HOUGHTON, Mich. — Whether its inclement weather or hot goaltending, the third ranked Wisconsin Badgers have had their share of troubles during their last three trips to Houghton to face the Michigan Tech Huskies.
Tonight was no exception as the Huskies got superb goaltending from Kevin Genoe, who made 58 saves. The Badgers did manage two power-play goals to skate away with a 5-2 win at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
I think everybody stepped up tonight, said Badgers head coach Mike Eaves. I thought our team showed a lot of maturity tonight not pressing, not going outside the lines and trying to be a hero.
Jordy Murray scored what would stand as the game-winning goal 1:30 into the third period. The power-play goal was set up by a perfect pass from Derek Stepan to Murray as he cut to the net. Michael Davies also assisted on the goal.
Kevin (Genoe) was outstanding, said Huskies head coach Jamie Russell. Weve got a chance, tied. We win a period, we win the game. We used so much energy killing off [penalties] and it was tough sledding with that challenge we had.
The Huskies (5-25-1 overall, 4-21-0 in the WCHA) struck first as junior winger Bennett Royer fired a long shot that somehow eluded Badgers goaltender Scott Gudmandson and found the twine at 3:52. Captain Malcolm Gwilliam set up the goal, Royers fourth of the season and fourth in his last 12 games. Assistant captain Jordan Baker also assisted on the goal.
Podge Turnbull, playing for the first time since November due to the injury of tri-captain Blake Geoffrion, evened the game just under five minutes later with a tip past Genoe at 8:45 for his second goal of the season. Stepan took the initial shot that fluttered into the slot before Turnbull got a stick on the puck to help it past Genoe. Jake Gardiner also assisted on the goal.
The Badgers (20-8-4, 15-7-3) had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Huskies center Eric Kattelus was whistled for hooking and the Huskies bench took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct at 12:13. The Huskies penalty killers kept the Badgers from getting more than two shots through to Genoe. Genoe made 20 stops in the period.
Thats on me, it was really poor timing on my part, said Russell. The guys stepped up and bailed me out with just a huge penalty kill.
Assistant captain Brett Olson powered a rebound past Gudmandson at 16:54 to regain the lead for the Huskies. His team-leading 18th goal of the season came about because Gudmandson struggled with the initial shot from Gwilliam, which hit Gudmandson up on his left shoulder.
Sophomore defenseman Ricky Doriott also assisted on the goal.
Genoe remembered his hard hat again for the second period, making 25 stops on 28 Badgers shots. Davies fired three of his six shots during the second period. Badgers co-captain Ben Street fired four of his eight shots at Genoe in the period as well.
Street evened the game at 7:27 with a shot along the ice that eluded Genoe. The goal, Streets 13th of the campaign, was assisted by Davies and John Ramage. Davies faked a shot before feeding Street.
Baker took a bad penalty for boarding just 2:14 into the third, setting up a five-minute power play for the Badgers. It didnt take long for them to cash in.
Brendan Smith, the Badgers principle Hobey Baker candidate, extended the visitors lead to two with a slap shot at 2:55. Davies and Justin Schultz both assisted on the goal.
Genoe made another 13 saves in the final period, but gave the puck away late, costing the Huskies again.
Andy Bohmbach took a pass from Craig Smith and beat Genoe, whod turned the puck over behind his net, for the final goal at 17:38.
The Badgers finished 2-for-6 on the man advantage while holding the Huskies to no goals in three chances.
Gudmandson made just 20 stops for the Badgers in the victory, which clinched home ice in the first round of the WCHA playoffs for Wisconsin.