The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team, already beset once by an injury to a key player this season, now find themselves without their most consistent forward.
The team found out Monday that junior Andrew Joudrey will miss the next three to four weeks with a left knee injury. Joudrey’s injury occurred Saturday night against Michigan Tech, when he was checked in the second period.
The news was not well received by the Badgers, who were looking forward to playing with a full complement of players for the first time in more than a month. Junior goaltender Brian Elliott returned Saturday night after missing eight straight games with an injury that Mike Eaves described as similar to Joudrey’s.
“The good thing is it’s not season ending,” Joudrey said. “I’m hoping to get back as soon as possible.”
At his press conference Monday, head coach Mike Eaves was asked to name his most consistent player. Instead, he reeled off names at each position, choosing Joudrey at forward.
“That’s one of his strengths,” Eaves said, referring to his consistency. “He’s not going to give you fantastic offensive flair, but he’s never going to let you down defensively.”
Joudrey, who has seven goals and 15 points this year, played on the No. 2 line, the No. 1 power play unit and the penalty kill line. He has appeared in all 31 games for the Badgers this season.
With a timetable on his return set for three to four weeks, Joudrey could return at the earliest for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Final Five, March 17 to 19 in St. Paul, Minn.
Kohl Center sellout record set
With the team selling out the March 4 game against St. Cloud State, the hockey team broke last year’s record of five sold out contests.
The Kohl Center, which can hold 15,237 for an ice hockey game, has sold out 16 times.
Wisconsin is on pace to lead the nation in attendance for the eighth straight year, averaging 13,448 fans per game. The record was 12,153 set by UW in 1998-99.