Chicago — Notre Dame hockey’s introduction to the Big Ten has been a breeze so far, but that came to an end on Sunday as the Badgers blanked Notre Dame 5-0 at the United Center.
The win avenged a 4-2 defeat in the series opener on Friday night in South Bend, Ind. and was just the fourth win in the last 10 games for the Badgers.
Wisconsin was playing with a heavy heart though, with the loss of legend and close friend of Tony Granato, Jim Johannson, earlier in the day. Granato was thankful for his players picking him up when he didn’t feel like he could coach this game.
Granato on loss of Jim Johannson: “I just said thank you to the players. I didn’t want to coach today & I didn’t have to thank to them.”— talkingBadgers (@talkingBadgers) January 21, 2018
Freshmen were the story for the Badgers, who got a three-point night from Sean Dhooghe and two points from Wyatt Kalynuk in the 5-0 win.
Kalynuck’s second goal of the season was the game-winner, while Dhooghe wrapped things up with the fifth goal with just seconds to play.
Sophomore netminder Jack Berry pitched his third shutout of the season. He stopped all 40 shots faced on the night en route to getting the win.
Wisconsin maintained a perfect record in the state of Illinois with the win, improving to 11-0-0 since 1963. It was also just the 15th win ever against the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
The win was also Wisconsin’s first against Notre Dame since a 7-0 win over the Irish when the two were last members of the same conference back on February 28, 1981.
UW opened up the scoring as Kalynuk (2) went nearly coast-to-coast for a wrap-around goal at the 15:07 mark of the first period. Assists went to Jake Linhart and Jason Dhooghe.
The goal came just over 30 seconds after the Badgers had killed off their first penalty of the game, following their own opening power play.
Ryan Wagner stopped that with :53 seconds left though as he was called for a clear cross-check in front of the Irish net.
Notre Dame had 1:07 on its power play and got little out of it, but it seemed to slow all momentum the Badgers had.
The two teams traded good offensive opportunities all period long, as UW edged the Irish in shots 17-16.
Notre Dame’s final shot of the period was easily the best effort, but Berry stoned Cam Morrison in a one-on-one situation to end the chances to tie the game up in the first period.
Things slowed down in the second stanza, at least through the first 10 minutes or so.
But, a series of fortunate events lead to Wisconsin doubling its lead.
With the Badgers killing off a penalty, defender Tyler Inamato laid out for a block deep in his zone, took one off the helmet, and the turnover that resulted was to Wisconsin’s favor.
Assistant captain Trent Frederic went up ice and coolly sent home a one-on-one effort to double the Badgers lead at 2-0. The short-handed goal came at the 14:09 mark unassisted.
Wisconsin’s offense woke up from there, culminating in Seamus Malone ripping a high shot past the ND goaltender for a 3-0 lead with just 48.2 seconds left in the 2nd period. It was his ninth goal of the season.
Assists went to Kalynuk (18) and Sean Dhooghe (10).
Shots in the period were in UW’s favor at just 13-10 after a blistering pace to the first period.
Wisconsin wasn’t done scoring though, as they poured in two more in the final stanza. However, they had to wait until the final minute for more offense and used a great defensive effort to hold the Irish off the scoreboard themselves.
The fourth goal came via the power play, as Linus Weissbach put in his 7th goal of the season at the 19:23 mark of the period. Ryan Wagner (13) and Cameron Hughes (10) were credited with assists.
The cherry on top. 🍒 pic.twitter.com/114l2OW0ba— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 21, 2018
Wisconsin made sure to take advantage of another Irish mistake just seconds later as Malone picked the pocket of the Irish and Dhooghe raced in on net for the easy goal. His goal came at the 19:53 mark of the third period. Seamus Malone got his ninth assist on the goal.
Another one, just for good measure pic.twitter.com/QqE2UsNYlR— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 21, 2018
The Badgers will return to the ice to take on Penn State at the Kohl Center. Puck drop for the series opener is scheduled for Friday night at 8:07 CT.
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