Junior center Mark Zengerle will learn Monday if he needs surgery on a broken left index finger, but that won't change the fact he'll be lost to the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team for at least a month.
Zengerle said Sunday he'll be sidelined four to six weeks after suffering the injury Saturday night during a 3-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss to Colorado College at the Kohl Center.
Even though UW has a bye this week, it's a major blow to an offense that's averaging 1.83 goals per game. Zengerle is the top returning scorer in the nation from last season and had recorded a point in every game this season until he was hurt.
Zengerle was injured while the Badgers were killing off a penalty early in the second period. He came out to block a one-timer from the high slot by CC defenseman Mike Boivin and the puck caught him in the hand.
"I knew it was broken right away,'' said Zengerle, whose assumption was confirmed when an X-ray was taken at the Kohl Center.
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Zengerle said the good news is that there's a single fracture and no tendon damage. He said the break is located right below the knuckle.
The Badgers (1-4-1 overall, 1-2-1 in the WCHA) will use the bye week to lick their wounds from getting swept -- they dropped the series opener to CC 5-4 in overtime -- and figure out a lineup that could be missing its most accomplished weapon until mid-December.
Two of the WCHA series Zengerle will miss are on the road against prime MacNaughton Cup contenders: Minnesota Nov. 16 and 17 and Denver Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
"If you want to make a blanket statement, it makes it more difficult for us to score goals,'' UW coach Mike Eaves said.
"I think on the power play we'll be able to move some people around and still be pretty effective. We saw that a little bit out there (Saturday night). But there's going to be a hole there for a while.''
Zengerle acknowledged that it will be tough on both parties -- him and the team -- but he believes the Badgers can manage without him.
"We'll be all right,'' he said.