The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team opened the college hockey season on Friday night with a 2-0 victory over the No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind. Michigan Tech transfer goaltender Robbie Beydoun pitched the shutout in his first start for the Badgers and Linus Weissbach notched the game winner with just under seven minutes to go in the first period.
The Badgers (1-0-0 overall, 1-0-0-0 Big Ten) looked great through the first two periods, battling for every puck and having some extra juice after not playing for so long.
“For not playing a game in eight months, the first two periods were as physical probably as probably any game we’ve played in the past few years. I’m not just saying on our end, but both ways. There were some big hits. I think every puck was contested with physical battles,” head coach Tony Granato said after the game.
Sophomore Dylan Holloway added an insurance goal in the second period on the power play with assists from Weissbach and Roman Achan.
The Badgers withstood an Irish onslaught in the third period where Notre Dame (0-1-0 overall, 0-1-0-0 Big Ten) outshot UW 10-4 and had a 6-on-4 power play over the last minute and 40 seconds to leave the arena wit their first win of the season.
“They came at us really hard in the third period and fortunately Robbie was real sharp. Big penalty kill at the end. I know they hit a couple of posts, but I thought we did a pretty job being down 6-on-5 the last couple minutes of the game. It was great start for us and I’m really happy with it,” Granato said.
Beydoun ended the game with 25 saves and Cole Caufield and Ty Pelton-Bryce had assists on Weissbach’s goal. Tonight’s game will be at 6 p.m. CST and Saturday’s broadcast will be televised on the NHL Network.