After falling short in both games earlier this season, No. 12/14 Wisconsin (8-6 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) swept Arizona State (5-11-2) at home.
Game one kicked off with an early Wisconsin goal scored by junior forward Jack Gorniak goal, assisted by Owen Lindmark and Mathieu De St. Phalle.
Later in the period, senior defensive player Josh Ess added to the scoreboard with a straight shot into the net, with Dylan Holloway and Mike Vorlicky picking up an assist.
Ty Pelton-Byce then found the back of the net — his first goal since returning from a head injury and COVID-19 protocols — with the assist from Tyler Inamoto and Linus Weissbach to end the period with a 3-0 Wisconsin lead.
Deep into the second period, Inamoto scored his first goal of the season with a clear shot into the Sun Devils’ net.
The third period was scoreless for both teams, leaving Wisconsin with the 4-0 win.
Even with four goals, much of that win can be credited to Badger defense — only 11 shots on net were allowed the entire night, all of them saved by freshman goaltender Cameron Rowe in his first collegiate shutout. At one point, Rowe didn’t have to make a save for 26 straight minutes.
Head coach Tony Granato was pleased not only with the freshman’s performance, but the entire team’s.
“Cam was really solid,” said Granato. “He didn’t have a ton of work but everything he saw — he was positioned well, he didn’t throw rebounds back out there. I thought all four lines played hard and smart.”
Rowe’s performance on Saturday helped him earn the third star of the week in the Big Ten. He earned second star honors previously for his performance against Ohio State in December.
Game two started off rocky for Wisconsin — almost halfway into the first period, Arizona State was able to capitalize on the second of a five-on-three power play with a goal scored by James Sanchez.
Just two minutes later, however, the Badgers would find their momentum. Senior forward Linus Weissbach found the net during a power play, with the goal assisted by Dylan Holloway and Pelton-Byce.
Less than a minute later, Wisconsin would score on another power play opportunity. This time, sophomore forward Cole Caufield shot one in for the eight time this season, thanks to assists from Holloway and Weissbach.
The first period would end with the Badgers leading 2-1.
Late in the second period, Vorlicky would score his first goal of the season for Wisconsin, with the assist from Pelton-Byce and Cole Caufield.
The Sun Devils tightened things up with a goal halfway through the third period to make it a 3-2 game — Michael Mancinelli found the net from an assist by senior forward and former Badger Sean Dhooghe.
That effort, however, would not be enough. Senior forward Jason Dhooghe and junior forward Brock Caufield both scored empty-net goals at the end of the period, allowing Wisconsin to walk away with a 5-2 victory.
This series sweep brings Wisconsin their third of the season and victorious in four out of their last five games. Weissbach credited their recent success to battling together as a team.
“We’re not wandering off as individuals, we’re sticking to the game plan every game,” said Weissbach. “We've been killing penalties really well and tonight we got rewarded on the power play too. If we get those two going as well as our team game I think we’ll have great success.”
Wisconsin will travel to Penn State on Thursday to face the Nittany Lions for their second series this season.