A lot of good things can be found strewn about the ongoing 10-game unbeaten streak compiled by the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team.

UW has been stifling on defense, allowing 1.4 goals per game, and stingy on the penalty kill, clipping along at an 89 percent success rate.

The Badgers have prospered on the road, winning five times, and have been the definition of clutch, prevailing twice in overtime and winning the past three games by one goal.

But a 7-0-3 record since Nov. 30 — the second-longest unbeaten streak in the nation — can also be measured by what hasn't gone right for UW. It has somehow endured, climbing over the .500 mark and into the upper division of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, despite one of the worst power plays in college hockey.

The Badgers are 2-for-28 (7.1 percent) with the man-advantage over the past 10 games and 6-for-60 (10 percent) overall heading into their non-conference series against eighth-ranked Miami (Ohio) Friday and Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

UW (8-7-5 overall) has scored the fewest man-advantage goals in the nation and has been shut out in 14 games. For perspective, it was blanked on the power play 14 times total in each of the past two seasons.

Moreover, the Badgers are 0-for-2013 (13 attempts) and 0-for-25 on the road since converting on their second power play at Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 26.

Those numbers might scream out for major alterations, but UW coach Mike Eaves will turn a deaf ear. Asked about retooling his power play, he said, "We're not going to make drastic changes."

To wit, practice sessions this week had the same units. One had junior defenseman Frankie Simonelli and sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe at the points, with senior center Derek Lee, junior right winger Michael Mersch and junior center Mark Zengerle down low. The other had senior defenseman John Ramage and freshman defenseman Kevin Schulze at the points with junior right winger Tyler Barnes, freshman left winger Nic Kerdiles and sophomore left winger Joseph LaBate down low.

Eaves dismissed talk of major changes because he's satisfied with two-thirds of what he defined as a three-part process.

"Let's break the power play down into segments: getting into the zone, getting scoring chances, scoring goals," he said. "Obviously the last third is not there. If we're not doing the other thirds, then we'll make drastic changes.

"We're going to tweak … but, no, not drastic changes because two of the three areas are good."

The Badgers were missing two of their best offensive threats during the first 12 games. With Kerdiles out for 10 serving an NCAA suspension and Zengerle, the top returning scorer in the nation, sidelined for six games with a broken finger that required surgery, the conversion rate was 10.8 percent (4-for-37).

But their presence hasn't translated to production. In fact, the success rate is a bit worse (2-for-23, 8.7 percent) with Kerdiles and Zengerle in the lineup.

"There's no doubt about it we've got to be a little more creative, I think," Zengerle said of finding seams and finishing plays. "The number one thing is just to be hungry and get that puck."

En route to the lowest-ranked power play in the WCHA, the Badgers have gotten all their man-advantage goals from three sources this season: Mersch with three, McCabe with two and Barnes with one.

"It's not like it's a bunch of guys who don't have any skill out there," Zengerle said. "We know we can do it. It's just a matter of time.

"Everyone's got to step up, including myself. Everyone on the power play has to make it happen."

The Badgers have faced some top-rated penalty-killing teams such as Minnesota (90.5 percent) and Denver (86.3) with another on the way in Miami (88.5).

But quite a few opponents have been suspect. Northern Michigan (78.2), Alabama-Huntsville (78.2), Alaska-Anchorage (75.9) and Colorado College (75.9) rank 51st, 52nd, 55th and 56th, respectively, among the 59 Division I teams.

"They're expecting more from themselves," Eaves said of those players on UW's power play. "They want to be better."

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Maui Jim
Maui Jim

"getting scoring chances"???????????? Anyone that's gone to the games knows how many times they've had either 1 or none shots on goal during the powerplays as long as he's been the coach. Instead of trying to set up for the 'perfect' shot and not taking one how about doing what the NHL teams do and letting the defensemen take shots with someone placed in front of the goal to deflect it, screen the goalie or get a rebound.