MADISON — In his first season as Wisconsin’s hockey coach, Tony Granato largely surpassed any outside expectations on the Badgers way to a second place finish in the Big Ten. On Monday, he and many of his players were honored for that success as the conference unveiled its award winners.
Granato was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year after helping a program that had won 12 games combined the last two years to a 19-14-1 overall record and a 12-8 record in conference play.
Meanwhile, freshman forward Trent Frederic was chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and also the only unanimous choice for the Big Ten All-Freshmen team. Frederic was second on the team with 15 goals and tied for fourth in assists with 18.
Frederic, top goal scorer Luke Kunin and defenseman Jake Linhart were second-team All-Big Ten picks, while goalie Jack Berry and defenseman Peter Tischke earned Big Ten honorable mention accolades.
Wisconsin got a first-round bye in this week’s conference tournament.
MADISON — Wisconsin battled No. 7 Minnesota all the way Friday night before finally succumbing to the Gophers in overtime 4-3 at the Kohl Center.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to a goal from Leon Bristedt just 4:30 into the game, followed by another goal, this one off the stick of Mike Szmatula at the 11:42 mark.
But the Badgers battled back in the second period, with captain Luke Kunin putting in his 14th goal of the season less than a minute into the action, and Wisconsin tied things up on a Matt Ustaski goal.
The tie didn’t last long, though, as with less than 40 seconds left in the period Tyler Sheehy gave Minnesota a 3-2 lead heading into the final period.
But as they did most of the night, the Badgers had an answer midway through the third period, this time with freshman Trent Frederic finding the back of the net for the sixth time this season.
A late push in the third period almost gave Wisconsin the win, but goalie Eric Schierhorn had one late save to take the game to overtime, and Minnesota’s Justin Kloos knocked in the game-winner just 1:43 into sudden death.
Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry finished with 36 saves on the night.
The loss dropped the Badgers to 10-8-1 on the year and 3-2 in Big Ten play.
The two teams will play again Saturday night with the puck dropping at 5 p.m.