The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team got back on track with a 5-2 victory over the Michigan Wolverines Friday night.
After suffering their first sweep of the season, Wisconsin (16-10-1, 9-4-0-0 Big Ten) rebounded nicely against the Wolverines (9-15-3, 2-9-2-2), scoring three goals in the last 10 minutes of the game to beat Michigan 5-2.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 1-0 lead halfway through the opening period, with freshman Trent Frederic slotting home a rebound to mark his 11th goal on the year.
The Badgers held the lead entering the second period, but not for long, as Michigan leveled the score just one minute into the middle frame on a power-play goal from Cooper Marody.
Wisconsin answered with a power-play goal of their own 11 minutes later, as Cameron Hughes converted on a beautiful give-and-go with Luke Kunin to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. The goal extended Hughes point-streak to 11 games, the longest streak for a Badger since 2013.
The final period would prove to be the most entertaining, with the Badgers scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes to propel them to victory.
The Badgers held a lead for the start of the third period, until Evan Allen equalized things for the Wolverines with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
After the equalizer, however, it was all Wisconsin. The Badgers took the lead for the third and final time Friday on Frederic’s second goal of the night, a point blank finish in front of the net off a nicely slotted pass from the Badgers’ captain, Kunin.
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Wisconsin closed the door on the Wolverines with two minutes left, as sophomore Jarod Zirbel put a no-look drop pass from Aidan Cavallini over the shoulder of the Michigan goalie to give the Badgers a 4-2 lead.
Seamus Malone added another goal just 18 seconds later, putting the Badgers up by a final score of 5-2.
Freshman goalie and Michigan-native, Jack Berry, made some big saves for the Badgers down the stretch, and saved 25-of-27 shots on the way to his second win over the Wolverines this season.
After the 5-2 victory over Michigan, the Badgers hit the ice again Saturday night in search of a weekend sweep over the Wolverines.
Wisconsin didn’t waste any time getting on the board, eight seconds to be exact, when sophomore Trent Frederic caught the Wolverine defense on their heels to give the Badgers an early 1-0 lead.
Michigan didn’t waste much time of their own responding just 35 seconds later, tying the game at 1-1 before a minute of hockey had been played.
Just under four minutes later the Wolverines struck again to take a one score lead early into the first. This game was cracking up to be a high scoring affair as the opening minutes ensued.
After senior Corbin McGuire committed a hooking penalty, the momentum looked to be falling into the lap of Michigan with an upcoming power play opportunity.
That momentum would be turned upside down, when Trent Frederic forced a turnover leading to his own breakaway goal to tie the game once more at 2-2.
“He reads it well he’s a brilliant hockey player as far as recognizing opportunities,” head coach Tony Granato said regarding Frederic’s shorthanded score.
The Badgers entered the first intermission tied with the Wolverines and would leave the second period in a tie as well, after both teams netted a score in the second.
Michigan was not backing down this time as they responded to a third period goal from defenseman Jake Linhart, forcing the fourth tie of the game.
Another Wisconsin defenseman would find the back of the net when sophomore Peter Tischke scored midway through the third giving the Badgers the 5-4 lead and eventually the win.
“Obviously, they’re a good team, they’re hard, they never give up, and after they came back after that fourth goal and we got the fifth one we just realized that we had to bear down and finish the game,” Tischke said following Saturday’s win.
The Badgers did bear down as the third came to a close forcing the Wolverines to pull their goaltender with minutes remaining. Adam Cavallini silenced any late game heroics with an empty net score ending the game in a 6-4 victory for the Badgers.
Cameron Hughes finished the night with an assist hat trick, two of those assists going to Cavallini, who along with Frederic had two goals on the night.
Trent Frederic finished the weekend with an impressive four goals over the two-game series, as he continues to light it up for the Badgers.
“The puck was coming to me and guys were making nice plays and I just happened to be there so it was a good weekend and it’s good to get two wins,” Frederic said.
A sweep for the Badgers this weekend means a chance to jump into first place in the Big Ten next weekend as they head to Minnesota to take on the No. 5 Gophers.
“Next week will be a challenge. We had two great games against Minnesota here a few weeks back. We know the skill that they have, we know we’ll have to be at our best,” Granato said.
Next weekend’s matchup could very well be the biggest series of the year for the Badgers, and after sweeping the Wolverines at home, Wisconsin looks poised to make a run for the number one spot in the Big Ten.