Despite taking 40 shots on net and finding an early 1-0 lead, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team struggled to fend off Bemidji State, tying the Beavers 2-2 Friday.
“We are scrambling to get as many points as we can and not getting two with the expectation, that was our goal tonight, and that’s coming up short,” Eaves said. ” We just didn’t find a way to get that third goal.”
Freshman forward Nic Kerdiles put the Badgers on the board 11:55 into the first period after a pass through the crease by sophomore center Brendan Wood left Kerdiles with a shot on a wide open net. The power play goal – an area UW has struggled with all season, finishing just 10.3 percent of opportunities previously this season – gave Wisconsin a lead heading into the locker room after the first period.
Just over half way though the second period Beavers forward Phil Brewer found the back door with Badgers goaltender Joel Rumpel out of position and unable to make a save.
However Rumpel and the Wisconsin defense regained momentum, successfully defending a two minute 5-on-3 Beaver power play after Woods and junior defender Frank Simonelli were handed cross-checking and tripping penalties, respectively.
“When you give up a bit of a weak [goal] you want to make up for it in a way and kind of give you team a chance to get back,” Rumpel said.
Momentum from the penalty kill gave way for Wisconsin to again take the lead. Junior forward Sean Little found the back of the net with 59 seconds remaining in the second period, slicing a shot into the upper corner of the net that Bemidji State goaltender Mathieu Dugas could not get a glove on.
Though it appeared Wisconsin was ready to add to its one-goal lead heading into the third, it was the Beavers that put one away, with a shot from inside the left circle by sophomore Danny Mattson that tied the game up with just under 14 minutes left to play.
Wisconsin remained determined to find victory, putting up 16 shots in the third period to Bemidji States’s seven. Junior center Mark Zengerle failed to convert on a one-on-one situation with Dugas off a pass up the center by Kerdiles with seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game to overtime. Zengerle led the team in shots Friday with 10.
“I think their D overcommitted and one slid a little, and I just got down the middle,” Zengerle said. “It was a great play by Nic [Kerdiles] but no finish there.”
The five minute overtime period saw little opportunity for either team, ending the game in a 2-2 tie.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow at the Kohl Center, with the face-off time set for 7pm.