DENVER — Robbie Earl’s third goal of the series at the 14:08 mark of the third period helped No. 4 Wisconsin escape with a 3-3 tie against No. 3 Denver in an exciting WCHA game Saturday at Magness Arena.
Jon Foster scored two goals for the Pioneers (21-6-2, 16-4-2 WCHA), who remain unbeaten in their last nine games. Wisconsin’s record goes to 20-8-2, 15-6-1. The Pioneers remain second in the WCHA with 34 points, while Wisconsin is third with 31.
Denver owned a 3-1 lead after Foster scored his second goal of the game on the power play at 8:06 of the final stanza. After Kevin Ulanski blocked a Wisconsin shot, Foster skated the puck into the Wisconsin zone and ripped a wrist shot that deflected off the glove of Wisconsin’s Bernd Bruckler and into the net.
But Wisconsin’s Joe Pavelski answered with his first goal of the series at 12:35 to set up Earl’s game-tying goal at 14:08. Earl’s wrist shot, off a faceoff win by teammate Adam Burish, beat Denver’s Peter Mannino high to the glove side.
The Pioneers found some extra energy at the end of regulation and outshot Wisconsin, 4-0, in the extra session, but could not convert the winning goal.
Mannino (28 saves) and Bruckler (30 saves) both played well in net. Mannino’s winning streak ended at eight games, but the freshman is unbeaten in his last nine contests.
Wisconsin started the game with extra jump and A.J. Degenhardt scored the game’s first goal at 16:49 of the first period. The Badgers outshot Denver, 12-9, and Bruckler made all nine saves in the period.
Denver tied the score with a five-on-three power-play goal from Luke Fulghum at 7:45 of the second period, when Fulghum’s one-timer from the left circle beat a helpless Bruckler. Brett Skinner earned his team-leading 27th assist on the goal.
Foster gave Denver its first lead with a goal at 10:51. Foster crashed the net and rapped in a goal that was confirmed by video replay.
Mannino made a big save on a power-play blast by Ryan MacMurchy, and Earl hit his second post of the game in the period. Denver outshot Wisconsin, 8-6, and held the 2-1 lead heading to the final period.
Denver won the shot battle, 33-31, and held Wisconsin to an 0-for-6 effort on the power play. The Pioneer penalty kill excelled all weekend and stopped all 11 Wisconsin power-play opportunities.