Badgers complete sweep of Wolverines with 6-4 victory

MADISON, Wis. Coming off a back-and-forth game on Friday night, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team found themselves in another tough battle on Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

Fortunately for the Badgers (17-10-1, 10-4-0-0 Big Ten), they found themselves on the winning end once again as they defeated Michigan (9-16-3, 2-10-2-2) by a score of 6-4.

Trent Frederic opened the scoring for the Badgers just eight seconds into the first period, the fastest goal to start a game in program history. The freshman potted his 13th tally of the season as he crashed the net and received a feed from Matt Ustaski, who was behind the goal line. Luke Kunin also earned his 13th assist of the year on the play.

“I think the puck was coming to me and guys were making nice plays and I just happened to be there. It was a good weekend and good to get two wins,” Frederic said.

Wisconsin did not lead for long, however, as Michigan tied the game just 35 seconds later on James Sanchez’s fifth goal of the season. The Wolverines then took their first lead of the weekend 4:40 into the period on a goal from Cutler Martin.

Frederic denied Michigan a lead at intermission as he scored his second goal of the period, a short-handed tally after Luke Kunin blocked a shot in the defensive zone. The 19-year-old center then had an incredible effort to spring himself on a breakaway which he calmly finished with just over two minutes left in the frame.

“Little stuff like that with a blocked shot and I get the opportunity like that or the pass like last night, he’s obviously great to play with,” Frederic said. “The first goal, he made a nice play to just get the puck on the net and Ustaski made a nice play to me and it just happened to go in. My line, I thought it was good playing with them and it was a good weekend.”

The game continued to swing both ways over the next two periods as Aidan Cavallini scored his fourth goal of the season and first at the Kohl Center just 2:01 into the second period to give the Badgers a 3-2 lead. Cameron Hughes extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games with an assist on the play.

“He’s been a workhorse for us all year, his role has become more important as we’ve gone along,” head coach Tony Granato said. “I think it’s just his consistency, how he’s played has put us in a position where we want him on the ice. We thought putting him in that spot tonight would be a chance to play him more.”

Just under 11 minutes later, Joseph Cecconi knotted the game at 3-3 with his first goal of the season and the two teams headed into the final period tied.

About seven and a half minutes into the final stanza, Jake Linhart regained the lead for the Badgers as he crashed the net on a Ryan Wagner shot. The puck deflected off of his leg and past goaltender Zach Nagelvoort to put UW up 4-3.

UM responded right away, finding the back of the net just 51 seconds later on a goal from Adam Winborg.

The Cardinal and White finally found the eventual game-winner from Peter Tischke with under nine minutes to go in regulation. The UW defenseman deflected a Will Johnson back-handed shot under Nagelvoort’s legs to give the Badgers a lead they would not surrender.

Cavallini added his second goal of the game into an empty Michigan net to ensure Wisconsin’s 6-4 win.

“Yeah I think it’s pretty cool,” Cavallini said. “People say to play every game like your last and I think now that’s actually starting to hit me hard because when you’re younger you don’t think about it. It’s definitely pretty special but I just really care about winning and having a good finish to this year.”

Goaltender Matt Jurusik finished with 34 saves on 38 shots faced on the evening.

“It was one of those games, it was weird the way the bounces were going around the net. The one that floated in, I think their guy got a piece of it, but it was a floater through,” Granato said. “Jurusik was looking through traffic and it floats in. He looked square, it looked like he was confident and he made some big saves when he had to.”

With the win and six conference games to go, UW can finish no lower than fourth place in the Big Ten standings. The three points also keeps the Badgers in second place and on pace with first-place Minnesota, who swept Penn State over the weekend, making the margin just three points between the two teams.

First place will be on the line for Wisconsin next weekend as it heads to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers in the second Border Battle of the season. The two teams split the first matchup in Madison earlier in the year.

“Next week will be a challenge. We had two great games against Minnesota there a few weeks back. We know the skill that they have, we know we’ll have to be at our best,” Granato said. “Minnesota and Wisconsin, doesn’t matter what the records are, but now you see that one-two in the (Big Ten Conference) standings, it’s only going to be that much more meaningful and exciting.”


Bo Ryan among 14 finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame

NEW ORLEANS — Former University of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was announced on Saturday as one of 14 finalists for the 2017 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ryan holds the career wins total record at Wisconsin (364), a full 99 wins more than the No. 2 coach on the list, Bud Foster. The ex-Badgers coach also holds a Big Ten conference record for best win percentage (.717) among coaches with six or more years in the conference.

The full list of finalists is below:

Tracy McGrady player)
Chris Webber (player)
Tim Hardaway (player)
Sidney Moncrief (player)
Rudy Tomjanovich (coach)
Bill Self (coach)
Bo Ryan (coach)
Kim Mulkey (coach)
Rollie Massimino (coach)
Muffet McGraw (coach)
Rebecca Lobo (player)
Robert Hughes (coach)
Hugh Evans (referee)
1954-58 Wayland Baptist Univ. (team)

2017 class inductees will be announced on Apr. 3, prior to the NCAA championship game.

