Ahcan’s hat trick helps Badgers top Arizona State 7-6

The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the No. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils 7-6 on Friday behind a hat trick from sophomore forward Roman Ahcan.

Wisconsin needed all three of Ahcan’s goals, too, since his third score with 1:09 left in the game proved to be the difference.

It was Ahcan’s first career hat trick with the Badgers. The sophomore scored his first goal with four minutes left in the first period and added his second 54 seconds later. The Sun Devils got first-period goals from sophomore defenseman Josh Maniscalco and junior forward Johnny Walker to even the score at two apiece entering the first intermission.

Ahcan was joined in the scoring barrage by freshmen forwards Ryder Donovan and Alex Turcotte in the second period. Donovan found the back of the net with 14:23 remaining in the second and less than a minute later, Turcotte finished in traffic in front of the goal. Once again, Arizona State countered with two second period goals, one from Walker and another from sophomore forward Jordan Sandhu, to even the score at 4-4 after two periods.

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Turcotte scored again with 9:48 left in the game and junior forward Ty Pelton-Byce scored Wisconsin’s sixth goal 45 seconds later. Still, Arizona State junior defenseman Gvido Jansons scored with 14 minutes left in the period, followed by ASU senior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk finding the back of the net with 7:31 left to play.

That all set the table for Ahcan’s third goal of the game, a goal that turned out to be the game-winner in Wisconsin’s upset victory.

The Badgers and Sun Devils are set to play the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Kohl Center.