ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22: Joel Rumpel #33 of the Wisconsin Badgers defends the net from a shot by the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship game on March 22, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Badgers bad luck continues in series opening loss to Michigan

Wisconsin held close to the Michigan Wolverines for the majority of the game but the hosts imposed their will on the Badgers over the course of the game and with a couple lucky bounces, recorded a three to zero win over the Badgers.

Steve Racine stood strong in net for the Wolverines, posting 22 saves in his first career shutout victory.

The first period yielded a lot of hard hits, good chances on net, and even a puck off the crossbar but could not produce any goals as the Badgers and Wolverines headed into the second period tied up at one.

Wisconsin came out aggressive, getting good shots on Michigan early on to set the tone.

Wisconsin had multiple good looks at going up early on Michigan. The Badgers, who are the bottom feeders of the Big Ten, looked strong and maybe caught Michigan off guard.

Rumpel was steady per usual posting 31 saves in the loss.

The scoring opened up in the second period with Michigan converting on a power play opportunity given to them by the Badgers.

Zach Hyman held the puck below the goal line and attempted to pass the puck across the crease, Senior defensemen Chase Drake’s skate got in the way of the puck and it bounced right back toward an unsuspecting Rumpel and into the net to give Michigan the one goal lead.

This was unfortunately not Drake’s first own goal of the year, summing up Wisconsin Hockey this season.

The Badgers responded to the mistake well, not conceding another goal for the entire second period.

Wisconsin’s offense however could not get anything going all night. The Badgers went a miserable zero for four on the power play and only managed twenty-two shots on goal.

The third period began with the Badgers only down by one and was one unlucky bounce away from the game being tied and a couple lucky bounces away from being in the lead.

Michigan standout freshman, Zach Werinski would change that.

Joel Rumpel was called upon to make a flurry of saves in front of his net which led to him being sprawled out in the goal as the puck dribbled to the point where Zach Werinski was waiting to slap the puck home for the Wolverine’s second power play goal of the game.

Werinski’s goal gave him his twenty-third point in twenty-seven games. Andy Johnson, @AndyJohnsonB5Q even had to tip the hat.

With a two goal lead getting closer and closer to crunch time in Ann Arbor, Jedd Soleway had the perfect chance to put the Badgers on the board.

Adam Rockwood found wide open Jedd Soleway in front of Racine but Soleway could not convert, and the Badgers remained scoreless.

Michigan would add an empty netter late by JT Compher who threw the puck from over half ice right beyond the reach of an outstretched Jack Dougherty.

Wisconsin will get its shot at revenge tomorrow in Ann Arbor at 3 PM CT as the Badgers and Wolverines face off in the series finale.

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_

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