Wisconsin was able to battle through a multitude of adversity on Friday night to earn a tie at third ranked Minnesota. In addition to assistant coach Bill Butters stepping down last week, Wisconsin was without the services of leading scorer Mark Zengerle.
To make matters worse, top-six forwards Joseph Labate and Tyler Barnes were both thrown out of the game for what were deemed illegal hits Friday night.
Fortunately for the Badgers, sophomore goaltender Landon Peterson played the best game of his Badger career, stopping 41 of 43 shots in the 2-2 tie at Mariucci Arena.
1-0 Minnesota--3:49--Budish (Condon, Haula): Wausau native Nate Condon makes a pass from behind the net to a streaking Zach Budish in the slot. Minnesota's senior captain quickly wrists a shot over Peterson's blocker to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.
1-1 Wisconsin--4:15--Mersch (Lee, Zulinick): UW is able to bounce back just 26 seconds later on a goal by Mersch. The junior winger took a feed from senior Derek Lee, and on his second attempt is able to roof a shot over the sprawling Adam Wilcox. Morgan Zulinck gets the play started by going hard in the corner and creating a turnover that Lee was able to pick up behind the net.
2-1 Minnesota--0:48--Haula (Budish, Schmidt): After Frankie Simonelli was sent to the box for tripping, Minnesota junior center Erik Haula was able to give the Gophers a 2-1 advantage. Haula circled out of the corner untouched and was able to wrist a laser past Peterson.
2-2 Wisconsin--5:06--Mersch (McCabe, Lee): Morgan Zulinick creates another turnover for Wisconsin in Minnesota's zone. He skates in and feeds Mersch with a pass who immediately one times a pass to Lee for a great scoring opportunity in the slot. Wilcox makes the save and Jake McCabe picks up the rebound. In one motion, McCabe does a backhand spin-o-rama sending the puck to Mersch on the back door where he's able to bang it home.
Bucky's 5th Quarter (Johnson): Wisconsin Fights Through Adversity To Earn Road Tie At Minnesota
SB Nation Minnesota (Wells): Wisconsin's Peterson makes 41 saves in 2-2 tie
Wisconsin State Journal (Baggot): Michael Mersch scores twice as UW manages tie at Minnesota
Minneapolis Star Tribune (Russo): Gophers' power play stifled in tie with Badgers
St. Paul Pioneer Press (Brothers): Badgers forge tie
ESPN1500 (Myers): Gophers run into trouble when power play offense goes missing
Gopher Puck Live (Oftos): Gophers, Badgers skate to tie
Gopher Hockey Examiner (Discher): Gophers and Badgers skate to 2-2 Friday Tie
UWBadgers.com: Wisconsin battles to 2-2 tie in physical match with rival Minnesota
GopherSports.com: Border Battle Opens with 2-2 Overtime Tie
LABATE AND BARNES EJECTIONS: