Geoffrion nets hat trick as offense finally clicks

first_imgNot everyone was glowing about Blake Geoffrion’s hat trick Friday night. The senior tri-captain got three texts during the postgame press conference and not all of them were congratulatory.“No, actually my dad says ‘It’s about time,’” Geoffrion said.It was Geoffrion’s first career hat trick at UW and the first three-goal game for a Badger since Jack Skille scored a trio against Minnesota State in January 2007.“Usually when you have a big night, somebody is a multiple-scorer guy,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “Blake’s goals were right where he was supposed to be and [he] did some things and things happened for him. So it kind of set the table for us.”All three goals came on the power play, tying the Wisconsin single-game mark for power play goals by one player.Geoffrion got some help from Michigan Tech on his first goal — the senior put the puck off of a Husky defenseman and into the net. He admitted he was a little lucky on his second goal, a weak backhander right in front of Huskies goaltender Josh Robinson. His third came when he redirected a shot by Brendan Smith.Despite getting the first hat trick by a UW senior since Troy Howard did it in 1996, Geoffrion was relatively humble about the feat, praising his teammates for getting him the opportunities to score.“Yeah, I’m the one getting all the credit for all these goals and everything and it’s nice and all that,” he said. “But without these guys moving the puck as well as they do in front of the net around me, I’m not going to get credit for these.”But not completely humble. When freshman Derek Lee was asked what the tri-captain brings to the team, Lee noted his leadership and work ethic. Geoffrion had something else to add though.“You forgot the most important part — I’m good looking too.”Badger offense clickingWith three goals in the first 31 minutes of play, Geoffrion’s tallies would have been enough for a UW win, as Wisconsin beat Michigan Tech 8-2 that night. But the senior’s outburst was only the beginning of the team’s offensive outburst as UW outscored the Huskies 14-2 in the series.Both Smith and John Mitchell had two goals Saturday night, though neither was able to give the Badgers consecutive games with hat tricks.Neither player said they thought about stealing the limelight though.“I was just trying to contribute — I wasn’t looking to go one-up on him,” Smith said.“[Geoffrion] mentioned something to me, like joking around, but I really wasn’t focused on that,” Mitchell said.Almost everyone got in on the scoring for UW in the two games. All but three Badgers registered a point on the weekend, once again affirming the depth on the team. Only defensemen Jake Gardiner and Cody Goloubef and forward Aaron Bendickson went pointless.“Well, we’ll have to do special drills next week so they score,” Eaves joked.Along with his two goals, Smith had five assists for the series, while sophomore Derek Stepan also chipped in five assists. That gives Stepan a five-game streak with at least one point — he has two goals and 10 assists in the span.The weekend also boosted the Badgers on the points leaderboard. Smith’s 24 points (7-17-24) lead the WCHA and rank second in the nation. He leads the nation in points per game by a defenseman and is second in the nation in points per game by all skaters.If the junior keeps his current scoring pace, he could become the second defenseman to lead the Badgers in scoring in two years.Smith said his offensive production has been a pleasant surprise.“I guess I’m a little surprised — I mean, Blake makes it pretty easy for me over on the weak side there. He gets open pretty well. If they take him away, I’ve got the shot,” Smith said. “More than anything, I think it’s our team that’s been playing great. Somehow I’m just getting lucky and getting that third apple (second assist) or whatever.”Geoffrion, Michael Davies and Stepan join Smith in the WCHA top 10 in scoring. Stepan is tied for fourth (5-15-20), while Geoffrion and Davies are tied for ninth with 15 points.Geoffrion’s 12 goals are tied with Minnesota-Duluth’s Justin Fontaine for the conference lead. He’s also second in the nation to Fontaine in power play goals, with eight. UW is tied with UMD for most players in the WCHA’s top 10 scorers, with four apiece.But even with those four producing at the rate they are, the Badgers are a balanced team. UW leads the nation with 20 skaters to score goals, after Lee got his first of the season Friday. Only two skaters that appeared in at least one game haven’t registered a point this season.“Depth is a weapon. And it can be one of the strengths of your team and we certainly want to have that,” Eaves said. “I think if you look at teams that are playing well at the end of the year, they’ve got a fourth line that can get out there and do just what we just described: give you energy, play solid when they don’t have the puck and chip in offensively.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *