It was a strange weekend for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team as they earned their first win and their first loss within a span of two days.
The Badgers (2-1, 1-1 Big Ten) welcomed the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Kohl center this weekend for their first Big Ten game of the 2017-18 season. The Badgers, who were ranked 12th in the nation before the weekend began, were slated to overcome the Buckeyes with little to no effort needed.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened the first night of the series.
Wisconsin and Ohio State got off to a slow start Friday, with neither team managing to net a goal until well into the second period.
It would be Wisconsin who would manage to net the first goal of the night, scored by Trent Frederic a little bit under ten minutes into the second period, but Wisconsin’s lead would not last long. Less than seven minutes after Frederic lit the lamps for Wisconsin, Ohio State would answer back with a goal of their own, tying the game back up at 1-1.
It seemed throughout the night as if Wisconsin could not garner enough momentum to truly seal the game, as every time the Badgers would manage to score a goal, Ohio State would score one not long after. Shortly into the second third period of the game, it seemed as though the Badgers would be able to walk away with a victory, until the Buckeye’s John Wiitala would even the score at 2-2 for the second time that night.
With the game tied, any only five minutes remaining after Wiitala’s goal in the third period, it would seem as though these two Big Ten powerhouses would be heading into overtime. That was, until Ohio State’s Mason Jobst would score his second goal of the night with a little less than 1:20 left in the final period of the game.
Wisconsin walked away from the first night of the series with their first loss of the season, but they would not let this series end without giving Ohio State a run for their money Saturday. The Badgers came out of the gate swinging the following night, with Wisconsin’s own Will Johnson scoring the first goal of the game well into the first period.
After Johnson’s goal, the Badgers would continue the scoring drive, tallying a total of three goals by the time that the second period was over. It seemed as though UW was headed for a shutout, but they still had to get through the third period.
While Ohio State might not have been in the lead, they sure weren’t going to give up easily. The Buckeyes came back with a vengeance during the third period, scoring three goals within a matter of 24 seconds. Even with these two rapid goals, there would not be enough time for the Buckeyes to light the lamps up one more time, and it would be Wisconsin that would walk away with a 3-2 victory the second night.
Although they tallied a loss during their first Big Ten game of the season, the Badgers still managed to impress many with their quick rebound between Friday and Saturday’s game. Not only did Wisconsin earn their first Big Ten win of the season, but they also rose two spots this week in the USCHO rankings, landing themselves at the No.10 position this week.
Wisconsin’s next series will take them out to Massachusetts, where the Badgers will get the task of taking on two of the best teams in the East. The Badgers start their weekend off against Boston College, and will end the weekend against Merrimack.