Senior forward Blake Geoffrion scored the game-winning power play goal with 44 seconds left in the second period as the Wisconsin Badger men’s hockey team knocked off Vermont 3-2 in the first round of the NCAAMen’s Ice Hockey West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday night.
The top-seeded Badgers (26-10-4) advance to face No. 2-seed St. Cloud State in Saturday’s West Regional final with a trip to the 2010 Frozen Four on the line. Wisconsin continues its pursuit of a seventh NCAA championship and looks to make its first Frozen Four appearance since winning the NCAA title in 2006.
The Badgers broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period when Geoffrion scored his team-leading 26th goal and 14th power play goal of thed season. Geoffrion said the game winner just barely found the net.
Junior Brendan Smith and freshman Justin Schultz assisted on the game winner.
Wisconsin out-shot Vermont 42-30, including a 16-3 edge in that second period.
The Badgers meet WCHA foe St. Cloud State (24-13-5) for the sixth time this season in tonight’s second round game. The Huskies defeated Northern Michigan 4-3 in double-overtime earlier on Friday night, marking St. Cloud State’s first national tournament victory and snapping an 8-game NCAA skid.
Wisconsin is 2-3 against St. Cloud this season, most recently falling to the Huskies 2-0 in the semi-final round of the WCHA Final Five on March 19.