COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- It was an act of generosity designed to inspire, but it had the opposite effect on members of the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team.

They arrived at their World Arena dressing room Saturday night to find spiffy new sweaters waiting to don for the first time.

They cheered the unexpected gesture, then went out and played 10 horrendous minutes that cost them dearly.

The result was a 4-1 loss to fifth-ranked Colorado College that capped another fruitless weekend on the road in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Coupled with a 4-2 setback in the series opener Friday, the Badgers were swept away from home for the second time and fell to 0-5-1 on the road this season.

UW coach Mike Eaves blamed the outcome on the haberdasher, saying his players got "caught up in the euphoria" of the new sweaters.

"It was to pump them up," he said. "It had the opposite affect that we wanted, unfortunately.

"The game was lost in the first 10 minutes. We take a penalty, they score. We get beat in front of the net, they score. We get beat in our own zone again, they score. We just forgot to play hard."

The Badgers (5-8-1 overall, 4-7-1 in the WCHA) played CC evenly the rest of the way, but didn't mount a comeback because they couldn't get out of their own way.

Two second-period power plays were cut short when sophomore right winger Tyler Barnes took a pair of hooking penalties.

Sophomore center Mark Zengerle compounded the first episode when he was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty for chirping at the officials, a misdeed that resulted in him sitting on the bench 10 minutes once he got out of the penalty box.

"I hope it's a lesson that (Zengerle) remembers," Eaves said.

Zengerle accounted for the lone goal on a dazzling drive to the net late in the third, his backhander beating goaltender Josh Thorimbert (24 saves).

The conversion extended Zengerle's point streak to a career-best 13 consecutive games.

It's the fourth-longest known scoring run in program history - behind Eaves (21), Chris Tancill (15) and John Byce (14) - but Zengerle found no consolation in it.

"The point streak doesn't mean anything," he said. "Ultimately it's about getting wins."

The Badgers, now 1-11-1 on the road since February, could not have played a more dysfunctional 10 minutes to open the game.

Right off the opening draw, junior defenseman and captain John Ramage took a penalty after left winger Jaden Schwartz got behind him.

Rather than let Schwartz get a breakaway following a pass from defenseman Gabe Guentzel, Ramage hooked Schwartz to the ice.

CC (7-2, 5-2) capitalized on the ensuing power play when right winger Scott Winkler beat freshman goaltender Landon Peterson (23 saves) with a fluttering wrist shot from the left circle at 1:19 in.

It was 2-0 just 61 seconds later after center Nick Dineen was allowed to follow up his rebound from the left circle, swatting it past Peterson as he tumbled to the ice at 2:20.

When center David Civitarese was allowed to walk from the right corner to the low slot, where he tucked a backhand past Peterson at 9:47, the hole was completely dug.

Eaves said he didn't consider pulling Peterson, who was making his first start since Nov. 4, because "he was our best player tonight."

Junior right winger and assistant captain Ryan Little said he didn't know what caused all the problems at the outset, but he wasn't buying the sweater explanation.

"Maybe it's us as captains not doing a good enough job preparing them," he said. "If I knew, I would change it."

The new sweaters are reminiscent of a rugby shirt with a wide, horizontal white stripe separating two layers of red.

An old-fashioned "W" dominates the front.

Stitched into the collar is the "It's A Great Day for Hockey" mantra immortalized by legendary former coach Bob Johnson.

The six NCAA titles won by the Badgers - 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1990 and 2006 - are embroidered on the tail.

"You'd think guys would be excited wearing some nice, new unis, but it had the opposite effect on us," junior defenseman and assistant captain Justin Schultz said.

"Maybe we thought there was some sort of magic putting those on and maybe we didn't have to do the work," Zengerle said. "It was unacceptable by us."

Wisconsin 0 0 1 - 1

Colorado College 3 0 1 - 4

First period: CC - Winkler 2 (J. Schwartz, R. Schwartz), 1:19. CC - Dineen 7 (Guentzel), 2:20. CC - Civitarese 2 (Eveland, Collett), 9:47. Penalties: Ramage, W, :06; Dineen, CC, 13:10.

Second period: Penalties: LaBate, W, :12; Marciano, CC, 2:28; Barnes, W, 3:29; Zengerle, W (10-minute misconduct), 3:29; Boivin, CC, 8:59; Barnes, W, 9:13; McDermott, CC (double minor), 19:25; Winkler, CC, 19:25; Mersch, W (double minor), 19:25; Simonelli, W, 19:25.

Third period: CC - Collett 3 (Guentzel, Hall), 4:01 (sh). W - Zengerle 6 (Schultz), 15:11. Penalties: Daly, W, 1:55; Dineen, CC, 2:42; Rapuzzi, CC, 8:59; LaBate, W, 8:59.

Saves: W (Peterson 12-4-7) 23; CC (Thorimbert 7-8-9) 24.

Power play: W 0-for-4; CC 1-for-5. Att. - 7,472.

 

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