Badgers complete sweep of No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth

BY: Mike Becker

Twitter: @jermikes29

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.

Badgers hockey settles for split on opening weekend

BY: Mike Becker

The Wisconsin men’s hockey team opened its season this weekend with a pair of road games in Massachusetts and had to settle for a split.

On Friday night, the 16th-ranked Badgers were in Chestnut Hill to take on 10th-ranked Boston College. The Badgers got off to a rather slow start and fell behind at the 7:15 mark of the first period when Julius Mattila beat Wisconsin goalie Daniel Lebedeff high on the blocker side. Wisconsin tied the game at the 13:07 mark of period when highly touted freshman Cole Caufield notched his first career goal on a power play. The game was only briefly tied as Boston College scored just eight seconds later and held the 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.

During the first 4:30 of the second period the Eagles scored two quick goals to take a 4-1 lead. Just moments later, Wisconsin defenseman Ty Emberson was charged with a very controversial five minute penalty for contact to the head. Emberson was also handed a game misconduct and ejected from the game.

The Badgers responded, though, not only successfully killing the major penalty, but also seeing freshman Owen Lindmark score his first career goal while the team was shorthanded. About five minutes later Caufield tallied his second power play goal of the night with a beautiful one-time shot to make the game 4-3 at the end of the second period.

That score however was as close as Wisconsin would come, as they were not able to tally any goals in the third period and lost 5-3. Lebedeff was credited with 23 saves on 28 shots.

On Saturday, the Badgers traveled to North Andover to take on the Warriors of Merrimack College.

Wisconsin came out of the gates with much more urgency than they did on Friday. The Badgers took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period, with two separate power play goals. The first was tallied by K’Andre Miller, before Alex Turcotte notched his first career goal.

Merrimack got on the board with only 15 seconds remaining in the period to make the game 2-1 heading to the first intermission.

During the opening two minutes of the second period, Merrimack scored twice to take a 3-2 lead. Trailing for a second night in a row, the Badgers responded by unleashing a barrage of goals, scoring six times in the final 15 minutes of the period.

Ty Pelton-Byce, Roman Ahcan and Tyler Inamoto all tallied their first goals of the season to give the Badgers a 5-3 lead. Merrimack changed goalies at that point but it didn’t improve their fortunes. Mick Messner, Caufield and Turcotte each tallied a goal to take an 8-3 lead at the end of the second period. The six goals in the frame was the most by a Wisconsin team in a single period since 2006.

Wisconsin began the third period the same way it ended the second, as just six seconds into the frame Caufield scored his second goal of the game. Six minutes later, with the Badgers killing off a penalty, Miller scored shorthanded, for his second goal of the evening. Sandwiched between two Merrimack goals, freshman Dylan Holloway scored his first career goal, the 11th and final goal of the night for Wisconsin making the final score 11-5. The 11 goal outburst is the most by the Badgers since 1992.

The Badgers will play at home for the first time next weekend, when they will face Minnesota-Duluth on Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs are two-time defending national champions and currently ranked No. 1 in the country.

Former Badgers hockey coach Jeff Sauer dies at 73

MADISON | Former Badger men’s hockey coach Jeff Sauer died Thursday because of pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Sauer coached the University of Wisconsin from 1982 to 2002 and guided the Badgers to a pair of NCAA men’s hockey titles in 1983 and 1990.

Sauer started his head coaching career at his alma mater, Colorado College in 1971, and moved to Madison to coach the Badgers when Bob Johnson resigned in 1982 to take over the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Sauer got his coaching start as an assistant to Johnson at Colorado College.

Sauer coached at Wisconsin until 2002, when he was replaced by Mike Eaves.

Sauer also coached the U.S. men’s sled hockey team to a gold medals in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

Sauer, a native of Fort Atkinson, Wis., was a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and won the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy in 2011. He is survived by his wife, Jamie, and two adult children.