Badgers split series with loss to Buckeyes

Wisconsin men's hockey team suffers its first conference loss of the season.

After skating to a 5-3 finish over the Buckeyes on Friday night, the Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey team fell short of a third consecutive sweep of a conference opponent with a 3-1 loss to Ohio State (12-9-1, 2-5-1 B1G). It is No. 9 Wisconsin's (14-7-1, 5-3-0 B1G) first conference loss in nearly two months.

A season-best 15,021 fans attended, many wearing white to participate in Wisconsin hockey's first-ever "White Out".

The Badgers' Mark Zengerle lit the lamp first halfway through the second period with assists from Frankie Simonelli and Brad Navin.

The Buckeyes countered just 98 seconds later with a goal from Nick Schilkey and pulled into the lead a few minutes later thanks to a follow-up goal by Nick Oddo with assists from Sam Jardine and Schilkey.

Darik Angeli sealed Ohio State's win with an empty net goal in the third period.

The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes 37-22 as both teams drew blanks with the man advantage.

Ohio State goaltender Christian Frey made 36 saves for the win. Badgers netminder Joel Rumpel allowed two goals and made 19 saves, snapping his seven-game winning streak and falling to 11-2-0 on the season.

"I think everyone in that locker room is bummed that we didn't get the win for that crowd. And that's something we talked about. Hopefully we have another opportunity when we play Minnesota in a few weeks to do that," Zengerle said.

"That's what you want as a hockey player and that's part of the luxury of playing at Wisconsin. You get that sort of thing."

Wisconsin travels to Michigan next Friday and Saturday for its first road games since Nov. 29-30 at Minnesota.