Big Ten play started early for No. 10/12 Wisconsin men’s hockey this year, as No. 19 Ohio State came to town for a series at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers (2–1–0 overall, 1–1–0–0 Big Ten) managed a split with Buckeyes (1–1–0 overall, 1–1–0–0 Big Ten), dropping the first game of the series 3–2 on Friday before winning 3–2 on Saturday.
Friday saw Trent Frederic get the scoring started midway through the second period with a wicked wrister that beat Buckeyes goaltender Sean Romeo top-shelf.
BAM. First of the season for Frederic pic.twitter.com/Qt1YXvEebT— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) October 7, 2017
Freshman forward Tarek Baker later netted his first career goal as a Badger on a penalty shot that froze Romeo, giving Wisconsin a 2–1 lead going into the third.
It was not to be, however, as the Buckeyes scored twice in the third period for the win.
Saturday saw another close game. Junior forward Will Johnson beat Romero to open the scoring midway through first period.
Senior captain Cameron Hughes extended the lead midway through the second period, grabbing his first goal of the season with a sweet flick past Romero’s stick from inside the circle.
Baker grabbed his second goal of the series just two minutes later to put Wisconsin up 3-0.
Ohio State would once again grab two third period goals, but it was not enough as Wisconsin held on for the 3–2 win.
The Badgers penalty kill looked great all series, nullifying all 11 penalties it faced over the weekend.
Wisconsin takes a trip out east this weekend. The Badgers get a Friday the 13th match-up with No. 13 Boston College before traveling to North Andover, Mass., for a game with Merrimack on Saturday. Puck drops at 6 p.m. CT for both games.