Opening up the Kohl Center for the first time this season, Wisconsin carried a 2-1 lead into the third period but couldn't close the door, eventually falling to North Dakota, 4-3.
10,605 fans piled into the Kohl Center Friday night for the season opener, but No. 2-ranked North Dakota spoiled the party with three goals in the third period to drop the Badgers to 0-5 on the season.
North Dakota dominated possession most of the night, out-shooting Wisconsin 43-20 for the game and 14-3 in the third period.
Despite the large disparity in offensive zone time, the Badgers were able to take a 2-1 lead into the third period on Jedd Soleway's first goal of the season. Soleway carried the puck into the zone on a 2-on-1 and rifled a wrist shot over UND goaltender Zane McIntyre's blocker to give UW a lead heading into the second intermission.
Momentum shifted in North Dakota's favor in early in the third period after a Colten St. Clair goal 3:12 into the period. That goal was followed by one of the most blatant missed calls in hockey history.
With Wisconsin center Cameron Hughes sprawled out on the ice in the corner, UND winger Bryn Chyzyk dropped two WWF style elbows to Hughes' back. After Chyzyk dropped the first one, he got back up and dropped another for good measure. Somehow the official standing four feet away didn't see anything wrong with that.
The Badgers were whistled for a penalty not long after the missed call on Chyzyk, and UND took advantage, as Michael Parks converted on the power play to give North Dakota a 3-2 advantage.
Parks would add another goal four minutes later with the Badgers on the power play. The goal was North Dakota's NCAA-leading sixth short-handed goal of the season.
Wisconsin would cut the lead to one with :18.1 seconds to play when Grant Besse tipped in a Chase Drake shot from the point, but the comeback wasn't enough.
Despite the loss, UW goaltender Joel Rumpel finished the night with 39 saves on 43 shots, arguably his best performance so far this season.
The Badgers will be back on the ice Saturday against North Dakota looking for their first win. Unfortunately, they'll be doing so without junior defenseman Eddie Wittchow. Mike Eaves announced after the game that Wittchow will be out indefinitely with a broken finger.
Saturday's contest vs. UND will be televised on the Wisconsin Channel. You can also stream the game for free if you have a Big Ten Network subscription on BTN2Go.com.
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