HOUGHTON, Mich. — In the second overtime thriller of the weekend, Michigan Tech defeated Wisconsin, 3-2, Saturday night to sweep the Badgers.
MTU captain Brett Olson netted the game winner 20 seconds into overtime play after coming around the net and sneaking the puck into Joel Rumpel’s unprotected five-hole.
The win gives the Huskies their first 4-0 start in over 30 years and their first sweep of Wisconsin in four seasons.
“I’m not speechless, but I expected to win two games this weekend,” said Huskies head coach Mel Pearson.
Tanner Kero started off the night’s scoring with a power play goal for MTU at the 9:02 mark of the opening period. With a man-advantage due to Badger defender Justin Shultz serving time for cross checking, Kero redirected a shot from Daniel Sova to give the Huskies the 1-0 lead.
The first period closed with the Badgers trailing for the fourth time this season.
Five minutes into the second period, the Huskies came close to attaining a two-goal lead. Blake Pietila crashed the net and the puck was tipped in by a Badger defenseman, but after the officials reviewed the play, Pietila was found to have made contact with Rumpel, and the score remained 1-0.
Keegan Meuer put the Badgers on the score sheet for the first time of the night at 9:49 into the period. Meuer took a shot from the slot, which ricocheted off the post towards the left dot and Meuer was there to pick up his own rebound and tie up the game.
The third period began with the 1-1 tie, but would be soon broken.
Three minutes into the third period, MTU’s Jacob Johnstone ended the tie, netting his third goal of the season in redirecting a pass from Pietila over Rumpel’s left shoulder.
Rumpel finished with 25 stops on the night.
Alex MacLeod was whistled for a five-minute major boarding call at 7:46, but the Michigan Tech defense would prove itself, allowing only one shot on net during the penalty kill.
The Badgers came close to tying the game, but after the second disallowed goal of the night, the Huskies kept their 2-1 lead.
It seemed the Huskies would take the win in regular play, but the Badgers continued to put up a fight and tied the game for the second time of the night with only two minutes left in the period.
On a rush into the Huskies’ zone, Tyler Barnes, off a pass from Mark Zengerle, sent the puck behind Josh Robinson (21 saves), sending the game into overtime.
The Badgers entered their fourth overtime of the season, but Olson’s goal would quickly put an end to the game, giving the Badgers their third overtime loss of the season.
Leaving Houghton with two close losses, UW head coach Mike Eaves still looked for the positives in the losses.
“We learned a lot about our team,” said Eaves. “We continue to learn, we continue to see what guys are going to play together and how they mix and match.”
The Badgers head back to Madison to prepare for their next series against North Dakota, while the Huskies will be on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Bemidji State next weekend for more WCHA play.