The Wisconsin Men’s Hockey team could not complete the comeback Friday night against Michigan State, losing 4-3 to the Spartans after giving up the game-winning goal with less than five minutes left in the game.
The Badgers out played the Spartans in virtually every category of the game. Wisconsin outshot MSU 37 to 21, won more face-offs and committed less penalties but could not best MSU in the only category that matters, goals.
Wisconsin got off to a hot start, with freshman Luke Kunin scoring 45 seconds into the game off of beautiful assists from sophomore Cameron Hughes and junior Grant Besse.
Michigan State would answer with Ryan Keller at 9:59 into the first period to tie things up for Michigan State heading into the second period.
In a reversal of roles, it was Michigan State who scored within the first minute of second period action. Dylan Pavelek deflected a shot past Jurusik just 44 seconds into the period. MSU would add to the lead shortly after thanks to Zach Osburn who finished it off after an assist from Joe Cox.
The Badgers fought back with a goal from freshman Will Johnson on the power play. Wisconsin was 1 for 4 on the man advantage. They looked dangerous too, generating some great chances but the puck just would not fall.
The top line of the Badgers did what they could. Hughes added a goal to tie the game in the third period off a beautiful assist from Kunin and Besse. All three players had multiple points in the loss.
The top line has combined for 12 points over the last four games. They needed 13 tonight, however, after MSU’s Matt DeBlouw slapped a one timer blocker side from the left faceoff circle past Jurusik for the game winner.
The Badgers fall to 6-14-7 with the loss and remain stuck at the bottom of the Big Ten conference. The disheartening thing about the loss tonight is that the team did enough to win the game. A lot of great things were happening out on the ice Friday night but the puck would not get past MSU’s Jake Hildebrand who put up 34 saves in the win.
Jurusik, his counter part posted just 17 saves Friday night. He and the rest of the Badgers look to split the series Saturday night at home 8 pm CT.