One night after being routed by No. 6/7 Boston College, 9-2, the No. 2-ranked Wisconsin men's hockey team was hoping to get back on track with a momentum changing performance Saturday night. "Hoping" being the key word in that sentence.
In front of 5,129 fans at Agganis Arena in Boston, the Badgers were routed for the second night in a row, this time dropping a 7-3 result to No. 15 Boston University.
With Joel Rumpel not available this weekend due to an ankle injury suffered in practice last week, Landon Peterson was back between the pipes for the Badgers one night after being pulled against BC. The junior net-minder wasn't as sharp as we've seen him in the past, stopping just 19 of the 26 shots the Terriers put on goal.
BU was first on the board with a power-play tally from defenseman Ahti Oksanen 8:28 into the opening stanza. The Finnish defenseman ripped a shot from the point just six seconds into a Morgan Zulinick interference penalty to open the scoring.
The Badgers would even the ledger with a power-play goal of their own with just 1:20 left in the first period, when Mark Zengerle found Jake McCabe who was able to beat Boston University goaltender Matt O'Connor to tie the score 1-1.
Nic Kerdiles would be credited with an assist on the UW conversion, which extended his point streak to 16 games dating back to last season. The Wisconsin school record for points in consecutive games is 21, and is currently held by Badgers head coach Mike Eaves.
Boston University would extend its lead to 3-1 with back-to-back goals just 18 seconds apart mid-way through the second period from Garrett Noonan and Robbie Baillargeon.
Known to create a spark from time to time, Badgers' senior center Keegan Meuer did just that 21 seconds later when he cut hard to the net and was able to trickle a shot past O'Connor to cut the Terriers' lead to 3-2.
Wisconsin's momentum was thwarted just a few minutes later when Kerdiles was handed a five minute major and ejected from the contest for a contact to the head penalty on BU forward Tommy Kelley in front of the players' benches.
Boston University would go on to score on the major, when Matt Grzelcyk's shot bounced off of a Badger out in front of the crease and past Peterson into the UW net.
Third period goals from BU's Mike Moran, Matt Lane and Cason Hohmann put the contest out of reach. Michael Mersch added a third period power-play tally of his own for the Badgers.
Overall, the performance was a significant improvement from Friday night, even if the result may not show it. The Badgers dominated long stretches of offensive zone time against BU, and out-shot the Terriers 43-26 in the contest.
You're not supposed to lose 7-3 when you out-shoot your opponent by 17 shots. But alas, here we are.
Wisconsin has a much-needed early season bye next weekend before getting set to host undefeated Lake Superior State (4-0) at the Kohl Center Nov. 1-2.
For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter -- Follow @AndyJohnsonB5Q
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)