The Wisconsin Badgers trailed go a goal late in the third period, but the Minnesota Gophers scored four goals in four minutes to come away with a 9-4 victory at Mariucci Arena.
Freshman center Mick Messner scored in the second period and forward Brock Caufield, Jack Gorniak and Seamus Malone each lit the lamp in the third period to make it a 5-4 game in favor of Minnesota (10-10-4, 7-5-3-0 Big Ten). But the Gophers then rattled off four unanswered goals with under five minutes to play, putting the game out of Wisconsin’s (8-11-4, 4-5-4-1 Big Ten) reach.
The Badgers outshot the Gophers 46-28, but Minnesota’s success on the power play and an early 3-0 lead in the first period were enough to doom the Badgers.
“For 55 minutes, we played good hockey, but you can’t play a 55-minute game”, said Badger coach Tony Granato. “Minnesota is a team where if they see weakness or they see us on our heels, they take advantage of it and that’s what happened. Every time we let off the gas, they made a play and were able to pull away from us.”
The two teams wrap up the 2-game series on Saturday night.