The Wisconsin Badgers traveled to East Lansing for their final series against Michigan State this season. The Badgers came in ranked nationally for the first time in over two years at number 18. Last time they faced the Spartans, the unranked Badgers were able to come away with two victories in two games.
This weekend was no different. In two high scoring affairs, the Badgers downed the Spartans twice, including overtime heroics and many lamps lit.
In the first game of the series freshman Trent Frederic was able to open the scoring just 5:28 into the first period with assists from Jake Linhart and Max Zimmer. Three minutes later, Frederic assisted on Luke Kunin’s goal along with Ryan Wagner.
At 13:47 Michigan State forward, Taro Hirose took a kneeing penalty when he collided with Tim Davison. Davison did not return in the game and Hirose was also issued a game misconduct for the hit. On the ensuing power play, Will Johnson netted his eighth goal of the year from Corbin McGuire and Seamus Malone to give the Badgers a three goal lead heading into the break.
The second period started off as more of the same as Aidan Cavallini extended the Badger lead to 4-0 on an assist from Matthew Freytag. Freytag has now recorded a point in three straight games. Michigan State would not go quietly, though. Less than a minute after the Cavallini tally, Patrick Khodorenko lit the lamp for the Spartans, their first goal in 84 minutes against the Badgers.
Ryan Wagner responded at the 10:02 mark of the second to bring the lead back to four goals for the Badgers. Cameron Hughes and Peter Tischke assisted. The Spartans clawed back one more time halfway through the third period. Khodorenko netted his second of the game for MSU and Sam Saliba cut the lead to two. The Badgers weathered the storm however, and Trent Frederic converted on the empty net to seal the Badger victory, 6-3.
Head coach Tony Granato told uwbadgers.com that “[MSU] played hard. They kept coming and got themselves back in the game for sure. But we did what we needed to do in the beginning of the game.”
Jack Berry stopped 20 of the 23 shots sent his way in the victory, his 7th of the season.
“I think they should feel good about themselves,” Granato said to uwbadgers.com. “We did a lot of things, they scored five goals and we made plays when we had to. I felt the first two periods we played really solid defensively.”
The second game of the weekend was no blowout, and was not as impressive of a defensive display for the Badgers. Luke Kunin scored the game’s opening goal—his second short handed goal in three games—late in the first period. Trent Frederic assisted on the goal and the Badgers successfully killed the power play.
Matt Jurusik recorded 16 saves in the first frame to help the Badgers hold their early lead.
“Fortunately, Matty (Jurusik) was real good early. That was a big part of the game,” coach Tony Granato told uwbadgers.com.
Michigan State came roaring back in the second, scoring the only two goals in the period. JD Greenway took a fighting major and an ejection in the period, and despite putting nine shots on goal in the period, the Badgers found themselves in a hole.
In the third period, Trent Frederic tied the game for the Badgers on assists from Cameron Hughes and Will Johnson. Hughes then followed in suit four minutes later, netting the go-ahead goal for Wisconsin.
Brennan Sanford played the temporary role of hero for the Spartans, tying the game with the goalie pulled, with a little over a minute to go in the third. The last minute remained scoreless as the game headed to overtime.
Jake Linhart spoiled the party in East Lansing, scoring 1:34 into overtime from Malone and Johnson. It was Linhart’s first game-winning goal of the season and gave the Badgers their second victory of the year in extra time.
“I think just the way we play now, our systems allow us to do that,” Linhart told uwbadgers.com. “We aren’t always going to have the best games but when we stick to our plan, support each other, we’re gonna come out with the W’s a lot.”
Wisconsin looks to continue its win streak next weekend when No. 6 Penn State comes to the Kohl Center to face the red hot Badgers.
1st Star – Trent Frederic (3 Goals, 2 Assists)
2nd Star – Jake Linhart (Overtime Goal, Assist)
3rd Star – Will Johnson (1 Goal, 2 Assists)