BRYAN FAUST/Herald photoIt was not perfection, but it was a step in the right direction.Coming off the absolute low point in their season a week ago at Minnesota State, the Badgers needed to turn themselves around and build up some momentum heading into the postseason.That turnaround came with a sweep — 1-0 and 3-1 victories over St. Cloud State — and Wisconsin grabbing a share of second place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but it got the job done.”Since my freshman year, I don’t think we’ve won two games in a row going into the stretch for playoffs,” senior assistant captain Tom Gilbert said. “It’s kind of [been] a momentum killer for us, my freshman through my junior year. This is a first, and it’s something to build off of … and get on this winning way again.”Last week’s practices centered around getting back to the basics of hockey and enjoying playing the game, as the players have all their lives. That tactic seemed to work throughout the weekend.Last weekend, UW allowed the Mavericks a variety of opening looks; this weekend, the Badgers got back to blocking shots and clearing rebounds away from the front of the net.”Blocked shots, 50/50 pucks, races to pucks, those are all the little things that [are] a foundation of the game,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “If you don’t do those things, you aren’t going to win.”More specifically, junior goaltender Brian Elliott got back to his basics, working his angles and getting comfortable between the pipes. As a result, he began looking like the netminder that led the nation in both major goaltending statistics through much of the season.”He’s getting pretty close to being in the state he needs to be in.” Eaves said. “Whenever you’re going to go into a playoff, the success you’re going to have starts right between the pipes.”The Badgers returned to the basics and got back to winning in their final regular season matchup. That may not stop their postseason foes from feeling like Wisconsin is unbeatable — as many teams undoubtedly felt just two months ago — but Gilbert thinks that may work to their advantage.”To me, I feel as if we play our best when we are underdogs,” Gilbert said. “This past month and a half has been a downfall for us and this weekend is hopefully just a jolt for us to wake up and realize we are the underdogs the rest of the way.”Special weekend for senior class: Prior to Saturday night’s regular season finale, the Badgers honored the five members of this season’s senior class. To further emphasize the importance of this particular group, Eaves started all five of them — Adam Burish, A.J. Degenhardt, Gilbert, Nick Licari and Ryan MacMurchy.While it didn’t take long for that jumbled group of five to get off the ice and get into its normal rotation of lines, the group didn’t disappoint, notching four points on the night between them.It started when Burish assisted on Joe Pavelski’s goal in the opening minute of the game. Not only did it give the Badgers the early lead, but it ensured that they were focused despite the pregame ceremonies.”You never know what you’re going to get on a Senior Night,” Eaves said. “That’s the best start we could’ve hoped for.”Gilbert later scored on a freak goal seconds into the second period and picked up the primary assist on MacMurchy’s goal, which Eaves said might have been the most important of the night.”Probably the biggest goal was the response on the power play after we got scored on,” Eaves said. “That gave us a little strength there going down the backstretch.”Badgers lose Piskula: While it was important for the Badgers to get back to blocking shots in front of Elliott, it cost them one of their most solid defensemen in the process.Sophomore Joe Piskula — arguably the most-improved player on UW’s roster — blocked a big shot in Friday night’s game and paid the price.”You look back at the beginning of the year, and we were blocking shots left and right,” Elliott said after Friday’s game. “I think in the first period, Piskula had one from the point, and he took it, and it hurt. But that’s what you’ve got to do. We want those ice bags on at the end of the night.”And while that blocked shot seemed like a motivator on Friday night, come Saturday it proved more costly.While Piskula returned to Friday night’s game after blocking that shot, he was unable to be in the lineup on Saturday, and Eaves said the sophomore could be out for much of the postseason.”I think the window is going to be anywhere from two weeks to four weeks, depending on his ability to heal,” Eaves said.The speedy blue-liner with a big frame will definitely be missed against a scrappy Michigan Tech squad and whatever other teams the Badgers may face throughout the postseason.