The Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team got their first win of the season last night.
The game will go down as a tie in the official record book, despite an exhibition shootout win for the Badgers.
The tie gives the Badgers their first non-loss of the season improving their record to 0-8-1.
The game was Ferris State’s first tie putting their record at 7-6-1 going into Saturday’s rematch.
The Badgers and Bulldogs battled to a 0-0 tie through two periods.
Wisconsin scored first after Cameron Hughes broke away from the Ferris State defense while the Badgers were on the power play. Hughes shot was deflected by Bulldogs goalie, CJ Motte, who ended the night with 22 saves.
The rebound fell right onto the stick of Matt Ustaski, who tucked it home to give the Badgers a lead 1-0 at the 2:13 mark of the third period.
Ferris State battled right back and five minutes later, Andrew Dorantes netted the equalizer past Joel Rumpel who posted 34 saves in the tie.
After a scoreless overtime the game officially ended in a tie but an exhibition shootout gave what head coach Mike Eaves called, a moral victory.
“In the things that we’ve been going through, that is a little sliver of light for us. A tie and then a shootout win is a little sliver of light.”
The Badgers have to thank their defense especially for the moral victory. The Badgers tallied 26 blocks in the game keeping the puck away from the net. They needed every single one of them being out shot 35-23 on the night.
Ferris State almost snuck away with a victory but an interference call on the Bulldogs waved off the potential game winner late in the third period.
Team moral is high for the Badgers but they are still yet to win a game in regulation and still have a glaring zero in the win column. Something Eaves is not ignoring, saying, “There was many underlying things that we didn’t do well.
“We had a little video session right away just to point those things out. To really be clear about what we are trying to do, what we are doing and what we look like we are doing.”.
However, the Badgers should be allowed to savor this one for a little while. Coming off the ice with confidence, celebrating a win, getting that feeling of winning a hockey game.
These intangibles could be the push needed to get the wheels rolling for the Badgers as they enter Big Ten play.
I stick to my prediction that Ferris State beats up on the Badgers tonight, but it would not at all be a surprise if the Badgers come out and shock the Bulldogs on their home ice.
They have tasted the sweet taste of victory, and undoubtedly want more.