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Wisconsin pucksters edge CC, win Final Five title for final time

ST. PAUL - The hottest team in college hockey started its season winning just one of its first 10 games. The Wisconsin Badgers continued their impressive turnaround with a 3-2 win over Colorado College Saturday to take the Broadmoor Trophy plus the WCHA's automatic position in the NCAA Tournament.

Tyler Barnes, Sean Little and freshman Nic Kerdiles scored goals as the Badgers won their sixth game in a row. Kerdiles' second-period score gave Wisconsin the insurance goal it needed and a 3-1 lead at the time. Joel Rumpel had 19 saves for Wisconsin while outshot Colorado College 33-21 while winning the Final Five Tournament. Kerdiles was named the tournament MVP.

CC finished with an 18-19-5 record. Wisconsin improves to 22-12-7 overall. Wisconsin has gone 11-3-1 in its last 15 games and has also won six straight contests.

Wisconsin won the first Final Five tournament back in 1988 at the old St. Paul Civic Center and now has won the last one played at the Xcel Energy Center, which was built over the demolished remains of the old civic center, as the WCHA will change its playoff format when the new league begins play next fall. In all UW won five Final Five titles, and has won 11 WCHA playoff titles in school history.

UW awaits its NCAA playoff pairing, which will be made this evening at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Indications are, based on the Pairwise model the NCAA uses to determine the playoff field, Wisconsin will more than likely play The University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the Northeast regional semifinals in Manchester, New Hampshire. UML won the Hockey East Association tournament title yesterday by beating Boston University in Boston 1-0. They also won the HEA's regular season title as well for the first time in school history.