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Badgers take down Michigan 5-2 to open series

After being swept last weekend by Penn State, the Badgers used three third-period goals to skate to a 5-2 victory over Michigan. 

It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the game, but Wisconsin turned a 2-2 contest in to an easy victory on the scoreboard. Trent Frederic got Wisconsin back in front with his second of the night at the 10:23 mark of the third period to get things started for UW.

Wisconsin took it to the Wolverines after that, pouring in a pair of goals in a matter of 18 seconds late in the period to seal the victory.

That coupled with Minnesota’s win meant the Badgers stayed just three points adrift of the top of the Big Ten standings.

The first goal of the game has been a big indicator of success as of late. UW came in to the game 7-0 in Big Ten play when scoring first and the last seven games have gone to the team to score first.

Wisconsin accomplished that feat on Friday night, but it wasn’t without controversy.

Trent Frederic put home his 11th goal of the season at the 10:53 mark of the first period, but it was a goal that would be reviewed as it appeared the net came off the moorings.

After review it appeared the net rocked, but never fully came loose and the goal counted.

Wisconsin had the better of the offensive action in the period as well, out-shooting Michigan 11-9.

The lead didn’t last long thanks to mistakes early in the second period. UW was called for too many players on the ice as they made a quick shift change in the first minute of the second period.

Cooper Marody pounced on the power play opportunity and cashed in the man-advantage at the 1:00 mark of the period to tie the game up at 1-1. It was just his fifth of the season, with star forward Jake Slaker getting his 14th assist on the year.

Wisconsin answered back later in the second period, as Cameron Hughes extended his point streak to 11 games with a power play goal at the 12:06 mark.

Controversy ensued just a few minutes later, as Wisconsin appeared to score only to have the ref call it off for intent to blow the whistle. Replay showed LaFontaine to let the puck go as he was heading in to his own net and the puck loose before the whistle blew.

However, the official stood by his intent to blow the whistle and no official review took place.

UW’s one-goal lead wouldn’t stand forever, as Michigan’s Evan Allen put his third goal of the season from point-blank range at the 8:48 mark of the third period to make it 2-2.

Frederic made sure the momentum was back on Wisconsin’s side with his 12th goal of the season nearly 90 seconds later.

It was all over after that, as Jack Berry played some of his best hockey between the pipes. He stopped 25 of 27 shots on the night and couldn’t really do much with the second goal right on his doorstep.

The win also stopped a five-game win streak for the Wolverines at the Kohl Center.

UW and Michigan will tangle in the series finale tomorrow night at 7p.m. CT. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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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