Badgers open series against Wolverines with 5-2 win

MADISON, Wis. —  Riding behind three goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation, 20th-ranked Wisconsin (16-10-1, 9-4-0-0 Big Ten) defeated Michigan (9-15-3, 2-9-2-2) by a score of 5-2 at the Kohl Center on Friday night.

Heading into the final stanza, UW held a slim 2-1 lead, but Michigan tied the game at 2-2, eight minutes into the period on Evan Allan’s third goal of the season.

Wisconsin did not let the game remain a tie for very long, as they responded with Trent Frederic’s second goal of the game just 1:35 later to take back the lead for good. Frederic tapped in a laser-like pass from Luke Kunin, who found the freshman through bodies and sticks. Corbin McGuire was given a secondary helper on the play.

“When they tied it 2-2 was when I thought our team stepped up,” head coach Tony Granato said. “Luke Kunin made a great pass to Trent Frederic and (Aidan Cavallini’s) pass to (Jarod) Zirbel. I thought those were big moments and big for our team. They still had plenty of time to get another one but we got back after it and made a couple plays that were huge.”

The Cardinal and White sealed their victory with 2:17 to go in regulation as Aidan Cavallini fed a behind-the-back pass to Jarod Zirbel who roofed the puck to make it a two-goal game. JD Greenway earned an assist on the play.

Seamus Malone then added an insurance goal 18 seconds later to make it 5-2 Badgers.

“They became a little more aggressive trying to get the puck out of their end,” Granato said. “I don’t think we did anything different after we got the 3-2 lead, I just thought they were a little more desperate to try to make plays. We took advantage of it and made some plays on their end. We outnumbered them at the net.”

Earlier in the game, Frederic opened the scoring halfway into the first period for his 11th marker of his freshman campaign. He collected the puck off of a shot that had went wide and deposited it into the net. Jake Linhart and Peter Tischke earned assists on the goal.

The Badgers held the 1-0 lead until the opening minute of the second period, when Michigan tied the game for the first time on Cooper Marody’s fifth goal of the year.

UW regained the lead on the power play after Cameron Hughes finished off a nifty give-and-go between him and Kunin. The nice passing play led to the junior’s seventh goal of the year and extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games.

“I think any time a team scores, you want a good response. We were lucky enough to get a power play and get a chance to get right back into it,” Hughes said. “I think we executed pretty well. We’ve been working on that in practice, so that payoff was the goal and the momentum.”

The last time a Wisconsin player had a point-scoring streak of 11 games was Tyler Barnes during the 2011-12 season. That streak lasted from Oct. 8-Nov. 12, 2011.

Michigan-native Jack Berry defeated the Wolverines for the second time this season, making 25 saves on 27 shots faced.

“Our team is confident around him. He’s been the same pretty much every game he’s played. Obviously we need him and he was rock solid,” Granato said.


Gard: ‘I don’t know when (or) if’ Bronson Koenig will return

Wisconsin’s offense could certainly use a boost from a healthy Bronson Koenig, but it’s unclear whether the Badgers will get that when they host Maryland on Sunday.

The senior guard was held out of Thursday’s 64-58 loss at Michigan due to a calf injury suffered against Penn State on Jan. 24.

“I don’t know,” coach Greg Gard said when asked if Koenig would be available for the game against the Terrapins. “It’ll be day-to-day. It has been — and will be — in the medical staff’s hands. They’ll tell me what his status is each day.

“I don’t know when (or) if (he’ll return). I don’t know any more than I did before the game that he wasn’t going to play (Thursday night).”

In the five games after the injury, Koenig hit just 7 of 31 shots from 3-point range and was shooting under 30 percent overall — both figures a steep decline from his career numbers. And it just so happens the injury coincides with the Badgers dip in production on the offensive end.

After shooting under 40 percent in two of their first 20 games of the season with a healthy Koenig in the lineup, the Badgers have been under that figure in four straight games — the longest such streak for the program since the start of the 2003-2004 season. And after averaging more than 76 points per game to start the season, that number is down to 60.8 over the last six.

Koenig’s replacement on Thursday, true freshman D’Mitrik Trice, was up and down, handing out four assists with just two turnovers, but also shooting a dismal 2 of 15 from the field.

“He got himself in some positions where he had to take tough shots,” Gard said. “I’ll break it down shot-by-shot of what was good and what was not. I thought he got himself in trouble at times, too. But he also found himself open a few times, too, and you got to knock down shots when you have the opportunity.”

Another Badger bummer as Koenig sits out, Wisconsin loses at Michigan

ANN ARBOR | Wisconsin senior guard Bronson Koenig sat out with his nagging calf injury and the #11 Wisconsin men’s basketball team lost at Michigan 64-58.  It was the first time in 25 games Koenig did not start for the Badgers.. and it showed.

Ethan Happ scored 18 first half points hitting 8 of 9 shots. But Happ was help to just four points in the second half.  The Badgers (21-5, 10-3) have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, dropping them into a three-way tie atop the Big Ten standings with No. 16 Purdue and No. 23 Maryland with five games remaining in the regular season.


