Jan. 22, 2010

MADISON, Wis.--The No. 3 Wisconsin Badger men's hockey team (13-6-4, 9-5-3 WCHA) skated to a 3-3 tie Friday night against the top-ranked Denver Pioneers (14-5-4, 10-3-4 WCHA). After falling behind 2-0 in the third, UW scored three goals in 4:12 to take a late 3-2 advantage. After a Denver goal tied things back up, the game would ultimately end in a tie. Senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn.) knocked in two of the three goals in the Badger scoring spurt.

After a scoreless first three-quarters of the opening period, Denver notched the game's first goal at the 16:38 mark of the first. Sophomore forward Joe Colborne scored the power-play goal, putting the Pioneers on top, 1-0, heading into the second.

Though the Badgers were down, but outshot DU, 9-6, in the period.

The second period proved to be a defensive battle, as neither team was able to find the back of the net. Wisconsin was 0-for-4 on the power play and outshot DU, 11-7, in the period, but the score remained 1-0.

Less than two minutes into the final period, DU grabbed a two-goal lead when junior forward Kyle Ostrow skated through the slot and redirected a pass through his legs for the tally.

On the UW power play less than three minutes later, Wisconsin finally got on the board, scoring for the first time in over eight periods against Denver. Starting the scoring sequence, freshman Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, British Columbia) got the puck to Michael Davies (St. Louis) who was just inside the blue line. From there, Davies fired on net. Anchored in the heart of the Denver defense, Geoffrion tipped the puck past DU goalie Marc Cheverie to get the Badgers within one. With 15:29 remaining in the game, Wisconsin was down, 2-1.

At 7:15, Wisconsin evened the score when Davies cashed in his 10th goal of the season. Davies picked up the puck behind the Denver goal after a faceoff, got the puck to sophomore forward Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) while continuing around the net. Davies then got the puck back from Stepan on the other side of the net and one-timed the return pass into the net.

Then at 8:43, Geoffrion was at it again to help Wisconsin take the lead. Freshman Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) started the score when he advanced the puck up-ice to sophomore forward Jordy Murray (Faribault, Minn.). Just outside the left faceoff circle, Murray passed the puck across the ice to Geoffrion driving to the net. The senior tri-captain got enough of the puck to slip it past Cheverie for his second of the game and 17th of the season. The Badgers were now up, for the first time in the game, 3-2.

With just under two minutes remaining, Denver tied things back up. Junior forward Anthony Maiani capitalized on an extended shift for Badger penalty killers, scoring 20 seconds after a DU power-play expired.

Wisconsin nearly won it at the buzzer off a faceoff with 4.1 seconds remaining. After Geoffrion and the DU center went to the ice, senior Ben Street (Coquitlam, British Columbia) skated through and kicked the loose puck to a cutting Cody Goloubef (Oakville, Ontario) at the side of the net. The defenseman shot from a bad angle and found some iron, but the puck stayed out.

The teams played overtime, with UW goalie Scott Gudmandson stopping a breakaway and two or three other quality DU scoring chances. UW's Craig Smith had Wisconsin's best chance of overtime, but missed the net from close range.

At the sound of the final buzzer, the score read 3-3. In regulation, UW outshot DU, 35-19, but Denver fired the only four shots on goal in the extra frame.

Scott Gudmandson turned away 20 Pioneer shots, as his record went to 7-2-4 on the year. Marc Cheverie stopped 32 Badger shots, as his record bumped to 12-2-3 on the season.

The Badgers and Pioneers square off again tomorrow night, as the Badgers look to take the season series from No. 1 Denver. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.