BY: Mike Becker
On Saturday night at the Kohl Center the Wisconsin Badgers successfully swept the two-time defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs with a 3-1 victory in front of a crowd of 13,296. The series was a tale of two games, as Friday night was high scoring and offensively driven, while Saturday was a defensive battle.
Both teams came out of the locker rooms and played aggressively after the opening faceoff. The first period was a high intensity, hard hitting, adrenaline fueled opening frame, dominated by tremendous defense from both teams. Heading to the first intermission there was no score and both teams only recorded six shots.
Five minutes into the second period the Badgers got on the board first when Alex Turcotte rifled home a one-time slapshot. The goal was his second of the year and the teams sixth power play goal on the young season. Seven minutes later Ty Pelton-Bice found himself on a breakaway after receiving a beautiful long-range pass from Sean Dhooge. Holloway was able to beat the Duluth goalie on a patient backhand shot to give Wisconsin the eventual game winning goal. Duluth got on the board late in the second period and made it a 2-1 game heading into the break.
The third period was a tight possession battle. Wisconsin went into a heavy defensive position and Duluth was desperate to tie the game. Badger goalie Daniel Lebedeff played flawlessly down the stretch. He had 12 saves in the third period and 31 in total. Wisconsin added a third and final goal when Sean Dhooge tallied his first goal of the year after Duluth pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.
The Badgers play at home again next weekend. They play 10th ranked Clarkson University out of Potsdam, New York. Faceoff both nights is scheduled for 7 P.M.