Big Ten Champions!!!!
Caufield scores twice, Rowe stops 40 in clinching win
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Wisconsin men’s hockey team (19-8-1, 17-6-1 Big Ten) are Big Ten regular-season champions!!!
Thanks to 40 saves by freshman goaltender Cameron Rowe and a pair of goals from the national goal-scoring leader Cole Caufield, the fifth-ranked Badgers skated to a 2-1 victory at Michigan State (7-16-2, 5-15-1 Big Ten) to clinch their first-ever Big Ten regular-season crown.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first period despite a couple close chances and power-play opportunities.
Both the Badgers and Spartans headed into the first period eager to strike first and break the 0-0 stalemate.
The Spartans finally broke the ice at 13:09 in the second period with a goal from Charlie Combs, assisted by Mitchell Lewandowski and Tommy Apap.
After failing on their first two power plays, the Badgers went on the man advantage with just a minute remaining in the second period. Cole Caufield took it from there, firing high short side in the period’s final minute to tie the game. Linus Weissbach and Ty Pelton-Byce got credit for the assists.
All tied at 1-1, the Badgers and Spartans headed into the final 20-minute stretch.
There it was Caufield again, who broke the tie at 7:49 in the third period. Dylan Holloway stole a MSU reversal behind the net and fed it while falling down to the slot. Caufield, all alone in front, slipped the puck past MSU goaltender Pierce Charleson to give the Badgers their first lead of the game.
Rowe came up with a couple crucial saves in the final minutes, leading the Badgers to a 2-1 win and the Big Ten regular season title.
Notes to know:
- This marks the Badgers’ first Big Ten regular-season title and fourth regular-season title in program history (1977, 1990, 2000, 2021).
- The Badgers also won the Big Ten tournament in 2014.
- Cameron Rowe leads all NCAA freshman goaltenders with a .943 save percentage and a 1.71 goals-against average.
Next Up: The Badgers will compete for the Big Ten Tournament championship as the No. 1 seed. The Badgers get a bye, but will open on Monday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. CT against the winner of Notre Dame-Penn State from Sunday’s quarterfinals. The event will take place at Compton Family Ice Arena in Notre Dame, Indiana.