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Badgers drop heartbreaker to Bemidji in NCAA regionals

Wisconsin ends season 20-10-1

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Badger’s season came to an end on Friday with a 6-3 loss to Bemidji State in the first round of NCAA tournament. Despite a late comeback effort and numerous power-play opportunities, the Badgers weren’t able to overcome an early deficit.

The Bemidji State Beavers took an early lead at 6:41 in the first period with a goal from Ross Armour, assisted by Elias Rosen. The 1-0 lead provides a boost of momentum for the No. 4 seed.

Bemidji’s Rosen scored unassisted with just 15 seconds remaining in the first period to give his team a 2-0 lead heading into the second.

Wisconsin struggled early on in the first period and was tasked with killing two penalties and ended the first frame with a 16-7 shot deficit.

The Badgers were able to convert on a five-on-three power-play in the second period to spark their comeback with a goal from Linus WeissbachTy Pelton-Byce worked the puck around the perimeter to Cole Caufield, who set up Weissbach with a perfect one-time pass. The Badgers  got on the board, but still trailed, 2-1.

Ethan Somoza restored Bemidji’s two-goal lead at 14:42 of the second period, assisted by Aaron Miller.

Before the second period was over, Bemidji went up 4-1 with a short-handed goal from Owen Sillinger.

Goaltender Cameron Rowe took over for Robbie Beydoun at the start of the third period and BSU scored its fifth goal of the game at 6:08 of the final frame.

Cole Caufield scored on the power-play to give the Badgers a much needed boost in momentum at 8:19 in the third. Assisted by Dylan Holloway and Pelton-Byce, Caufield walked in the Beavers zone before finding an opening and firing a shot into the back of the net.

A second goal by Caufield made closed the game to 5-3, but the Beavers picked up an empty net goal in the final seconds to win 6-3 and advance to the regional finals and end the Badgers season.

Despite the loss, Wisconsin went 20-10-1 this season for its best record since the 2013-14 season.

Notes to know: 

  • Wisconsin finished the season with its fourth conference championship, winning its first Big Ten title.
  • Wisconsin dropped to 6-1-1 against Bemidji State all-time.
  • Cole Caufield’s three-point game gave him 30 goals and 52 points, the most in the nation in both categories.
  • Ty Pelton-Byce added two assists in the game.