Onto the championship game!!! Badgers win in OT
Cole Caufield nets game-tying goal, overtime winner
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The nation’s leading scorer Cole Caufield scored a power-play goal in the last five minutes of regulation and again six minutes, 50 seconds into over time to send the top-seeded Wisconsin men’s hockey team to the 2021 Big Ten Tournament championship game with a 4-3 victory over Penn State on Monday.
Wisconsin (20-8-1), backed by goaltender Robbie Beydoun’s 43 saves and contributions throughout its entire lineup, overcame a pair of third-period deficits to knock out upstart Penn State (10-12-0).
Despite a couple of power-play chances, Wisconsin and Penn State went scoreless throughout most of the first period until freshman forward Sam Stange broke the stalemate with just over a minute remaining on the clock. He finished after work from Dominick Mersch and Tarek Baker down low got him the puck to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead.
Penn State got on the board at 9:21 in the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Alex Limoges got credit for the goal on a redirection.
The Badgers and Nittany Lions headed into the third period tied at 1-1.
Penn State took their first lead of the game at 1:44 in the third period on a goal from Tim Doherty, assisted by Christian Sarlo and Alex Limoges. Badgers forward Dylan Holloway received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for contact to the head on the same play.
The Badgers killed off the five-minute penalty, giving them a boost in momentum as they headed into the final stretch of play.
Badgers’ captain Ty Emberson tied the score at 2-2 with a goal off the draw at 9:45 in the third. Tarek Baker won the offensive zone faceoff back to Mersch who found Emberson on the blue line in the perfect position to fire the puck past Penn State goaltender Oskar Autio.
The 2-2 tie was short-lived as Penn State’s Tim Doherty netted one at 11:50 in the third, assisted by Limoges.
Caufield took 17 seconds to make Penn State pay for a cross checking penatly at 14:07 to once again tie the game. Linus Weissbach held in a PSU clearing attempt with his left hand before he set up Caufield for his 10th power-play goal of the season.
With the score tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation, the Badgers and Nittany Lions headed to overtime to decide who gets a shot at the Big Ten tournament championship.
Cole Caufield decided. Owen Lindmark forced a turnover at the defensive blue line, then got the puck to Emberson, who found Caufield on the far blue line for a breakaway. Caufield, all alone at 6:50 of the extra fram, sunk the puck five-hole to win the semifinal, 4-3.
Notes to know:
- Cole Caufield’s 27 goals lead the nation by nine, coming in his seventh consecutive multi-point game.
- Sam Stange recorded his sixth goal of the season and first since Jan. 10 vs. Minnesota
- Dominick Mersch’s two assists mark his second multi-point game of the season
- Wisconsin reached 20 wins for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
The Badgers will compete in the Big Ten championship game on Tuesday at 7 p.m CT against the winner of the semifinal matchup between Michigan and Minnesota. Watch live on Big Ten Network or follow along on Twitter and Instagram at @BadgerMHockey and with live stats on UWBadgers.com.