HOUGHTON, Mich. (PRESS RELEASE)—The Wisconsin men's hockey team (21-8-4, 16-7-3 WCHA) completed its season sweep of the Michigan Tech Huskies (5-26-1, 4-22-0 WCHA) with another 5-2 victory Saturday night. The Badgers were powered by two goals apiece by senior forwards Aaron Bendickson (Thief River Falls, Minn.) and Andy Bohmbach (Hudson, Wis.) in the victory. The win puts Wisconsin in sole-possession of second place in WCHA standings heading into the final weekend of conference play.
Unlike Friday night, Wisconsin got on the board first. Just over five minutes into the game, sophomore defenseman Jake Gardiner (Minnetonka, Minn.) gave the Badgers the 1-0 advantage. After junior tri-captain Ryan McDonagh (Arden Hills, Minn.) rifled a slapshot on net, the rebound found Gardiner. He took control of the puck and skated around Husky netminder Josh Robinson, who was out of his crease. From there, Gardiner stuffed the puck into the back of the net, giving UW the early goal-advantage. Senior forward John Mitchell (Neenah, Wis.) started the scoring sequence by tallying the secondary assist.
At the 12:51 mark of the same period, senior forward Andy Bohmbach (Hudson, Wis.) made the game a 2-0 Wisconsin advantage. After freshman forward Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) slung the puck towards the net, it fluttered off of Bohmbach and trickled into the open net. Robinson was anchored in the left side of the net for Michigan Tech, and Bohmbach misdirected the puck into the right side. The Badgers now skated with a 2-0 lead.
That would be all the scoring the opening 20 minutes would see. Wisconsin carried over its prominent shots-on-goal production from Friday night, outshooting MTU, 20-11, in the first period.
However, just before the halfway point of the second period, Michigan Tech got on the board. Sophomore forward Bryce Reddick scored his first-career collegiate on a rebound shot. The puck bounced off of Badger junior goaltender Scott Gudmandson (Sherwood Park, Alberta), and Reddick was there to make it a 2-1 game.
Wisconsin failed to notch a goal in the second. But, heading into the final period, Wisconsin still skated with a 2-1 advantage. Shots-on-goal in the period were closer, with UW outshooting MTU, 15-12, in the second.
But, at the 4:20 mark of the final period, Wisconsin regained its two-goal lead thanks to a goal by Bendickson. The Badgers suffocated the Husky defense for about two minutes of play. Eventually, Mitchell dug the puck out of a crowd of defenders behind the net and slid it to a wide open Bendickson. From there, Bendickson rifled a shot past Robinson, and Wisconsin was up, 3-1.
Bendickson was at it again at the 10:36 mark of the same period. It was a near mirror image of his previous goal. Mitchell slid the puck from behind the net to an open Bendickson in the slot, and his slapshot soared past Richardson and into the back of the net. Wisconsin was now on top, 4-1. Junior forward Patrick Johnson (Madison, Wis.) tallied the secondary assist.
With just over eight minutes to go in the game, Tech pulled back to within two goals. The Huskies dug the puck out of the corner and centered it into the front of the net. From there, Reddick got his second goal of the night. This cut things to a 4-2 Badger lead.
However, just like Friday night's game, Bohmbach sealed the victory for Wisconsin. On an empty net with 18 seconds to go, Bohmbach made it an official 5-2 victory for the Badgers.
The Badgers ended the game having outshot Tech, 50-32.
This completed the season sweep of Michigan Tech for Wisconsin. In the four games against the Huskies, the Badgers outscored them, 24-6.
Gudmandson's record climbed to 13-3-4 on the season after the win after he halted 30 Husky shots. For the Huskies, Robinson stopped 45 Badger attempts, as his record fell to 1-9-0 on the season.
The Badgers head west next weekend for their final regular-season series. Wisconsin squares off against border-rival Minnesota in an odd Friday-Sunday series. Friday's game stops at 7 p.m., and Sunday's matchup gets underway at 1 p.m.