altered, freshman Eddie Wittchow replaced Chase Drake on defense and sophomore Joel Rumpel got the nod in goal.
The UW lineup:
F Michael Mersch-Derek Lee-Tyler Barnes
Note: Barnes slides up to replace Keegan Meuer.
F Joseph LaBate-Brendan Woods-Meuer
Note: LaBate had team-high six shots in the opener, but was -2.
F Ryan Little-Jefferson Dahl-Sean Little
Note: Ryan Little is second among available UW players with 2 goals.
F Brad Navin-Matt Paape-Gavin Hartzog
Note: Navin and Paape saw time on the power play in the opener.
D Kevin Schulze-John Ramage
Note: Schulze was +2 in the opener, but had his share of issues.
D Wittchow-Joe Faust
Note: Faust was -2 in the opener, but now has a new partner.
D Jake McCabe-Frankie Simonelli
Note: McCabe didn't have a shot while on the No. 1 power play.
Note: His last win at home was Jan. 21 of last season.
The Mankato lineup:
F Dylan Margonari-Matt Leitner-Zach Lehrke
F Brett Knowles-Jean-Paul Lafontaine-Eriah Hayes
F Chase Grant-Teddy Blueger-Johnny McInnis
F Bryce Gervais-Eli Zuk-Max Gaede
D Tyler Elbrecht-Josh Nelson
D Zach Palmquist-Nick Buchanan
D Brett Stein-Jon Jutzi
G Stephon Williams