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Wisconsin men’s hockey: UW splits early weekend series with Ohio State

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Freshman goalie Cam Rowe earns his fist career win on Friday against the Buckeyes.

UW Athletics Communications; @BadgerMHockey

Continuing their up and down season, the No. 14/RV Wisconsin Badgers (5-5-0, 5-3-0-0-1-0 Big Ten) men’s hockey team split their Thursday/Friday series with the No. 13/No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-4-0, 1-4-0-0-1-0 Big Ten) in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes downed the Badgers 4-2 on Thursday night and then the Badgers evened things up by winning 3-1 on Friday.

Similar to the Arizona State series, the Badgers were again forced to roll out a shorthanded line chart as multiple forwards were still in COVID-19 protocol and Dylan Holloway still in Canada at their World Juniors camp. UW had three full lines and then their fourth line wingers were converted defensemen...not an ideal situation.

The Badgers were dealt an early blow in the series as well, with OSU scoring four goals in the first period of Thursday night’s contest and basically putting the game away before the first intermission. Robbie Beydoun was pulled after the disastrous opening stanza, and freshman Cam Rowe finished the final two periods and acquitted himself nicely, stopping all 14 shots he faced.

Wisconsin, to their credit, battled back in the opening game of the series, scoring two goals in the second (Jason Dhooghe’s first of the year and Cole Caufield’s fifth) but it wasn’t quite enough to pull even with the Buckeyes. UW dominated in the face-off circle and in total shots but getting out of a four goal hole is a tall task.

In game two of the series, Rowe was given his first start in net as a Badger and looked really good. He stopped 40 of 41 shots (.976 save percentage) and stood tall in a frantic third period as Ohio State tried to rally to earn his first collegiate win. He was named the game’s first star and deservedly so.

The Badgers started off game two far better than game one with Cole Caufield continuing his scorching hot play and tallying the game’s first goal. The Buckeyes tied it up midway through the second period but the Wisconsin power play put the game away with two goals, one each from Brock Caufield and Jack Gorniak. Cole Caufield and Gorniak each had three point nights while Brock Caufield added that power play goal and an assist.

The Badgers have scored at least one power-play goal in seven of 10 games but Friday night’s win was the first game this year they had scored multiple man advantage tallies. With the win on Friday, UW takes the lead in the all-time series against Ohio State at 21-20-4.

Per a UW release on Monday morning:

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s two-game series at Michigan State scheduled for Dec. 8-9 in East Lansing, Michigan, will not be played.

Medical officials from each school conferred after a positive Covid-19 test was found within the Badgers’ program and decided to postpone the contests.

The games are expected to be rescheduled.