Megan McCormick/The Badger HeraldAside from being the captains of their respective hockey teams, Sean Dolan and Alex Ovechkin don’t have much in common. Ovechkin, a star forward for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, is perennially among the league’s scoring leaders; Dolan’s 12 points so far this season are a career high. When thinking of Ovechkin, images of pucks being fired into the net come to mind. With Dolan, the images are of him firing himself into – well, the net, the boards or anything that moves.But now, both men can call themselves breakaway champions at a skill competition.Using a late-season bye week to hold a skill competition, Dolan was voted by his Wisconsin teammates as the winner of the breakaway trick-shot shootout. The senior’s repertoire included him flinging a glove at third-string goaltender Mitch Thompson to distract him and pulling a switcheroo on Brett Bennett – making a move to the right with a decoy puck, then dropping another out of his glove and scoring that one instead.In the final round, which included sophomore Derek Lee and freshman Jason Clark, Dolan’s piece de resistance was a simple rush to the net and quick goal – followed by the St. Louis native taking his gloves off and giving himself a standing ovation.“I think the dumber the things you think about, the better it looks,” he said. “You’ve just got to do something crazy and it all comes out as fun.”The rest of the skill competition consisted of three other challenges: Fastest skater, hardest shot and most accurate shooter.The competition, encouraged by College Hockey, Inc., was a departure from the Badgers’ normal mid-week practices – but a welcome departure.“Yeah, definitely, it lifts the guys’ spirits,” junior Jordy Murray said. “We’ve been on a grind, we haven’t had a weekend off yet this year. It’s good for us, a little fun here and there doesn’t hurt anyone.”Sophomore defenseman Justin Schultz won the fastest skater competition, over defensive partner and early favorite Jake Gardiner. Junior Jordy Murray took home the most accurate title, as the only Badger to hit five of five shots – all four corners and the five-hole.It was an 18-year-old freshman who launched the hardest shot, as defenseman Frankie Simonelli’s best blast clocked in at 94 mph.“USCHO and ESPN had me ranked No. 1 going into the competition,” Simonelli joked. “Guys were hitting 85 or so, I just went up and swung the bat and hit 95.”“I don’t think anyone expected Frank to win there,” Schultz said.Senior Podge Turnbull had a notable day as well, being the only other player to hit 90 mph. His other achievement was better measured in decibels, as he wiped out and slammed violently into the boards during the skating time trial, before bursting out in laughter.The competition was a relaxing day of practice for a team that openly admits it needed a bye week. The No. 7 Badgers didn’t practice Tuesday and then benefited from a class-free snow day Wednesday before practice.Head coach Mike Eaves said no players are “100 percent,” health-wise, as the Badgers have been battling small injuries, bruises and the occasional illness.“I think that’s really important. We’ve got a lot of guys that have been battling pretty hard out there,” Schultz said. “A bunch of us got bumps and bruises, so… these two weeks here, it will definitely be nice to heal up some of those.”The healing comes as UW readies for its stretch run. Wisconsin has four more weekends of regular season play starting next weekend with a trip to Nebraska-Omaha. UW returns with a home series against Minnesota, trip to St. Cloud State and finishes in Madison versus Colorado College. Eaves and his players noted the timing of the bye week offered a nice chance for the Badgers to catch their breath – especially since UW got no such luxury last season.“I think actually it was perfect timing,” Murray said. “Everyone’s a little run down, getting a little sick, so everyone, especially with the snow day here, everyone slept in, is getting their rest back, their health back.”Prior to the season, it was hard to imagine this bye being as important as it is. Despite all the losses from last season’s national-title contending team, the Badgers are tied with North Dakota for most wins in the nation at 19. Wisconsin sits alone in fourth place in the WCHA with 24 points, just four back of the league lead.And despite losing four 50-point scorers, the Badgers have responded by getting big years from Schultz (15-24-39, most points by a defenseman in the nation), Gardiner (7-23-30), center Craig Smith (15-20-35) and freshman Mark Zengerle (5-27-32). The last two times UW had four players score at least 30 points, the Badgers played for the national title.In other words, the 19-8-3 record is a bit of a surprise.“You can describe it in many ways. Pleasantly surprised would be one of them,” Eaves said. “If people had said we would have had this record at this time, we probably would have been scratching our head and wondering if they were truly here with us on this planet.”Yet here Wisconsin is,12-1 in its last 13 and still in contention for the conference crown. The only worry with the extra time to rest and recharge is to make sure UW’s second-half surge doesn’t sputter.“We were winning some games there, so hopefully we can keep the momentum we had going into this week, into next weekend and come out with two big wins in Omaha,” Dolan said.