CANTON, N.Y.—In their first true road game of the season, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team passed the test with flying colors.
Powered by three third-period goals and a game-winning goal from Trent Frederic, the Badgers (3-2-0, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) defeated the No. 18 St. Lawrence Saints (3-4-0, 0-0-0-0 ECAC) 5-2 on Friday night.
Special teams would play a factor, once again, in this game as UW went 1-for-6 on the power play and 6-for-7 while shorthanded. The Badgers also added a short-handed goal.
“Sometimes when you give up a power-play goal, you tend to sit back,” head coach Tony Granato said. “I thought we stayed aggressive and did a good job and obviously caused a turnover that led to a goal.”
Frederic broke a 2-2 tie three minutes into the third period as he scored a short-handed goal after following up a rebound on a Ryan Wagner breakaway. The goal was the freshman’s third of the season and the team’s first goal on the penalty-kill unit this year.
The script was reversed eight minutes later as Ryan Wagner scored a power-play goal with an assist from Seamus Malone and Frederic to further the Badgers’ lead to 4-2. Luke Kunin would seal the 5-2 victory with his second goal of the game, an empty-net tally, with 13 seconds to play.
“Boy, are they gamers,” Granato said. “Frederic, since the day he has walked in, hasn’t acted like a freshman.”
Wisconsin had to mount a comeback in this game as the Saints took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission after they scored with just over two minutes remaining in the first period. UW responded well to the early deficit as Kunin scored his first goal of the game just 45 seconds into the middle frame.
The game swung back and forth in the second period as Jason Ford scored his first goal of the season to put the Badgers up 2-1 but a goal from St. Lawrence would see the teams tied at 2-2 heading into the third period.
The third period continued to be the most lucrative period for the Badgers as they now have scored nine goals in the final frame, outscoring opponents 9-5 so far this year.
Matt Jurusik, who has a .908 save percentage in his career in road games, was solid in this one as well as he stopped 18-out-of-20 shots that he faced, stonewalling several good chances for the Saints.
This game marked the homecoming for freshman JD Greenway, who grew up in Canton, New York where St. Lawrence is located. He played in front of many friends and family at the game.
“He was outstanding, he was huge,” Granato said. “He’s made a big impact on our blue line and he’s done a lot of different things for us. He’s a big body and I think that alone has really helped us.”
The matchup also marked the Badgers’ first trip to Canton since March 18, 1989, a NCAA tournament game which UW won 4-2. The last time the teams played was October 8, 2005, a 2-1 overtime victory for St. Lawrence at the Kohl Center.