The No. 19 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (6-7-1, 1-4-1-1 Big Ten) struggled immensely against the University of Minnesota (5-6-3, 2-3-3-2 Big Ten) this weekend, but they still managed to come out of the series with a shootout victory.
The Badgers were defeated 4–1 Friday, and the offense was nowhere to be found. Wisconsin found themselves in a 2–0 deficit until forward Sean Dhooghe added a power-play goal in the second period to bring the Badgers within one goal of the Golden Gophers. However, Minnesota would go on to score another pair of goals in the third period to ice the game.
The Badgers scored on one of their three power-play attempts and stopped Minnesota on each of their two power plays. In the crease, Wisconsin goaltender Daniel Lebedeff allowed four goals on 29 shots, all of which came from different goal scorers.
While Wisconsin earned just one point this weekend, it was a hard-fought one point, as they showed resiliency and an ability to fight adversity in Saturday’s shootout victory.
The Badgers got off to a much better start Saturday night than they did in Friday’s contest. Defenseman Ty Emberson struck first for Wisconsin, but the Golden Gophers managed to tie the game with just 0.2 seconds left in the period. Minnesota went on to score a pair of goals in the second period — one being on a power play — which resulted in the Badgers trailing 3–1 entering the final period of play.
Wisconsin played with urgency in the third period, as Tarek Baker scored just 18 seconds into the period, and K’Andre Miller added another goal less than six minutes into the period to tie the game at three apiece. After a scoreless rest of the third period and two overtime periods of five-on-five and three-on-three play, Wisconsin forward Max Zimmer was finally able to find the back of the net in the third round of the shootout.
Saturday’s affair will officially go down as a 3–3 tie, but Zimmer’s goal was enough to help the Badgers finish their impressive comeback and give them the extra point in the Big Ten Standings.
While Wisconsin failed to score on all four of their power-play attempts, seven different Badgers found the scoresheet.
Men’s Hockey: Wisconsin splits first series with No. 3 Notre Dame in thrilling fashionThe No. 16 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (6-6, 1-3 Big Ten) split a home series this past weekend Read…
Jack Berry started in goal for Wisconsin and was stellar, saving 35 of the 38 shots he faced. He outdueled Minnesota goaltender Jack Lafontaine in his performance and earned the shootout victory for the Badgers.
Wisconsin Head Coach Tony Granato credited Berry for his tremendous performance.
“He hasn’t played a full game in a long time and especially when you get to three-on-three and a shootout, he made a lot of clutch save at different points in the game. Jack was outstanding,” Granato told Regional Radio Sports Network.
This type of goaltending and the ability to close the door in late-game situations is exactly what the Badgers need and is what they will strive to continue to improve throughout the season.
Wisconsin will face-off against Big Ten rival Michigan at the Kohl Center next weekend. While the Badgers wish that they could have this weekend back, they will have another chance to move up in the Big Ten and national rankings against another non-ranked opponent.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. The games can be viewed on FSW+ on Saturday and BTN on Sunday, and both games can be listened to live on WTSO.