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Wisconsin men’s hockey: BADGERS SWEEP MINNESOTA, MOVE INTO FIRST PLACE IN THE BIG TEN!

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WHAT A WEEKEND!!!!!!!

@BadgerMHockey; UW Athletics Communications

The No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team (13-7-0, 11-5-0,0-1-0 Big Ten) had a hell of a weekend in Minneapolis, sweeping the No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-5-0, 11-5-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) straight to the depths of hell. UW only gave up two goals all weekend, beating Minnesota 4-1 on Friday night and 8-1 on Saturday in one of the most dominant performances of the season by any team in the country.

Coming into the weekend, the Badgers needed to sweep the Gophers in regulation in order to takeover first place in the Big Ten and, well, that’s exactly what happened. UW was locked in from the jump as Cole Caufield scored the first goal of the weekend just 64 seconds into Friday night’s game.

After Minnesota evened it up in the second period the back and forth game stayed tied until seven minutes left in the game when, who else but Cole Caufield scored the eventual game-winner, his second of the game and an NCAA leading No. 16 on the season. Dylan Holloway added an insurance goal 42 seconds later and Roman Achan notched a power play tally before it was all said and done to give Wisconsin the 4-1 victory.

Robbie Beydoun was sharp in goal, stopping 24 of 25 shots on the evening and keeping the Badgers in the game until the scoring picked up in the third period.

Caufield’s multi-goal effort extended his point streak to 11 games (12 goals, 20 assists) and his goal streak to six games. Holloway, meanwhile, extended his point streak to seven games (four goals, 12 assists) and both players have a multi-point streak of six games each.

Heading into Saturday night’s game with first place in the conference on the line you’d expect the Gophers to show up ready to roll, especially since they lost the first game of the series. You, however, would be completely and totally wrong! The Badgers scored two early goals, courtesy of Holloway and Achan, which would prove to be enough since Minnesota could again only score once, this time against Cameron Rowe (27 saves on 28 shots).

Not satisfied with a simple 2-1 victory, Wisconsin scored six more times to blow the Gophers out of the barn and tying the most amount of goals UW has ever had at Minnesota in men’s hockey. It’ll be easier to just list off who scored here so it’s all in one place:

  • Holloway had one goal and four assists
  • Cole Caufield had one goal and two assists
  • Ty Emberson had two goals and one assist
  • Linus Weissbach had two assists
  • Achan had two goals
  • Jack Gorniak had a goal and an assist
  • Josh Ess, Brock Caufield and Tyler Inamoto each had one assist
  • Ty Pelton-Byce had a goal

The Gophers used three (3!!!!) goalies in this game! This was Wisconsin’s first sweep in Minneapolis since Feb. 6-7, 2009. Cole Caufield extended his point streak to 12 games (13 goals, 12 assists). He leads the nation with 17 goals and 33 points. Pelton-Byce now has points in nine consecutive games (six goals, six assists) while Holloway’s five-point night means he has points in eight consecutive games (five goals, 16 assists).

This was a statement series for the Badgers and shows that they are finally ready to contend for not only the conference title, but potentially a national title as well.

The Badgers will stay on the road for their next series against the Michigan Wolverines (10-6-0, 7-6-1-0-0 Big Ten) when they head to Ann Arbor, Mich. The two will face off Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. CT and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. Watch Saturday’s game live on Big Ten Network.