MADISON—Badgers show promise in weekend split with #6 Boston College.

In a weekend filled with close calls for Wisconsin athletics, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team followed the trend in their two-game weekend series with the Eagles. Coming into the matchup, many were asking how the unranked Badgers could possibly hang with the #6 team in the nation.

The Badgers were not only able to hang, but also had a very real shot to sweep the series if it had not been for a few unlucky bounces in Game 2.  Overall, the non-conference series proved to be a great test for the Badgers and also provided a glimpse into the type of team that they have the potential to be in the not-so-distant future. Keep reading for a more in-depth breakdown of this weekend’s games.

Wisconsin vs. Boston College (Game 1)

It was an exciting night for Badgers fans in the Kohl Center, as they got a glimpse of what they hope the future holds for the men’s hockey program. The Badgers topped the sixth-ranked Boston College Eagles 3 to 1, scoring a goal in each period. Special teams were big for the Badgers, providing two power play goals, and holding the Eagles scoreless on six power plays, but perhaps the biggest contributor to the Badgers’ success was goalie Matt Jurusik. Jurusik finished the game with 29 saves on 30 shots.

Grant Besse opened up the scoring for the Badgers on the power play at 4:27. He took a pass from Cameron Hughes, skated around the net and home his own rebound off a wraparound attempt. Jake Linhart was also credited with an assist on the play. The Badgers killed three penalties in the period, anchored by goalie Matt Jurusik, who made 12 total saves in the first 20:00 of action.

The Badgers defense stepped up big in the second period, only allowing seven total shots on net. Cameron Hughes blocked two shots on a Boston College power play, and Jurusik made seven more saves to keep the Eagles off the board for the entire period. With just under 2:00 remaining in the period, the Eagles took two minor penalties; one for hooking and one for boarding. On the ensuing 5-on-3 power play, Ryan Wagner put in another rebound goal from Tim Davison and Seamus Malone at 19:47 to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead going into the third period.

In the third period, Matt Jurusik came up big again for the Badgers, holding off the Eagles long enough for Seamus Malone to score his second goal of the season. Malone got the puck from Tim Davison, skated up the left side towards Boston College goalie Joe Woll. Malone used a toe drag to dodge an Eagles defender before he fired a wrist shot off of Woll. He then swept across the crease and finished his own rebound after an Eagles defender knocked Woll off balance. Just 12 seconds after Malone’s goal, JD Dudek scored for the Eagles to bring them back within two goals. Chris Calnan assisted on the play. Jurusik shut the door after that, making four more saves to secure the Badger victory.

With this victory, Coach Tony Granato got his first regular season win in the Kohl Center, and his first home victory with the Badgers since playing for the University of Wisconsin in 1987. When asked about how he thought the team played, Granato said it was “the power play and Matt Jurusik tonight… There’s 5 on 5 parts of the game that were just ok and that we have to be a lot better at.” 

The Badgers went 2-8 on the power play, and killed off all six of their own penalties.

Three Stars:

3rd Star: Cameron Hughes (1 Assists, 3 Blocks)—University of Wisconsin

2- Seamus Malone (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 4 Shots, +2)—University of Wisconsin

1- Matt Jurusik (29 saves on 30 shots)—University of Wisconsin

Wisconsin vs Boston College (Game 2)

Where goals were tough to come by in Game 1 of the series, the same could not be said for Game 2. The Badgers tallied five goals on just 27 shots whereas the Eagles added another eight goals (2 empty-net) on 31.

Boston College set the tone early by putting one past Wisconsin’s Matt Jurusik just ten seconds into the game. This early slip-up began what would be a forgettable night for Jurusik, who allowed six goals while facing just 25 shots.

Although the final score may not seem promising, there were many positives that can be taken away from the Badgers effort. First and foremost, two of the brightest young stars of the team, Freshman Defensemen JD Greenway (1G, -2) and Freshman Center Trent Frederik (1G, 3A, +3) combined for 5 points in the loss. If both of these NHL-caliber players are able to make an equally large impact throughout the season as they did on Sunday night, then there is truly no telling how far this team can climb.

The most memorable moment of the game, however, came 17:06 into the second period, when Cameron Hughes found himself running out of room in front of the Boston College net and decided to put one top shelf while going between his legs. Check out our twitter page for the video of the Goal of the Year candidate in college hockey thus far.

Overall, had it not been for the early shot that just snuck through Matt Jurusik’s pads, there is a very good chance that this result would have turned out differently. Given the fact that the team battled back with as much resilience as they did, however, shows that they have only begun to scratch the surface of their true potential as a club.

Three Stars

3rd Star: David Cotton (1G, 2A, +4)—Boston College

2nd Star: Trent Frederik (1G, 3A, +3)—University of Wisconsin

1st Star: Chris Brown (3G, 1A, +5)—Boston College

Catch the Badgers in action next Friday (10/25) against the USA National U-18 Team. Puck drops at 7 PM.