MADISON, Wis. — After a shocking 4-2 loss to Michigan Tech Friday, No. 1 Wisconsin responded exactly how head coach Mike Eaves was hoping they would, posting a 7-0 drubbing in a penalty-laden affair at the Kohl Center.
From the get-go, it was clear that the Badgers, who had been outworked the night before, were not about to make the same mistake twice.
“I thought we got outworked,” Tech head coach Jaime Russell. “It was the polar opposite of last night when our penalty outworked their power play.”
Wisconsin didn’t allow a Husky shot until more than 13 minutes into the game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead over that span, and never looked back.
It took the Badgers just six minutes to get on the scoreboard as senior captain Adam Burish lit the fire under his team with a shorthanded goal.
“It was a great response by these young men tonight, led by their captain who goes out and a shorthanded goal right away” head coach Mike Eaves said.
Joe Pavelski brought the puck into the zone for UW, sent a backhand pass towards the slot that found the stick of Burish. The center slipped the puck under Michael-Lee Teslak’s leg for a 1-0 lead.
It was just the first blunder of the night for Teslak who, after making 31 saves in Friday night’s win, was pulled after less than 12 minutes of action Saturday.
Robbie Earl doubled the lead for the Badgers less than three minutes later as Michigan Tech defenseman John Scott could not control the puck on a UW power play.
“You’ve got to reach that level where you respect your opponent and come out and play every night, especially in this league where any team can beat any team,” Earl said.
Earl took advantage of the turnover in the Wisconsin zone by throwing the puck on net. Teslak got a leg pad on it, but it found its way into the goal.
Thanks to a five-minute major penalty and disqualification of Tech’s Jake Wilkens midway through the period, Jake Dowell increased the UW lead to 3-0 at 11:47.
After Dowell skated the puck in from Teslak’s left, he made an initial save, but Dowell poked the puck through his legs and ended Teslak’s night.
“I thought he deserved the opportunity to get his first back-to-back starts,” Russell said. “I don’t think Mike’s ready to play back-to-back games as a freshman goalie.”
The Huskies finally got a shot on Wisconsin netminder Brian Elliott at 13:37, just one of four shots in the opening 20 minutes. The period also saw 33 minutes worth of penalties.
Twenty more minutes were assessed in the second, as the Badgers tacked on one more goal.
Kyle Klubertanz got his second tally in as many weekends and second of the year with a one-timer from the point on a UW power play to send the team into the locker room with a 4-0 lead.
After going 0-for-8 on the man-advantage Friday night, the Badgers were 3-for-9 Saturday.
“A lot of it had to do with our power play getting back on track,” Klubertanz said. “Things were clicking out there.”
The chippy play climaxed in the third period as the teams finished with a combined 151 penalty minutes with four players were disqualified for fighting. It seemed to stem from a play at the end of Friday’s game.
Amidst the dust of 98 third-period penalty minutes, the Badgers piled it on over the final period as Earl and Klubertanz each picked up their second goals of the evening and rookie Jack Skille snapped off his sixth of the year.
“I think that the guys, after last night’s game, they had extra reasons to stay focused and put an exclamation mark at the end of the game,” Eaves said.
Klubertanz finished the night with two goals and two assists.
Lost in the game was a second straight Saturday shutout for Elliott who, though he only had to make 17 saves, came up with a few big ones.
Nolan finished with 25 saves in more than 48 minutes of relief work.
The win salvaged two points for Wisconsin and kept it six points ahead of Minnesota atop the WCHA standings.
“[Last night] bothered me all day,” Burish said. “Slipping up like that left a sour taste in my mouth and it still does a little bit. But we’ve got some time off and hopefully I can blow it off here.”
While Wisconsin gets a break from WCHA action, Michigan Tech hosts Minnesota State for a league series next weekend.