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Badgers get needed sweep of Michigan with wild 6-4 victory

As Trent Frederic has gone, so have the Wisconsin Badgers as of late. That was never more evident than on Saturday night, as Frederic netted a pair of goals en route to a wild 6-4 victory over Michigan. 

The win secured a sweep of the weekend sweep and continued to keep UW’s hopes of a Big Ten title alive and well. More importantly there was no damage done to the fragile PairWise ranking either.

Just how wild was this one?

Wisconsin took leads three times in the game, only to see Michigan come right back to tie the game up within a minute two out of those three times.

Frederic was the man early on, scoring the fastest goal in Wisconsin history just eight seconds in to the game. However, he was joined in the two-goal scoring party by the unlikeliest of names for Wisconsin — senior Aidan Cavallini.

The senior not only had his first two-goal game of his career, but also the first two goals inside the Kohl Center and move to six goals on the season overall.

Fredric’s goal came fast and was just the start of a crazy night ahead. Wisconsin’s early lead was short-lived though, with Michigan answering back just 35 seconds later to tie the score at 1-1.

Michigan took the lead just four minutes later as Cutler Martin put home a wrister in front of the net.

It was just the start of a rough night in net for both goaltenders, who combined to stop just 57 of 66 shots between the two teams.

The wild first period wouldn’t end without Wisconsin evening things up of course, as Frederic made a great individual play and beat Zach Nagelvoort to make it 2-2 at the 17:51 mark of the period.

If you want crazy, then Wisconsin’s second lead of the game was all sorts of crazy. That’s because it came from Cavallini and just so happened to be his first goal inside the Kohl Center.

The senior made a huge hit to spring the offensive play and finished it off with a poke of the puck at the side of the net. Wisconsin led 3-2 at the 2:01 mark of the second period.

Wisconsin’s defense struggled inside their own zone for most of Saturday night. The passing was weak and nearly cost the Badgers more than the two goals it did in the first period.

However, it would be UW’s play off the face-off that did them in late in the second period. Michigan won a face-off in the offensive zone and Joseph Cecconi fired a slap shot past Jurusik for his fist collegiate goal and a 3-3 tie game.

Wisconsin’s offense wasn’t done bailing out a bad night on the defensive end. Another unexpected goal scorer popped up for the Badgers, as Jake Linhart crashed the net hard and got the puck home at the 7:36 mark of the third period.

UW’s lead didn’t last long once again, as Adam Winborg knocked home his sixth goal of the season less than a minute later.

Naturally, Wisconsin had an answer as Peter Tischke went backhand through the legs of a defender and the five-hole of Nagelvoort from midway between the circles for a 5-4 lead at the 11:03 mark of the third period.

What would a crazy night be without Cavallini winning a skating race down the ice to tap in the final goal of the night? That’s exactly what he did, avoiding a certain icing call and turning a 5-4 game in to a 6-4 comfortable lead with just 35.6 seconds to play in the game.

UW will travel across the border to Minneapolis next weekend with a first-place Big Ten battle brewing between the Badgers and Gophers. Both games are scheduled for a 7p.m. CT start with Fox Sports Wisconsin on the broadcast (FS Wisconsin Plus on Friday night).

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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