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Wisconsin men’s hockey: UW stuffs Ohio State into trash can, sweeps Buckeyes

After winning in OT on Friday, the Badgers offense exploded on Saturday for a 7-0 win.

@BadgerMHockey; UW Athletics Communications

To hold out hope of winning the Big Ten regular season title, the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (17-8-1 overall, 15-6-1 1-1-0 Big Ten) needed to sweep the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-17-1 overall, 6-16-0 0-2-0 Big Ten) this past weekend. Well, after earning an overtime win on Friday night the Badgers came out on Saturday and absolutely steamrolled the hapless Buckeyes, 7-0, to get the very sweep they needed.

If you go by overall points, the Badgers ARE in first place in the Big Ten with 46, compared to Minnesota’s 45, but the way the conference will be decided this year is by point percentage since teams won’t all be playing the same amount of games. The Gophers (20 games played) have a point percentage of .750 while Wisconsin (22 games played) have .697, meaning the Gophers would win the conference if the season ended this week.

The Gophers, who didn’t play this weekend against Penn State due to COVID concerns, host Michigan, whom they have already swept, on the last weekend of the season while the Badgers travel to East Lansing, Mich. to play the last place Michigan State Spartans.

If Wisconsin can sweep MSU, which they’ve already done this year, and Michigan can beat Minnesota once then the Badgers will win the Big Ten. So...that’s the setup for next weekend! Let’s talk about the Buckeyes series though, because it was a lot of fun.

On Friday, the top power play in the nation (30.8 percent (24-for-78) took center stage. Dylan Holloway scored both goals in the 2-1 overtime win, both with the man advantage and both assisted by Cole Caufield and Linus Weissbach. They were Holloway’s ninth and tenth goals of the season while Caufield and Weissbach each had 20 assists on the season after the first game of the series.

Robbie Beydoun had 30 saves and is now 9-7-0 on the year.

Saturday night was a rout and basically turned into shooting practice for UW. Hobey Baker finalist Cole Caufield recorded a hat trick (his second of the season and third of his career), Weissbach had four assists, Ty Pelton-Byce had two goals and an assist, Holloway and Ty Emberson each had a goal and an assist, while Brock Caufield had a pair of assists.

Freshman goalie Cameron Rowe pitched a shutout, stopping all 21 Buckeyes shots, and moved to 8-1-1 on the season. Rowe leads all freshmen goalie with a .939 save percentage.

It was certainly an excellent Senior Night for UW’s six-man senior class: Linus Weissbach, Ty Pelton-Byce, Tarek Baker, Jason Dhooghe, Josh Ess and Robbie Beydoun. The Badgers conclude their regular season Friday and Saturday March 5-6 when they head to East Lansing to face off with the Michigan State Spartans. Watch the live stream on Big Ten Network+.