Disclaimer: This article has been written and submitted by Taylor Valentine, who will help cover Badgers hockey.
Notre Dame (14-13-2 overall, 8-9-2 B1G) won the opening draw and controlled the offensive zone for the first few minutes. No. 4 Wisconsin (21-6-2 overall, 12-4-1 B1G) found their footing and began to generate scoring chances, but Irish goaltender Ryan Bischel refused to give the Badgers an inch.
Despite the Wisconsin pressure, Notre Dame opened the scoring, taking advantage of a defensive breakdown when Hunter Strand took a cross-ice pass from Justin Janicke and buried it into the vacancy left by Wisconsin goaltender Kyle McClellan. Tyler Carpenter made it 2-0 off a similar feed from Janicke with 2:38 left in the first period.
The Badgers had a golden opportunity to start the second period when Irish defenseman Zach Plucinski received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for face masking.
Wisconsin appeared to cut into the lead when Mathieu de St. Phalle finally snuck one past Bischel, but Notre Dame successfully challenged the play with replay showing the Badgers offside.
Bischel continued to stone the Badgers and nearly escaped the second period unscathed, but at the last minute everything changed.
An opportunistic Christian Fitzgerald bolted from his own blue line and past a stumbling Notre Dame defender in the neutral zone before beating Bischel to the blocker side with 38 seconds left in the period.
Then, 15 seconds later, David Silye scooped up the rebound from Anthony Kehrer’s wrist shot and buried the equalizer.
Wisconsin’s momentum continued into the third period with Cruz Lucius finding Silye across the crease to tally his second of the night and give the Badgers a 3-2 lead. Simon Tassy did the dirty work for the third Badger goal, gaining the offensive zone with some nifty moves and pushing a shot off Bischel’s left pad.
Later in the possession, Tassy ate a check behind the net freeing up Lucius to corral the puck for the go-ahead assist.
Frustration took over for Notre Dame as Henry Nelson received the Irish’s second game misconduct for hitting Badger forward Tyson Dyck into the bench area from behind.
Wisconsin again failed to convert on the five-minute power play (0/5 on the night), but sealed the game with an empty netter off a defensive zone faceoff moments after Bischel vacated his crease.
Simon Tassy again made his impact felt on the final goal, laying out to tip an errant pass ahead to teammate Carson Bantle, who skated across center ice before firing the finisher.
The regulation loss is Notre Dame’s first this season when scoring first (9-1-2). The Badgers look to complete the season sweep Saturday night (6 p.m.) in what promises to be an exciting finale, especially with emotions beginning to boil over in game one.