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Wisconsin men’s hockey: Badgers fall short in 6-5 OT loss to Michigan in Big 10 Quarterfinals

The Badgers couldn’t hold on to their lead in a 6-5 OT loss to begin the Big 10 tournament.

The Wisconsin Badgers suffered a disappointing 6-5 loss in overtime to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines on Friday night after leading by a goal with just a minute in regulation left, dropping the first game of a best-of-three Big 10 Tournament quarterfinals series.

Mackie Samoskevich opened up the scoring off passes from Dylan Duke and Seamus Casey, providing the Wolverines with an early 1-0 lead in the second minute of the game.

However, the Badgers responded well, as goals from Sam Stange and Mathieu De St. Phalle changed the momentum in favor of the underdog, with Wisconsin carrying a 2-1 lead through the first period.

The back-and-forth continued between the two teams, as the Wolverines responded with back-to-back goals within a minute midway through the second period, but De St. Phalle evened the score minutes later with a score off a power-play.

All wasn’t done there, as Adam Fontilli managed to secure a power-play goal with under 20 seconds remaining in the second half, providing Michigan with another advantage, leading to a tightly contested final period in Ann Arbor.

It was a night of lead changes, as the Badgers stormed back with two third-period goals within 20 seconds of each other, as De St. Phalle secured the hat-trick with good positioning, while captain Dominick Mersche provided Wisconsin with the 5-4 lead off a takeaway.

In a crucial matchup against the No. 4 Wolverines, the Badgers fought hard, but ultimately collapsed within the final minute of regulation, where Michigan’s Samoskevich netted his second goal to send the game to overtime.

Then, midway through overtime in the first game, Steven Holtz found the net off an impressive shot, securing the win for the Wolverines and inching them closer to the next round of the Big 10 tournament.

Wisconsin’s season is on the line on Saturday, as the Wolverines look to sweep the best-of-three series at 6 PM Central.