Badger seniors leave on top after overtime thriller

The Badgers came out on top of a 4-3 overtime thriller on senior night against Michigan

The Badgers came out on top of a 4-3 overtime thriller on senior night against Michigan

Image By: Daniel Klugman

Rumor has it that if you score twice in sudden death overtime it counts as two wins.

Wisconsin was able to accomplish that feat tonight, but rules are rules, so the Badgers will have to settle for just the one.

Wisconsin (9-10-5 Big Ten, 13-16-5 overall) took on Michigan (9-10-5 Big Ten, 13-14-7 overall) in the last night of regular-season college hockey across the country tonight, and won in dramatic fashion 4-3 in overtime.

This marks four consecutive overtime games against the Wolverines, going unbeaten over all four contests. 

“(Michigan) is a good team and they always fight hard,” said Head Coach Tony Granato, “it takes a lot of perseverance to come out of these games with a victory.”

The Badgers started the game off strong, after goals by Wyatt Kalynuk and Mathew Freytag put the Badgers ahead 2-1 at the end of the first period. However, Wisconsin’s offense went cold the rest of the night after the first, which allowed Michigan back in the game.

The Wolverines were able to squeeze a couple of pucks past Wisconsin goalie Daniel Lebedeff in the second period, while Wisconsin’s offense would fail to put up much of a fight. When the horn sounded on the second, the Badgers still trailed 3-2.

Down in the third, Wisconsin was looking for any momentum it could get. That spark came with seven minutes left in the period, after a Wolverine defensemen caught Tyler Inamoto with a high hit. 

A full brawl broke out on the ice, and the Kohl Center was rocking when two Michigan players were sent off the ice for their part in the fight.

“You don’t want to encourage fighting, but that altercation gave us the energy we needed to win,” said Granato.

Wisconsin took advantage of that bolt of energy, and shortly after Ty Emberson tied the game in dramatic fashion with just one minute left on the clock.

Regulation ended in a 3-3 deadlock shortly after, and the game was sent to overtime.

A minute into the extra period, Jack Gorniak seemingly fell through the defense, and scored what seemed like the winning goal for Wisconsin. However, after a lengthy review the goal was called off, and play resumed.

But seconds later Linus Weissbach took the entire Michigan defense on by himself, and was able to slice and dice his way to the net, where he buried the final shot in the top corner of the net as the crowd went insane.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen what happened tonight,” said Granato after the game.

It was an incredible series of events, which means even more to the six seniors on the team who set foot on home ice for the last time in their college careers. 

“It’s a great feeling to leave with a win, I’ll always love the Kohl Center,” said senior Mathew Freytag.

The Badgers are now on to the post-season, where they will play next in the first round of Big Ten Tournament, which begins March 8.

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