After a flat-footed start to the new year, No. 18 Wisconsin men’s hockey (12–12–3) went into Sunday’s game against No. 1 Notre Dame (19–4–1) at the United Center in Chicago looking for the type of signature win that can redeem a season.
The Badgers got it. And how.
Wisconsin beat the top-rated Irish 5–0 in front of 9,313 at the United Center, snapping Notre Dame’s school-record 16-game winning streak in the process. It was the Irish’s first loss in Big Ten play.
Sophomore goaltender Jack Berry was superb, blanking Notre Dame with 40 saves in the shutout.
Five different players, including three freshmen, scored for the Badgers, demonstrating the balanced offense that has been the hallmark of Wisconsin’s up-and-down season.
Freshman defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk started the scoring in the first with a coast-to-coast break that started behind the Wisconsin net and split the Irish defense in half.
Sophomore center Trent Frederic added to the lead with a short-handed goal off of a second-period Seamus Malone penalty.
Malone put the Badgers up 3–0 with less than a minute to play in the second period.
Freshman left wing Linus Weissbach added No. 4 late in the third.
Freshman winger Sean Dhooghe capped the scoring at five, completing the route.
Another one, just for good measure pic.twitter.com/QqE2UsNYlR— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 21, 2018
It was an emotional day for Wisconsin, as news broke early in the day that USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson passed away Sunday morning.
Johannson, who built the 2018 U.S. men’s hockey team with coach Tony Granato, was a NCAA title winner at Wisconsin where he played from 1982–86.
We lost a true friend in Jim Johannson today.— Coach Tony Granato (@TonyGranato) January 21, 2018
He was so compassionate and as loyal a friend as you could have. He was the ultimate teammate.
I am deeply saddened and shocked and sorry that he is no longer with us.
He was a special human being. pic.twitter.com/vGAR4ZTFu2
Wisconsin heads home for a weekend series with No. 12 Penn State at the Kohl Center. The Badgers are expected to lose Granato to his Olympic duties for the final two series of the year against Minnesota and Ohio State.