MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE)—All seven seniors scored points on senior night at the Kohl Center as third-ranked Wisconsin (19-8-4, 14-7-3 WCHA) topped the fourth-ranked St. Cloud State Huskies (20-10-4, 15-8-3 WCHA) with a 7-4 victory Saturday night. The Badgers were also powered by sophomore Derek Stepan's (Hastings, Minn.) three assists and one goal in the win.
Just like last night, the Huskies got on the board first. Junior forward Garrett Roe scored at the 1:10 mark of the first after the puck deflected off a Husky's skate behind the UW goal and to the front of the net. The puck found Roe, who was able to put SCSU on top, 1-0, early in the contest.
However, the Badgers tied things back up at the 6:36 mark of the first. Skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, senior forward Michael Davies (St. Louis) knotted the game at one. After fellow senior Blake Geoffrion's (Brentwood, Tenn.) backhander was stopped, Davies was there to cash in the rebound. His shot got past Husky goaltender Mike Lee, who was lying on the ice following a scramble. Stepan contributed his team-high 27th assist on the sequence.
With just over one minute left in the first, Wisconsin took its first lead of the series. On another power play, junior Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) tallied the go-ahead goal. Freshman Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, British Columbia) swung the puck into the right faceoff circle to Smith's swinging stick. Smith fired a slap shot that was too hot for Lee to stop, and the Badgers were up, 2-1, heading into the second. Stepan tallied the secondary assist on the score.
The Badgers were relentless on offense, outshooting SCSU, 20-7, in the opening period. Wisconsin was also 3-for-3 in penalty killing and 2-for-3 on first-period power plays.
Wisconsin added to its lead at the 8:12 mark of the second. After assisting the first two goals, Stepan found the net. Senior tri-captain Ben Street (Coquitlam, British Columbia) dished a pass from behind the net to a wide open Stepan, who was anchored in the heart of the Husky defense. Stepan's one-timer soared past Lee, putting UW on top, 3-1. Freshman defenseman John Ramage (St. Louis) also had a helper on the score.
But, with 45.9 seconds remaining, the Huskies made it a one-goal game again. Sophomore defenseman Oliver Lauridsen scored from behind the goal line to bring it to a 3-2 score.
Street regained the two-goal lead as the second-period buzzer sounded. Stepan set up the score by rimming the puck behind the UW goal and to Davies at the side boards. He found a wide-open Street in the center faceoff circle, and the tri-captain skated up the ice on the breakaway. Lee attempted to come out of the net to stop him, but Street slid the puck behind the charging goalie, putting UW on top, 4-2, heading into the final period.
The Badgers were outshooting SCSU, 38-17, after two periods.
St. Cloud State got back to within one at the 8:15 mark of the final period. In a crowd of Badgers and Huskies, junior forward Aaron Marvin muscled the puck past UW goalie Scott Gudmandson (Sherwood Park, Alberta), who was holding the puck out with his outstretched skate on the post.
With 8:25 remaining, sophomore forward Jordy Murray (Faribault, Minn.) put the Badgers back on top by two goals. Senior forward Ben Grotting (Birmingham, Ala.) ripped a slap shot from just outside the left faceoff circle. Murray was there to tip it in for UW. Brendan Smith added the secondary helper in the score. The Badgers now led, 5-3.
But, less than 30 seconds later, the Huskies got it back. Sophomore forward Drew LeBlanc's backhander got past Gudmandson, and the score closed to 5-4 in favor of UW.
At the 14:51 mark of the same period, senior forward Andy Bohmbach (Hudson, Wis.) got the two-goal lead back. On passes from junior forward Sean Dolan (St. Louis) and Grotting, Bohmbach's wrister from the right faceoff circle was too quick for Lee to stop. The Badgers were back on top by two, 6-4.
Senior forward Aaron Bendickson (Thief River Falls, Minn.) cashed in the Badgers' final goal of the night at the 16:33 mark. Fellow senior John Mitchell (Neenah, Wis.) and Brendan Smith assisted the score.
The Badgers ended the game having outshot the Huskies 50-23.
Gudmandson turned away 19 Husky shots in the team's win. His record now stands at 11-3-4. Husky goaltender Mike Lee stopped 43 Badger shots as his record fell to 8-7-3 on the season.
The Badgers head north for a two-game series against the Michigan Tech Huskies next weekend in another important conference battle. Both games are slated to begin at 6 p.m. CT.