The Wisconsin Badgers used a combination of early and late goals to erase two two-goal deficits to tie Ohio State 4-4 Saturday night in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers went on to win the shootout to earn Wisconsin an extra point in Big Ten standings.
Unlike the previous night, the first period was full of penalties and goals. The penalties started before the game, as freshman Luke Kunin got tangled up before the puck drop. This was the second game in a row that Kunin got into it with an OSU player before the game began.
The game started 4 on 4 and the Badgers were given a great chance to score an early goal as the Buckeyes were assessed a five minute major less than two minutes into the game.
The Badgers power play unit could not get anything going and the first period moved on scoreless in the first five minutes. Ohio State would begin to impose itself, and find the back of the net.
At 9:19 Kevin Miller cleaned up a rebound sliding it past Wisconsinâ€™s Jurusik to put the Buckeyes 1-0. The goal came after the Badger defense was left watching the puck and not checking their man.
The young Badger defensemen who were without big hitter, Patrick Sexton, who was out with an injury looked lost and fellow freshman Peter Tischke got burned again late in the first period as Ohio Stateâ€™s forward Gerad put home another rebound chance given by Jurusik to put OSU up with just 1:28 left in the first.
Wisconsin would take some momentum back as Ryan Wagner punched home a shot initially taken by Luke Kunin to pull the Badgers back to only being down by one going into the second period.
Wagnerâ€™s sixth goal of the season came with twenty-five seconds left in the period. Wagner has really improved for Head Coach Mike Eaves and the Badgers. The sophomore only had two goals all of last season.
Wagner and the Badgers rode that late goal into the second period, as Adam Rockwood finished off a series of pretty passes from Grant Besse and Luke Kunin to pull the Badgers even 49 seconds into the second period.
The momentum, was short lived however and the rest of the period was almost all Ohio State. After a potential go ahead goal was taken back on a review of off sides, the Buckeyes found a way to regain the lead.
Tyler Lunde scored his second goal of the weekend and his fourth in four games beating Jurusik and the Badger defense to put OSU up 3-2 with 17:31 left in the second.
OSUâ€™s leading goal scorer Nick Schilkey would add to the Buckeyeâ€™s lead beating Jurusik near post giving OSU a 4-2 lead in the second period. With the goal OSU looked dominant and was heading to a third period with a two goal lead.
However, the Badgers fought to the buzzer and in a case of deja vu, the Badgers scored once again with under a minute to play in the period. This time it was Luke Kunin who slide home the goal after a nice pass from Kevin Schulze pulling the Badgers within one entering the third period.
Entering the third period down one, the momentum was on the Badgers side once more and junior Grant Besse cashed in on the momentum early to tie up the game 4-4 only 3:31 into the final period.
Kunin was given a point for the assist on Besseâ€™s goal giving him three points on the night. According to the official twitter of the Wisconsin Hockey team, this was the first time a Badger recorded three points in one night since Mark Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles did it in 2014. Not bad company for the freshman sniper.
Both teams had great chances to win the game in regulation, Will Johnson for the Badgers had a backhand denied by Frey who ended the night with 34 saves and then Freyâ€™s counterpart, Jurusik denied Ohio State in the waning seconds of regulation. He ended the night with 25 saves of his own.
A shootout would decide which team would get the extra point for the Big Ten standings after Ryan Wagner would score the only goal of the shootout and Matt Jurusik stopped all three Buckeyes he faced.
Badgers improved to 1-3-1-1 in Big Ten play with the shootout win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. They take the show on the road next weekend taking on one of the Big Tenâ€™s best Penn State team over in Happy Valley.
Despite not getting it done in regulation or overtime, the Badgers showed great fight, erasing two, two-goal deficits to win in the shootout and that is something to celebrate and build on for the young Badger squad.