It wasn't a win, but it was a positive result that Wisconsin can build on. The Badgers were able to earn a 1-1 tie on Friday in a non-conference contest vs. Ferris State, their first game this season in nine tries that didn't end up as a loss.
Freshman Matt Ustaski was the goal scorer for the UW, and senior goaltender Joel Rumpel had 34 huge saves in front of 9,217 fans at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin (0-8-1) won a shootout on a Morgan Zulinick goal and three consecutive stops from Rumpel, but the result is technically meaningless, as shootouts only count for extra points in conference play. Ferris State (7-6-1) plays in the WCHA, while the Badgers play in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin was the better team in the early going, but the Bulldogs had the better of the third period and overtime. Thankfully for the Badgers, Rumpel had one of his better games between the pipes in a cardinal and white sweater.
"Thanks goodness that Joel Rumpel was excellent tonight because he allowed us to get a tie and win in a shootout," head coach Mike Eaves said.
Immediately following the game, the UW coaching staff held an impromptu video session with the team to address some things they didn't like in the series opener.
"There was many underlying things that we didn't do well, so we had a little video session right away just to point those things out," Eaves said. "To really be clear about what we are trying to do, what we are doing and what we look like we are doing."
There was no scoring through the first two periods, and it wasn't until Ustaski broke through 2:13 into the third that either team dented the scoreboard.
Fellow freshman Cameron Hughes set the play up as he busted into the zone and fired a wrist shot at the Ferris State net. Bulldogs' goaltender C.J. Motte made the initial save, but couldn't hold onto the rebound, and Ustaski beat the FSU defenders to the loose puck and was able to flip a back-handed shot over the goal line.
Wisconsin's lead lasted just five minutes as Ferris State tied things up on Andrew Dorantes' first collegiate goal. The freshman center used a UW defender as a screen and was able to snap a shot past Rumpel to even the score 7:29 into the third period.
With just 2:21 remaining in the third period, it initially appeared the Bulldogs had pulled ahead 2-1, as Jared VanWormer banged a rebound past Rumpel. After review, the goal was waived off, as it was clear that winger Brandon Anselmini interfered with Rumpel before the goal was scored.
Ferris State kept the pressure on in the final few minutes and out-shot Wisconsin 5-0 in the extra session, but the Badgers were able to hold on for the much-needed tie.
"In the things that we've been going through, that is a little sliver of light for us," Eaves said. "A tie and then a shootout win is a little sliver of light."
Wisconsin and Ferris State will be back in action Saturday night, with a late 8 p.m. CT puck drop due to the afternoon football game at Camp Randall Stadium.
|3rd||2:13||UW||Ustaski (Hughes, Davison)|
|Shots on Goal||35||23|
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