MIchigan hockey blanks MSU

by | Dec 9, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments


MADISON, Wis. — In its final game of 2018, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team shutout Michigan State, 3-0, to secure its first series sweep since the opening weekend of the 2018-19 season on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

With the victory, Wisconsin (8-7-3, 4-3-3-1 B1G) is now tied for first in the Big Ten standings.

The Badgers began the night in the same fashion as Friday’s game after sophomore forward Sean Dhooghe scored his second power-play goal of the weekend to put Wisconsin up 1-0 early in the first period. Freshman defenseman K’Andre Miller and sophomore forward Linus Weissbach each picked up assists on the goal.

 

Wisconsin outshot the Spartans (6-9-1, 2-5-1-1 B1G) 11-4 in the middle frame, but couldn’t capitalize on any chances and settled for a one-goal lead heading into the final period.

Miller grabbed a goal of his own when he fired a feed from Dhooghe high into the left corner past MSU goaltender John Lethemon  to put the Badgers up 2-0 seconds into the third frame. The goal marked Miller’s seventh point in three games.

In the final minute of the series, senior forward Seamus Malone scored an empty-net goal to seal a the victory and sweep the Spartans.

In his first career shutout appearance, freshman goaltender Daniel Lebedeff notched 21 saves.

Notes to Know: 

  • This weekend’s result marks the first series sweep since the opening weekend of the 2018-19 season when the Badgers downed then-No. 12 Boston College, 3-0 and 7-5, to sweep the Eagles.
  • The Badgers extended their unbeaten streak to six games and have won three straight contests.
  • Following the Badgers’ two-win weekend against the Spartans, Wisconsin and No. 7 Ohio State (9-4-3, 4-2-2-2 B1G) are now tied for first in the Big Ten league standings with 16 points apiece.
  • For the first time ever in the 112-game all-time series, the Badgers have a winning record against the Spartans (55-54-3.

Straight from the Rink
Head Coach Tony Granato

On the 15+ shots on goal in the first period being the most of any period he’s coached at UW:
“I felt really good about our first period. We did have three power plays and those gave us some really good chances. When you come out of the power play 1-0 you feel like you’re in control of the game, even though you’re only up by one. Their goalie played really well. I thought we could’ve made it a little harder on him at times. He got to the top of the crease and saw most of the shots. It was a big win for us, and Daniel Lebedeff in the third period was outstanding. He didn’t have much work in the first two, but in the third one they had their push and we got into a little bit of penalty trouble. He was outstanding.”
 
On the growth that he’s seen from the team throughout the past three weeks:
“We weren’t happy with the outcomes of the North Dakota and Ohio State weekends. Not necessarily that we lost, but we just didn’t play well. We didn’t play the way we thought we were capable of playing. So we had this stretch coming up, going to Michigan and coming home to Penn State, two ranked teams, and then coming back to a scrappy team here today. We thought that if we’re going to make a push this season and get anything out of it, we’ve got to get going right now. Our leadership with [Peter] Tischke and Seamus [Malone] did some good things in the past few weeks to make sure the team was focused on what we thought we could do. Playing six games in a row in our conference, playing the way we did and not losing in regulation says a lot about our goaltending, about the play of our defense and about the contributions of all four lines. That’s been the most fun thing to see, is how each of the lines has found ways to contribute in lots of different ways. [Dominick] Mersch’s line tonight, that’s a good of a line that other teams are going to play against. They did a good job of neutralizing them to the best that probably any line has all year. And that’s three freshmen. You look at the freshmen D and they’ve had big nights both nights. K’Andre [Miller] scored both nights, Ty [Emberson] was great, and our whole D core was really outstanding through this six-game stretch.

Sophomore Forward Sean Dhooghe
On weekend sweep of Michigan State:
“We played connected as a unit of five and I thought everyone stayed on the same page. We worked hard this week in practice and I think that translated into success this weekend.”

On tonight’s team effort:
“Tonight’s game was as close a 60-minute effort as we’ve played this season. And I think that really showed in the score – with us putting three in their net and not allowing any goals in ours.

Freshman Defenseman K’Andre Miller
On tonight’s win:
“We played simple tonight. When we play our game, get pucks behind the defense and in the net – we’re a really hard team to play against.”

Up Next: The Badgers will take three weekends off before returning to the Kohl Center for a pair of non-conference games against No. 5 Denver on Jan. 4-5. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts.

 

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