The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (4-8, 2-4-1 Big Ten) has now lost three straight games after being swept by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3, 2-2 Big Ten) at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.
The Badgers were not able to crack the stifling Notre Dame defense and also had trouble on their own defensive end, getting outscored 8-1 in the two games.
Going into the first game of the two-game set on Friday, Notre Dame was still searching for their first conference win of the season. The Badgers were looking to build off back-to-back splits against top five teams.
Wisconsin was able to take the early lead and put the pressure on the Fighting Irish from an unassisted Roman Ahcan goal just 2:35 into the opening period. The Badgers were able to protect this slim lead for the rest of the period and enter the second period up 1-0 while holding an 11-9 shots on goal advantage.
Wisconsin’s second period did not start the way the first period did.
Notre Dame was able to put the puck past goaltender Jared Moe within the first three minutes. The goal came from sophomore forward Landon Slaggert and knotted the game at one each.
The Fighting Irish continued their offensive attack and broke through the Badger defense once again two minutes later with a goal from junior forward Jesse Lansdell putting Notre Dame up 2-1.
They were not finished there and built on their lead over Wisconsin once more before the end of the period. Junior forward Trevor Janicke scored on Moe on a Notre Dame power play with five minutes left in the second, establishing a two goal cushion for the Fighting Irish.
The Badgers were outshot 17-10 and outscored 3-0 in the second period.
In the final regulation period, Wisconsin was not able to beat Notre Dame graduate transfer goaltender Matthew Galajda, who stood strong in the net.
Halfway through the period, Notre Dame scored again on the powerplay, opening up a three goal lead with just 10 minutes to play. They were able to cap off a productive offensive showing by scoring on Moe once more — this time while shorthanded.
Junior forward Max Ellis scored the last two goals for Notre Dame. Overall, the Wisconsin special teams had trouble all game, giving up two power play goals and one shorthanded goal in a 5-1 loss.
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In the second game of the series, sophomore goaltender Cameron Rowe got the start in net.
He faced 12 shots in the first period, allowing two goals. Sophomore forward Grant Silianoff Scored the first goal scored seven minutes into the game and senior defenseman Nick Leivermann scored the second with less than a minute left in the period, closing out a strong opening period for the Fighting Irish.
The two teams were deadlocked for the majority of the second period, trading shots and scoring chances. Until, Notre Dame got on the board again with a minute left in the middle period on a Hunter Strand goal that made its way past Rowe.
Notre Dame protected their 3-0 lead throughout the third period closed out the game in a shutout and a series sweep over Wisconsin.
Tony Granato’s team will head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena Nov. 19 and Nov. 20.