Wisconsin Hangs on to beat Michigan State

The Badgers scored twice in the second period and that would be enough to hang on to a two to one win against Big Ten rival, Michigan State.

The win marked the first win on a Friday for this Badger team and their second in a row.

The first twenty minutes could not separate the two teams as they skated to a scoreless tie after one period of play.

The Badgers were awarded a power play at the 7:37 mark after Michigan State’s Mackenzie MacEachern was called for hooking and sent to the penalty box for two minutes.

The power play would yield chances for both teams.

Early in the man advantage a defensive miscue lead to a two on one breakaway for the Spartans. The shot resulting from the break dinged right off the post.

It was one of eight shots the Spartans put on Joel Rumpel in the first period.

After the initial scare the Badgers power play unit settled in getting numerous chances right in front of the crease.

Sophomore Grant Besse had arguably the best chance of the period for the Badgers

Besse was free back door but right as the puck was slid his direction a Michigan State defender lifted his stick from behind saving an all but open net chance for Besse.

Both teams had their waves of momentum but neither team could establish a definite dominance over the other.

The momentum hung in the balance at the start of the second period.

The Badgers would snatch it and pull that momentum over to their side of the ice.

At the 6:16 mark in the second period Morgan Zulinick won a faceoff in Michigan State’s zone and pushed it back to Senior defensemen Chase Drake.

Drake walked toward the center of the point and fired a shot that got through traffic and past Jake Hildebrand.

The goal was Drake’s third of the year and gave the Badgers a one goal lead and momentum.

The Spartans would get their chance to respond quickly after LaBate was called for hooking less than a minute after the goal was scored.

Joel Rumpel stood tall making a couple of sprawling saves to keep the Badgers ahead by one goal.

With just under one minute to play in the second period the Badgers cleared their zone and a lobbed puck was played into the Michigan State zone.

Grant Besse chased it down beating a Spartan defender to the puck; he then took the puck behind the net and slid a perfect pass to junior defensemen Kevin Schulze who was waiting to the right of Hildebrand near the faceoff circle.

He buried a shot at the 19:32 mark to send the Badgers into the intermission up two goals to zero.

The third period did not start how the Badgers would have wanted it to start.

Twenty-five seconds into the final period, freshman Jack Dougherty was called for interference giving Michigan States it’s third power play of the evening.

At 2:11 Ryan Keller took the puck behind Rumpel and began to walk out from below the goal line.

Keller’s movement sucked Kevin Schulze toward him leaving Joe Cox alone near the left hash marks. Keller hit Coz who put it right past Rumpel to cut the Badgers lead to one with just under eighteen minutes left to play in the game.

Michigan State dominated the play most of the third period recording fifteen of their thirty-three shots in the third period.

Joel Rumpel and the Wisconsin defense, stood strong. Rumpel had thirty-two saves in the win.

Michigan State did not concede to losing the game easily, however, putting extra pressure on the badgers with just over two minutes left.

Hildebrand, who had sixteen saves on the night came off the ice to give Michigan State an extra attacker with forty-seven point five seconds left in the game after a faceoff win by Michigan State at center ice.

Eddie Wittchow was called for crosschecking with just eight point six seconds left in the game, which gave the Spartans a six on four, man advantage with a faceoff to Rumpel’s right side.

The puck ended up harmlessly behind the Badger’s net as the horn sounded giving the Wisconsin Badgers a two to one victory over Michigan State.

A sound that was welcomed by Head Coach Mike Eaves,

“We’ve lost some (games) in the last seconds, so it was good to get this one”

The win marked the first win in a series opener for the team and gave them a season high, two game win streak.

The Badgers improved to 4-19-4 (2-9-2-2 in the Big Ten) while Michigan State slipped to 12-13-2 (6-5-2-2 in the Big Ten).

Wisconsin will finish up their series against Michigan State tomorrow at the Kohl Center at 7 P.M CT.






Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and a beat writer for the UW- Men's Hockey Team. You can catch him on UW-Madison's student radio WSUM where he hosts a sports talk show and broadcasts numerous varieties of Badger sports or on twitter @YoungSawyer_