A week after seeing their 11-game unbeaten streak get derailed, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team (11-8-5, 8-5-5 WCHA) got back on pace with a sweep of Alaska-Anchorage last weekend.
As the Badgers get ready to head to Grand Forks, ND for a showdown with North Dakota, the fate of senior forward Derek Lee still remains in question. Lee left the series finale against UAA with a concussion after taking a blow to the head.
On Monday, Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said that Lee passed all of his cognitive tests, but mentioned that Lee would be held off the ice until his headaches subsided.
“He passed his cognitive test. That's step one,” Eaves said during his weekly press conference. “He still has some residual headaches, so those have to dissipate before he can get on the bike. At this point, we're hopeful. The fact that he passed the cognitive was a good step. He won't go on the ice today, and tomorrow we'll come back and see where he's at.”
Eaves went on to add that he had sent some footage to WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shephard. Eaves was assured that the tapes would be reviewed and expects some type of feedback from the league regarding the matter.
Lee currently has a team-high 16 assists and is second on the squad with 19 points on the season. He has posted one goal and three assists in eight career games against North Dakota.
Freshman defenseman Eddie Wittchow and redshirt senior forward Ryan Little are also fully cleared to participate in all team activities.
Looking ahead to game action, Eaves embraces the challenges that this weekend will bring.
“It's a great place to play, first of all. If I'm a college athlete or just an athlete in general, you're playing in front of 11,000 fans, and the rink is designed such they're right on top of you. They're a good team. There's a great rivalry,” Eaves said.
“These are the kind of weekends that are fun. I don't think it's — the challenge is there, and to go in as a group of 22 young men and the coaching staff and support staff and try to get into their camp and steal some ponies and get out of town is a great challenge.”