MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin men's hockey scored three straight goals in front of a season-high 11,075 fans at the Kohl Center to take down No. 1 Minnesota, 3-1, in an upset win on Saturday.
Despite giving up the first goal late in the first period, the Badgers (11-19-0, 4-16-0 Big Ten) responded before the period ended and then powered past the Gophers. Carson Bantle posted a goal and an assist and Jack Horbach notched a pair of helpers to lead Wisconsin to the victory.
Goaltender Kyle McClellan stood tall in net all night with 32 saves.
Minnesota (21-8-1, 15-4-1 Big Ten) struck first at 18:28 in the first period. Mike Koster fired off a wrist shot from the point that hit off a Badger and sailed into the the top corner.
However, the Gophers' lead was short-lived. With 21 seconds remaining in the first period, freshman Cruz Lucius beat goaltender Justen Close on his blocker side with a backhand wrist shot to tie the game at one. Junior Mathieu De St. Phalle started the play in the neutral zone when he caught the puck in the air and skated into Minnesota's zone before threading a pass to Lucius on the edge of the crease.
Cruzin' into the 2nd period tied 1-1 😎— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) February 11, 2023
Lucius connects with De St.Phalle to sneak one past the Gophers 🚨 pic.twitter.com/tZd9x7qTIk
SCOREBOARD: Click or tap here for the latest scores around Division I men's hockey
Sophomore defenseman Daniel Laatsch gave the Badgers the lead with his first goal of the season at 10:17 in the second period. Carson Bantle battled for the puck behind the Gophers' net and directed the puck out to Horbach who fired a shot on net. The rebound landed at the feet of Laatsch for him to bury in the back of the net.
The Gophers netted an equalizer but the goal was called back for too many men on the ice.
Bantle put the Kohl Center on their feet when he extended Wisconsin's lead to 3-1 at 14:09 in the second period. Sophomore Corson Ceulemans passed the puck up to Horbach as he made his way through the neutral zone and crossed the Gophers' blue line. He pulled up and sent a laser across the zone to Bantle, who sniped the puck past the shoulder of Close.
BEANPOT: Harvard, Northeastern advance to championship with big semifinals wins
"WOOOOOOOO!"— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) February 12, 2023
- Carson Bantle, probably
🍎: Horbach, Ceulemans pic.twitter.com/PqCkeCtgrj
Minnesota pulled Close in the final three minutes, but the Badgers shut them down. McClellan stopped all 14 shots in the third period to seal the deal on Wisconsin's 3-1 win.