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Wisconsin men’s hockey: UW earns weekend split with Wolverines

The Badgers bounced back on Sunday and leave Ann Arbor with a split.

Tom Lynn

It was a big weekend for games featuring the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines as the men’s basketball teams faced off in a top-25 matchup on Sunday afternoon and the men’s hockey teams had a top-10 showdown on Saturday and Sunday. While the Badgers lost to the Wolverines on Saturday night, they were able to salvage the series split, and end a six game losing streak to UM, on Sunday.

The No. 7 Badgers (14-8-0 overall, 12-6-0 0-1-0 Big Ten) started off the weekend with a bang, getting a first period goal, his second of the season, from Matthew De St. Phalle off an Owen Lindmark assist. UW took that lead into the second period but the No. 8 Wolverines (11-7-0 overall, 9-7-0 1-0-0 Big Ten) flipped a switch in the locker room, after not having played since Jan. 22 due to an athletic department wide COVID shutdown, and poured in four goals in the middle stanza to chase goalie Robbie Beydoun from the game.

The Wolverines added one more goal in the third period to take the first game 5-1. Defenseman Cam York had three assists for Michigan and Wolverines goalie Eric Portillo stopped 29 of 30 shots to earn his third win of the season.

The low-scoring loss snapped Cole Caufield’s 12-game point streak, Ty Pelton-Byce’s nine-game point streak and Dylan Holloway’s eight-game point streak which is a major bummer.

On Sunday, the Badgers scored first again, getting a tally from Holloway (to start a new point streak, yay!) but when a man named Owen Power (excellent name) scored for Michigan in the second it seemed like “here we go again.” However, Roman Achan scored a power play goal at the end of the second and then Dominick Mersch scored 28 seconds into the third and the Badgers held on for an important 3-2 victory.

Holloway had his eighth multi-point game of the season and Achan had his sixth multi-point effort. The Badgers were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and Cameron Rowe stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win.

With their sweep of Notre Dame over the weekend, the Minnesota Golden Gophers moved back into first place in the Big Ten with 39 points to the Badgers 37. The Gophers have last place Michigan State up next, who they swept earlier in the season.

The Badgers will play host to Notre Dame, who Wisconsin swept earlier, at home next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20. The matchups are scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus on Friday and 4 p.m. on Fox Sports Wisconsin on Saturday.