Alabama-Huntsville on the schedule has helped a lot of teams this season.
Wisconsin is the latest. The Badgers beat the Charges 4-1 on Friday at the Kohl Center for their first series sweep this season. The win also gives UW a six-game unbeaten streak after a 1-7-2 start.
UAH (3-14-1) is an intriguing story. The Chargers, whose program was given the death sentence for a while last season, is in the midst of a brutal schedule, playing 20 of its 22 Division I opponents on the road or at neutral sites.
The Chargers' next stop is at the Mariucci Classic, where they play No. 1-rated Boston College on Dec. 29 in a special game. A BC win would put Eagles coach Jerry York at the top of the list of coaches with the most career victories.
Friday the Badgers (4-7-5, 2-5-5 WCHA) were too much for the Chargers. They lost to Wisconsin 5-0 in the first game of the series.
"I saw a few comments from their coach, he was pretty disappointed in them,” Badger Ryan Little said. “I think he got them fired up a little bit.”
UAH took a 1-0 lead in the opening period on a five-on-three power play. Michael Webley scored the goal. It was just the fourth time the Chargers had a 1-0 lead.
“I think tonight we might have tried to rush things a little bit early, maybe thinking that it was going to be a little easier to score a lot of goals like the night before,” said Badgers forward Derek Lee, according to a UW news release. “But, we re-grouped, played hard and we went back to our systems and kept it simple and it was good to get the sweep this weekend."
Lee had one of the Badgers' goals and an assist.
UAH had three other power plays, including one for five minutes in the third period, but could not score again.
Joe LaBate, the former Holy Angels forward from Eagan, scored his second goal of the season at the 2:25 mark of the middle period to tie the score at 1-1. The goal, which beat Chargers goalie John Griggs, came on a rebound.
Freshman defenseman Kevin Schulze, of White Bear Lake, became the eighth Bdgers in the last five games to score his first goal at 13:14 of the second period. It came on the backdoor and gave UW a 2-1 lead. It also was the game-winner.
Derek Lee made it 3-1 Badgers in the middle of the third period. The senior forward stole a pass by the UAH defense in the defensive zone, then went right to the net for an unassisted goal.
Brendan Woods, a the sophomore forward, later scored the Badgers' fourth goal on a two-on-one. Ryan Little and goalie Joel Rumpel each were credited with their first assists this season.
“We [gave] ourselves a real nice gift here as we get ready for the holidays,” Badgers coach Mike Eaves said.