Feb. 6, 2009

Courtesy of Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis.

The Wisconsin men’s hockey team (15-11-3, 12-7-2 WCHA) broke a four-game winless streak at the Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis this Friday with a 3-2 victory over the Golden Gophers (12-8-5, 9-7-3 WCHA).

After a shaky start, the Badgers turned the tables on the Gophers late in the first period, scoring a short-handed goal with a little over one minute remaining. UW opened the second period with a four-on-four goal for the 2-0 lead, and expanded its lead to three later in the period. Minnesota responded in the third period with an early goal, and closed the gap further with a second goal with 3:32 left in the game. UW rallied for the win, however, keeping the Gophers from finding the net to tie the game, and came away with the 3-2 win.

Senior Shane Connelly (Cheltenham, Pa.) kept the Badgers in the game in the first period, making six incredible saves during the period (19 total in the first) and continued to protect the net with the same energy throughout the remainder of the game, allowing only two goals in a relatively high-shooting game by the Gophers.

Junior Jamie McBain (Faribault, Minn.) posted the first goal with 1:12 left in the first period. With the Gophers on the power play, McBain scored a short-handed point shot immediately off a faceoff in the Minnesota zone. McBain’s shot was deflected on the way in to give UW the 1-0 lead.

Freshman Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) scored a second short-handed goal only 45 seconds into the second period to extend the Badger lead to 2-0. Stepan beat Minnesota goalkeeper Alex Kangas on a rebound after sophomore Ryan McDonagh (Arden Hills, Minn.) stole a pass in the Gopher zone.

Junior Andy Bohmbach (Hudson, Wis.) recorded Wisconsin’s third goal with 1:21 left in the second period. Junior Michael Davies (St. Louis) hit the post on a breakaway shot and the puck settled under Kangas in the crease. Bohmbach followed up the shot and tapped it in from under the Gopher goalie for the 3-0 lead.

Minnesota found the net 3:57 into the third period. Mike Hoeffel tipped in a point shot from R.J. Anderson to put the Gophers on the board, making it 3-1.

The Gophers scored a second goal late in the third period to cut Wisconsin’s lead to one goal. Mike Carmen finished a rebound off a tipped point shot from Hoeffel to make it 3-2.

The Badgers went 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Gophers went 0-for-3. Connelly saved 43 shots to Kangas’s 20, while Minnesota outshot the Badgers 45-23 overall.