Wisconsin skates to draw against Denver in Series Opener

Wisconsin welcomed Denver to the Kohl Center this Friday night where a flurry of goals in the second period wound up in a 3-3 tie. The Badgers remain undefeated at home on the year with an overall record of 3-4-4.

The first period of action was a defensive battle until Denver opened up the scoring late into the first frame.

Denver’s Quintein Shore received the puck all alone in the slot, outwaited UW goalie, Matt Jurusik, and slid home the backhand to put the Pioneers up going into the second period of action.

The second period would give way to an offensive explosion of five goals scored in the twenty minutes of play.

The Badgers streak would begin at 5:08 into the second period. Freshman Matthew Freytag took a one timer passed from fellow freshman Will Johnson and slapped it past Denver’s Evan Cowley.

It was Freytag’s first goal as a Badger and tied the game at 1-1.

Wisconsin wouldn’t waste time grabbing the lead. Jedd Soleway snap’s shot beat Crowley low blocker side from the right face-off circle.

The goal was Jedd’s four of the season and gave the Badgers a nice 2-1 lead in the second period.

Before the PA announcer at the Kohl center even had time to fully announce Jedd’s goal, freshman Luke Kunin added his fourth goal of the season to put the Badgers up 3-1 at 9:16 into the second.

Denver pulled Cowley in favor of backup Tanner Jaillet after Cowley let in his third goal.

Hockey is a game of runs and was that ever so apparent tonight as Denver came roaring back to score a pair of goals before the second period ended, tying the game at 3-3 going into the final period of play.

The third period reverted back to the style of play in the first. Both teams locked down defensively not allowing many clear chances. Denver hit a post in the third and the Badgers had a hard time converting on the power play, the unit was 0- for the night and the third period ended scoreless with both teams locked at 3 goals.

The Badgers, who are no stranger to Overtime at the Kohl Center battled with the Denver Pioneers for an extra five minutes in hopes of finding a winner.

Matt Jurusik had two big saves in the extra period to give Wisconsin a draw with ninth ranked Denver.

Jurusik ended the night with 21 saves.

An exhibition shoot out was held for fan enjoyment. Grant Besse buried his shot and Matt Jurusik saved all three of Denver’s attempts to give the Badgers a moral victory leaving the ice.

The win kept the Badgers undefeated at home and 1-1-1 against top ten ranked opponent on the year.

Unfortunate to see this young team allow Denver to come back from two goals down but they showed great resolve tightening up after Denver tied the game and not letting the Pioneers steal a win on Wisconsin’s home ice.

The two teams go back at it tomorrow night at the Kohl Center in the series finale. It is sure to be a good one. Puck drops at 8:00 p.m CT.

Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Junior at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and Journalism. He is 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_