Badgers hockey closes regular season with 4-3 road win
MAR 15, 2014 6:48p ET
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Wisconsin men's hockey squad closed its regular season in style on Saturday afternoon, holding off Michigan State by a 4-3 margin.
One night after enduring an overtime setback in East Lansing, the Badgers (22-10-2 overall, 13-6-1-0 Big Ten) played with purpose on Saturday, bolting out to a decisive early advantage. Wisconsin seized a 4-0 lead by late in the first period, off goals by Nic Kerdiles, Gavin Hartzog, Sean Little and Grant Besse.
Michigan State then scored three unanswered goals, however, and closed to within a 4-3 score by the time Villiam Haag lit the lamp at 5:25 of the third period.
Fortunately for the Badgers, though, a defense spurred by Joel Rumpel's 29 saves eventually salted away their road victory.
Michigan State (11-17-7, 5-9-6-4 Big Ten) got 18 saves from goalie Will Yanakeff in a losing effort.
The Badgers finished 1-for-2 on the power play.
Wisconsin finishes the season second in the Big Ten, and will get a first-round bye before taking on the winner of the Michigan-Penn State game at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2014 Big Ten Tournament. The event takes place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.