Badgers fall short in battle with No. 1 Notre Dame
Frederic and Baker score in 4-2 loss
Jan. 19, 2018
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A strong start by the top team in the nation was too much to overcome for the No. 18 Wisconsin men’s hockey team, who dropped a 4-2 decision to No. 1 Notre Dame on Friday night at Compton Family Ice Arena.
Wisconsin (11-12-13, 5-8-2-0 Big Ten) outshot the Fighting Irish (19-3-1, 13-0-0-0 Big Ten) by a 35-29 margin, but the first period proved to be the difference in the game.
Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead after a strange series of events. After senior Cameron Hughes scored a short-handed goal for the Badgers, the officials reviewed a play 1:17 earlier in which it appeared Notre Dame had hit the crossbar. The review showed that the puck had actually crossed the goal line, which gave Notre Dame a goal at 7:08 and negated the Badgers’ tally.
The Fighting Irish doubled their lead, 2-0, on a breakaway goal at the 11:51 mark.
The Badgers got on the scoreboard with the clock showing 17:56 after sophomore Trent Frederic was pulled down by Mike O’Leary on a breakaway. Frederic scored on the ensuing penalty shot, drawing the puck across the slot and going five-hole on goaltender Cale Morris.
The scoring in the period continued as Notre Dame regained a two-goal lead with 46.8 seconds to play in the frame.
The 3-1 score would hold through the second period and well into the third, but at the very end of the scoreless second period, a hit on freshman Josh Ess gave the Badgers a five-minute power play that would carry into the final frame.
Wisconsin did not capitalize on the man-advantage, but Tarek Baker made it 3-2 just after the UND major expired, grabbing the rebound from a Max Zimmer shot and slipping it between Morris and the post at 4:17.
The Badgers battled to try and force Notre Dame’s first overtime in Big Ten play, but an empty-net goal for the Fighting Irish with 38.5 seconds remaining put the game just out of reach for the Badgers.
Senior goaltender Kyle Hayton made 25 saves in the loss.
Notes to Know
-Both Trent Frederic and Tarek Baker scored their 10th goals of the season, sharing the team lead in goals.
-Frederic scored the Badgers third penalty-shot goal of the season with his first-period tally.
-The Badgers outshot UND, 35-39, including an 11-6 margin in the final period.
-Wisconsin went 0-for-3 on the power play while Notre Dame went 1-for-6
-Notre Dame extends its winning streak to 16 games.
Straight From the Rink
Head Coach Tony Granato
On his gut reaction to the game
“I thought we played really well. You get a bad break on the first one, it goes in, we play and we score. You think you’re up 1-0, you’re down 1-0. That’s the way the game started, that’s the way the bounces went. We dominated the chances, I know the shots were pretty close but the way we played was really solid.”
On Notre Dame’s first goal
“It was (a kick in the gut). But the good thing was, I thought our play did not fall. I thought play was outstanding. They capitalized on their chances, let’s face it you give them a breakaway, they score. We had four breakaways, they called one offsides … must be playing pretty well to have four breakaways in one period. But not good enough to find a way to solve their goalie as well as we would have liked.”
On paying the price for the first period
“They’re the first-place team for a reason. They found another way to play solid enough around their goalie to win. Give them credit, they’re on that run for a reason.”
Senior forward Cameron Hughes
On the swing from scoring a goal to being down 1-0
“It kind of sucks. It’s hockey. They scored. It is what it is. I thought we responded well. We came back and had a couple good shifts and kind of dealt with it. It’s a tough break, but it is hockey.”
On playing well but not getting the result
“They’re not on a 16-game win streak for no reason. They’re a good team. Can’t really give them anything or they’ll make you pay. We got to our game there maybe a little late, but there’s a lot of things we can build on from our play.”
On penalties breaking the flow of the game
“We talked about that, a few things we need to do better. Discipline was definitely one of them. A few turnovers too. It is fought when you’re chasing a game, you want to be on the offense and not killing penalties. We have to clean some areas up and win that way.”
Freshman forward Linus Weissbach
On the swing from scoring a goal to being down 1-0
“It was obviously a momentum swing, but we played hard the whole game and those things can happen. There’s really nothing we can do. It definitely was a momentum swing, but we just have to find a way to get back.”
On the game as a whole
“I think we played really hard tonight. It’s two good teams out there and I thought we really gave ourselves a chance to win. But we had a couple mistakes there in the first half of the game that kind of took the air out of us and those things can’t happen in a game like this. We have to get better at that.”
Wisconsin and Notre Dame meet up in Chicago for the series finale on Sunday, playing a 2 p.m. tilt at the United Center. The Game will be televised on NBC Sports Network and broadcast on WIBA 1310. Tickets are still available for Sunday’s matchup.