As a freshman, it took Sean Dhooghe 22 games and three months to score four goals for the UW men's hockey team.
On the first road trip of his sophomore year, it took him just five and a half periods.
The sophomore forward scored twice on Friday — his first collegiate multi-goal game — and did it again on Saturday as No. 15 Wisconsin (0-0-0 Big Ten, 3-1-0 overall) split its New York road trip with Clarkson (0-0-0 ECAC, 1-2-0) and St. Lawrence (0-0-0 ECAC, 1-3-0).
Dhooghe’s goals were the only offense the Badgers could muster against Clarkson, as they fell 4-2 in the series opener.
The Golden Knights jumped out to an early two-goal lead in the first 11 minutes of the game while Wisconsin failed to bring the intensity and defensive pressure that carried them to a sweep of Boston College in the season opener.
“We just didn’t come out to play. Clarkson showed up ready to play hard and play through us,” Dhooghe said in a press release. “We were incredibly soft the first 15 minutes.”
The Badgers battled back, as Dhooghe scored his first goal of the weekend on a second-period power play off a feed from senior forward Max Zimmer.
The Aurora, Il, native put the two teams on level early in the third period with his second strike of the game. The Badgers battled for another 12 minutes, but two quick goals by Clarkson provided the final margin and UW’s first loss of the season.
“We only played Badger hockey for about half the game,” Dhooghe said. “If you don’t play Badger hockey the whole 60 minutes, that’s the result you get.”
The sophomore forward had much more support on Saturday night against St. Lawrence. Wisconsin tied its season high with seven goals en route to a dominating 7-1 win over the Saints.
The Badgers atoned for their slow start in the weekend opener by jumping on St. Lawrence with 12 shots on goal in the first period, highlighted by freshman forward Roman Ahcan’s first career goal just under seven minutes into the game.
Wisconsin kept the pressure on in the second period to the tune of 18 shots on goal — the most in any period this season. Dhooghe and sophomore defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk added to the lead with a pair of goals to go up 3-0.
That lead didn’t prompt the Badgers to back off the gas pedal, as they added four more goals in the final 20 minutes from Dhooghe, senior forwards Will Johnson and Seamus Malone, as well as freshman defenseman K’Andre Miller.
In the end, Wisconsin tallied 46 shots on goal against the Saints, which would have tied for the second-most in any game last season.
“It was a great bounce-back by our team. It shows the kind of character that we’ve got,” Malone said. “Tonight we came out with some energy and we took it to them right away. We kept the foot on the gas, so it was good.”
Opposite the offensive explosion freshman goaltender Daniel Lebedeff — a native of Finland who has spent the past three years playing for the Madison Capitols and Janesville Jets — made his first career start and allowed just one goal on 20 shots in an impressive debut.
“It was awesome, I’ve been waiting for this for the last couple months when I was back home,” Lebedeff said. “I think all these years in Wisconsin have helped me prepare for this first game…. Hopefully I can play like that all the time.”