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Wisconsin men’s hockey: UW beats No. 5 Minnesota in OT thriller

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Brock Caufield tied it in the third and then won it in overtime to help the Badgers to a huge series-opening win.

Caufield scored the game-tying AND game-winning goals on Friday night!
Tom Lynn

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team hadn’t gotten off to the best start this season, but things seem to be turning around for Tony Granato’s boys now that they are in the teeth of their Big Ten schedule. One weekend after earning a series split on the road against No. 2 Michigan, the Badgers (4-5-0 overall, 1-1-1-1-0-0 Big Ten) returned to the Kohl Center and upset the No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-3-1, 2-0-1-0-1-0 Big Ten) 4-3 in overtime.

The teams were locked up at zero after the first period which in no way prepared people for the wild second period that was to come.

Minnesota got on the board first when Sammy Walker scored four minutes into the middle stanza and then the Gophers doubled their lead when Blake McLaughlin scored eight minutes later. It looked like Minnesota was well on their way to a road rivalry win but then 17 seconds turned the game on its head.

UW went on the power play shortly after Minnesota went up 2-0 and freshman defenseman Corson Ceulemans fired his first career goal past Jack LaFontaine to cut the Gophers lead in half.

17 seconds later, Jack Gorniak set up shop in the slot and sniped a goal thanks to the hard work of Tarek Baker and Liam Malmquist behind the net. The Badgers were cooking with gas and the Kohl Center, in Red Out mode, was rocking.

Then the Badgers got extremely unlucky. At 17:22 of the second period the Badgers accidentally passed the puck into their own empty net. Minnesota had committed a penalty and Jared Moe had left the ice for an extra attacker but Malmquist’s pass back to the point missed its mark and...well...you can watch the video below.

After an official review to see if a Minnesota player touched it, thus negating the goal, the Gophers were up 3-2 heading into the third period.

Then? It was Brock Caufield time.

Caufield scored early in the third to tie the game up and firmly reestablish momentum for UW. At the end of the third period the Gophers went on the power play but Moe said “no.”

The grad transfer goalie, who played the rest of his career for the Gophers, stood tall in net all night, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced from his former teammates. The UW defense also helped Moe out a ton, blocking 27 shots on the night, led by Ryder Donovan and his five blocks.

With 60 minutes not being enough to settle things, the Border Battle went into overtime. At 3:02 into the overtime period, Caufield slapped home his second goal of the game and sent the Badger faithful home happy.

And here’s an alternate angle because awesome goals need to be seen from every available vantage point.

Ceulemans had a breakout game, adding two assists to his first career goal and blocking three shots to boot. The Badgers face Minnesota again on Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center. Watch live on Bally Sports Wisconsin or, if you’re in Madison, head to the game.