Sunday State Sports Briefs: Badger win gives them home ice in WCHA PlayoffsWisconsin Sports
-- Michael Mersch scored two of his team’s three goals at the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team edge St. Cloud State 3-2 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
MADISON - Michael Mersch scored two of his team’s three goals at the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team edge St. Cloud State 3-2 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of nearly 6,000 fans.
His second goal was the game-winner. The other Badger goal was scored by Frankie Simonelli in the final game of the regular season. The Badgers outshot the Huskies 31-20 while improving their record to 17-12-7, including 13-8-7 in the WCHA. St. Cloud State needed a victory to win the McNaughton Cup outright. Instead, the Huskies will share the top spot in the standings with Minnesota. Wisconsin, meanwhile, will be on its home ice at the Kohl Center next weekend for the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Badgers' opponent will be determined after Denver wraps up the WCHA regular season when it hosts Alaska-Anchorage this evening.
The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team can still earn a first-round bye in the Big Ten Conference Tournament with a victory today. Wisconsin tips off at Penn State against the Nittany Lions at 11 a.m. There are several scenarios for Wisconsin, which would finish with a 12-6 record with a win, could finish in fourth place and receive a first-round bye for the Big Ten Tournament next weekend in Chicago. The Badgers have lost their last two games.
Valparaiso hit a desperation three-point shot as the buzzer sounded to edge Wisconsin-Green Bay and make to the Horizon League Tournament championship game. Valpo had closed to within a point on another three-pointer with seven seconds left. After an Alec Brown free throw, Ryan Broekhoff threw up a prayer while falling down – and it went in. Broekhoff scored 25 to lead the Crusaders into the title game today against Wright State. Keifer Sykes led the Phoenix with 31 points, including four three-pointers. Green Bay lost despite shooting 53 percent from the floor.
Logan Schafer drove in two runs with a single and a double, but the Milwaukee Brewers dropped Saturday’s Cactus League game against Cincinnati, 6-5. Schafer is trying to make the opening day roster and his chances are better with injuries to Corey Hart and Matt Gamel. Donnie Murphy had two singles and a double in the game. Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta gave up three runs on five hits in two and a third innings. Aramis Ramirez missed his sixth spring game with a knee injury.
A Friday morning MRI shows Milwaukee Brewer firstbaseman Corey Hart’s surgery on his right knee is healing as expected. That’s positive news for manager Ron Roenicke. Hart is said to be off his crutches and able to drive again. This latest evaluation means Hart can begin to rehabilitate his knee more aggressively. The timetable for his returns continues to be in mid- to late-May. Another Milwaukee first baseman, Matt Gamel, had a second surgery on his right knee Friday.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun went 2-for-5 and Brewer catcher Jonathan Lucroy was 1-for-3 as the USA defeated Italy 6-2 in the World Baseball Classic. David Wright had the big hit with a fifth inning grand slam. Milwaukee closer John Axford pitched a perfect ninth inning in Canada's 10-3 win over Mexico. Marco Estrada took the loss in that game, giving up four runs and seven hits in three innings.
--Division I Women
DePaul 77, Marquette 69
UW-Green Bay 80, UW-Milwaukee 56
--Division II Men
(Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament)
Southern Indiana 81, UW-Parkside 62
--Division III Men
(NCAA Second Round)
Calvin 67, UW-Stevens Point 58
North Central 64, UW-Whitewater 60
--Division III Women
(NCAA Sweet 16 Round)
UW-Whitewater 65, Hope 60
--Division III Men
UW-Eau Claire 3, St. Norbert 1
--Division III Women
Gustavus Adolphus 2, UW-River Falls 1
Plattsburgh State 5, St. Norbert 2
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
Milwaukee 3, Chicago 2 (SO)