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Wisconsin men’s hockey blitzes Michigan in Big Ten opener

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Luke Kunin and Will Johnson bagged two each against the Wolverines.

Wisconsin captain Luke Kunin.
UW Athletic Communications

It’s been a rollercoaster season so far for Tony Granato’s young Wisconsin Badgers. Big Ten play got off with a bang on Friday, however, with an impressive 7-4 victory over Michigan on the road in Ann Arbor.

Sophomore captain Luke Kunin and sophomore forward Will Johnson both netted two goals in the victory. Freshman forward Trent Frederic, in his first game back from a hand injury, got the scoring started for the Badgers with a power-play goal in the first period. Matthew Freytag and Aidan Cavallini had a goal apiece, left winger Ryan Wagner had three assists and Seamus Malone added two helpers of his own.

With the victory, Wisconsin (8-6-1) tied its total from last year. Granato’s more open offensive philosophy is paying dividends, as Wisconsin is tied for eighth nationally in overall team offense, averaging 3.6 goals per game. The power play is fifth in the nation (22 goals, 23.7 percent) and Kunin is tied for tenth nationally in goals scored.

Defensively, the Badgers sit 51st nationally, giving up 3.53 goals per game. With sophomore Matt Jurusik injured (and struggling before that), freshman Jack Berry is holding the line in front of an occasionally shaky Badgers defense.

Wisconsin meets Michigan again on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The game can be heard at WIBA-AM 1310 at 6:30 p.m. CT.