Dhooghe duo do it together, each score first goal of career in Wisconsin tie

Sean Dhooghe played first line last night with Trent Frederic and Ryan Wagner. That line will stay the same tonight.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Over the course of this season, Wisconsin has played seven different freshmen, and five of those first-year players have been in the lineup for all 11 games so far. Between quarterbacking the powerplay, playing on the penalty kill and being on the ice in close games as time ticks down, this freshman class has had a tremendous impact on Wisconsin’s season thus far.

The freshman impact, however, was never more apparent than in No. 7 Wisconsin’s (1-1 Big Ten, 6-4-1 overall) 2-2 tie against North Dakota (1-1-0 NCHC, 6-2-2) — especially through the likes of Sean and Jason Dhooghe.

With time expiring in the first period, freshman defenseman Tyler Inamoto was given a game misconduct and was ejected for a hit to the head. Wisconsin was forced to play with five defensemen the rest of the night, as freshmen Wyatt Kalynuk and Josh Ess stepped up huge for the Badgers, often playing together without the help of a veteran defenseman.

“Coach Osiecki puts the pairs together and has a ton of confidence in those guys. I think that’s the biggest thing when a coach can throw you over the boards in key situations when you’re young players like that instill the confidence in them,” head coach Tony Granato said. “They don’t play like freshmen. All those guys, with Tyler as well. All three of those young players have a ton of poise for freshmen D.”

Still, the even bigger contribution from the freshmen came from the forwards.

With just over three minutes remaining in the first period, Jason dropped to the ice to block a shot with time expiring on his brother Sean’s penalty. Jason was just trying to clean the zone after being exhausted from a long kill, but his block did more than that. The puck bounced off his shin guards, right onto Sean’s stick, who was then awarded a penalty shot after being taken down on his ensuing breakaway.

Sean had yet to score a goal heading into the game but earned his first points of his career last night. Still, he remained cool and felt confident that he could beat the North Dakota goalie to score his first career goal and give the Badgers a 1-0 lead.

“[Hayton was giving me] some words of wisdom [before the shot],” Sean said. “He was telling me to do my thing. We do a lot of shootouts in practice, and he was trying to tell me what to do — but I already knew what I was going to do before that. He was pretty surprised because he had never seen that one out of me.”

The Dhooghe’s don’t spend a lot of time together on the same line, but their unscripted three seconds of ice time together last night resulted in Sean’s first goal of his career.

Almost two periods later, Dhooghe found a way to break the tie again. This time, however, Jason recorded the first goal of his career, putting UW up 2-1 with just over 10 minutes to go in the third.

“They’re roommates too so they do a lot together,” Granato said. “It was appropriate they both scored their first collegiate goals together and I think the fans recognized who the Dhooghes were tonight too which was very exciting.”

“It’s special,” Sean said. “It’s cool scoring your first goal, and then when your brothers on your side doing the same thing on the same night in front of a huge crowd in a really big game, it’s pretty special.”

Even though Jason and Sean’s efforts were not quite enough to give UW a win, it was a pretty special night for the brothers to score their first goals together on the same night.

“Yeah, it’s pretty special,” Jason said. “We’re never going to forget this.”

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