Wisconsin freshman D’Mitrik Trice, getting the start for Koenig, had nine points on 2-of-15 shooting. Trice also had five rebounds and four assists in his first start.

Wisconsin hosts Maryland in a pivotal game in the race for the Big Ten’s regular season championship Sunday at noon. Michigan plays at Minnesota Sunday

D’Mitrik Trice to get his first career start in place of an injured Bronson Koenig

Wisconsin will be without their starting point guard when they take on Michigan Thursday night.

The team announced that senior point guard Bronson Koenig will miss the game as he deals with a calf strain that has hampered him since first injuring it against Penn State on Jan. 24.

“The medical staff made a decision (on Wednesday),” coach Greg Gard told “We knew it was unlikely he was going to play and then (we) made a final determination (Thursday) morning.”

In Koenig’s place will be true freshman D’Mitrik Trice, who is averaging 5.5 points and 1.6 assists per game.

“He’s ready for this moment,” Gard said. “I’ve said all along he’s wiser and older than his freshman year says in the program. It’s a great opportunity for him.”

Trice said Tuesday he was preparing like he was going to start, and he spent the entire week as the No. 1 point guard with Koenig sitting out.

“(I) just have to go out and do what I need to do to help my team win,” Trice said of his role. “Whether that’s pass the ball, come off screens and find open guys or knock down the 15-footer, hit an open 3 here and there and just direct the offense.”

Koenig had seen his performance drop off significantly since the injury, making just 7 of 31 shots from beyond the arc and shooting under 30 percent from the field overall.

“We know it’s huge loss,” senior Nigel Hayes said this week. “As I’ve always answered when another team loses a key player, other players will step up. That’s just what happens.

“We know what Bronson does. Bronson takes his shots. All that means is there are more shots for someone else, another opportunity for someone to step up.

“Trice has been playing well. Brevin (Pritzl) has been doing well. Gives more opportunities for Jordan (Hill) and those guys to step up and try and make something happen.”

Entering the day, No. 11 Wisconsin (21-4, 10-2) owns a 1/2 game lead in the Big Ten on Purdue and Maryland.

Nigel Hayes a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award

MADISON — Nigel Hayes has proven to be far more than just a basketball player during his time at Wisconsin. The senior has taken a visible role in the Black Lives Matter movement and in pushing for college athletes to be compensated for their contributions to the multi-billion dollar business that is the NCAA.

It was for those reasons, along with his involvement in the Badgers Give Back program and strong academic history, that he was named one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award on Wednesday.

“I believe it is our responsibility as people to try to better the world around us, but I recognize that the platform I have allows for greater visibility,” Hayes said in a release from the school. “I’m trying to use that influence I have to make a positive change.”

In addition to his role in the community, Hayes is also a 3.0 student and two-time Big Ten Academic honoree as a business finance and investment banking major.

On the floor, Hayes is averaging 13.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists for a Badgers squad that is ranked No. 11 in the country.

CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Hayes is the fourth Wisconsin player to be named a finalist, with Alando Tucker winning the award in 2007. This year’s winner will be announced at the 2017 Final Four in Phoenix.

The other finalists are:

Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Josh Hart, Villanova
Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
Amile Jefferson, Duke
Peter Jok, Iowa
Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
Tim Kempton, Lehigh
Frank Mason III, Kansas

Six Badgers to appear at NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — According to an NFL release, six University of Wisconsin football players have accepted invites to appear at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

OLB Vince Biegel
RB Corey Clement
RB Dare Ogunbowale
T Ryan Ramczyk
CB Sojourn Shelton
LB T.J. Watt

Noteworthy is the appearance of left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who told reporters in December that he’d be undergoing hip surgery following the Cotton Bowl to repair a torn labrum. Initial reports indicated that it was an injury that would require a four-month recovery window. Ramczyk isn’t expected to take part in any on-field work while at the combine.

Running back Corey Clement will also be worth watching, having returned for his senior year but not hitting the 2,000-yard mark he was hoping to reach when he became a starter in 2015. Instead, Clement’s efforts in 2016 were spread out across more roles than just running the football. He finished the year with 1,507 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns.

Koenig misses Tuesday practice with leg injury, expected to play vs Michigan

MADISON, Wis. — Following Sunday’s 66-59 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard noted that the left calf injury to senior guard Bronson Koenig was affecting his performance. That’s why he was given the night off from Tuesday’s practice.

This season, Koenig is averaging career highs in field goal percentage (.418) and points (13.4), not including his freshman year. But after suffering the leg injury Jan. 24 against Penn State, Koenig is just 14-of-55 (.254) from the field and averaging 8.8 points per game.

University of Wisconsin officials say the injury won’t keep him from playing in Thursday night’s contest at Michigan, however. But freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice is ready to step up if necessary.

“I’m preparing for that, definitely,” Trice said following Tuesday’s practice. “You never know with Bronson [Koenig] and whatever’s going on with him. I know I’m praying for him and things like that, but I’m definitely preparing with that mindset.”

Trice has been a source of confidence for coach Greg Gard this season, averaging 17.1 minutes per game, hitting 42.6 percent of his field goal attempts.

Koenig has not been available to speak with reporters this week to discuss the injury.