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Wisconsin hockey recap: Seth Ambroz, Gophers, knock off Badgers, 7-5

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Four goals in less than two minutes in the second period propelled Minnesota to a 7-5 win over Wisconsin Friday night at the Kohl Center.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It was like déjà vu all over again.

Exactly week after blowing a 4-1 advantage at home against Michigan, Wisconsin squandered another multiple-goal lead against a quality Big Ten opponent, dropping Friday's game to Minnesota, 7-5.

In front of an announced crowd of 11,867 at the Kohl Center, the Badgers (2-16-3, 0-6-1-1 Big Ten) jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for Mike Eaves' young squad, they couldn't hold on, as the Gophers (12-9-2, 3-2-2-0 Big Ten) were able to score four goals in a stretch of 1:40 in the second period and never looked back, taking the series opener from UW.

Wisconsin played well most of the night, and even carried an even-strength possession advantage of 51 percent in the contest. That said, giving up four goals in less than two minutes is devastating for any team.

"If we can take that minute and forty seconds back, it would have been a different outcome," Eaves said after the game. "In each case of those four goals in the second period it was a breakdown of a freshmen, and three out of the four were getting beat back to the net. It's something we've certainly worked on in practice, and we have to have the ability to do that in a game situation. We obviously haven't proven it there."

Unfortunately for Eaves and the Badgers, they can't take that minute and forty seconds back.

It started with a goal from Minnesota sophomore forward Vinni Lettieri. After a turnover from UW freshman Jack Dougherty directly in front of the Wisconsin goal, Lettieri was there to bang home his fourth goal of the season to cut Wisconsin's lead to 3-2.

Just over a minute later, Jake Bischoff would bring the game to level on his second goal of the year. The sophomore defenseman was proactive in the offensive zone and beat Badgers' freshman winger Matt Ustaski to a loose puck and was able to chip it into the UW net to tie the score at 3-3.

26 seconds later the Gophers would have the lead, as Seth Ambroz was able to get loose in front of the Wisconsin net and buried his second goal of the game to give Minnesota the 4-3 lead. 13 seconds after that Leon Bristedt extended Minnesota's lead to 5-3.

Wisconsin goals from Jack Dougherty and Jedd Soleway would be sandwiched around conversions from Minnesota's Taylor Cammarata and Hudson Fasching to produce a final score of 7-5.

Despite the loss, there were many positives for the Friday night, including the Badgers' top line, which featured Joseph LaBate centering Grant Besse and newcomer Ryan Wagner.

Both Besse and LaBate scored early in the game, and that line was able to generate 19 of Wisconsin's 56 shot attempts in the game.

In his post game interview on the radio after the game, Besse showed a little emotion in his voice.

"Obviously it's no fun to lose," Besse said in his interview with 1310 WIBA. "What I've learned in a season like this is that you have to look for some of the positives. There are so many negatives, with the fans telling you how bad you are, and the record not being what you want it to be. But if you look at how we've played in the second half of the year -- even though our record doesn't show it -- we've gotten a lot better.

"If we can learn to not get so excited when we're actually winning a game and just stick to the game plan, I think that will pay off for us in the long run."

UW goaltender Joel Rumpel gave up seven goals on 34 shots, but his numbers don't come close to telling the story.

"We can't put any blame on him," Besse said. "He's been fantastic for us all year."

Wisconsin and Minnesota will be back in action Saturday night at the Kohl Center, as the Badgers attempt to steal a split from the Gophers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network.

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