Badgers salvage split, top Gophers 3-1

MADISON, Wis. — Lakeville, Minn., native Josh Ess broke a one-goal tie midway through the third period, as No. 20 Wisconsin snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over No. 16 Minnesota on Saturday at Kohl Center.

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Ess scored the game-winning goal at 10:20 of the third period, ringing a wrist shot off the post to put the Badgers up 2-1.

It was the sophomore defenseman’s first goal of the season, and first point since getting an assist in the Badgers’ 7-1 win over St. Lawrence on Oct. 20.

Sophomore forward Brannon McManus got the Gophers on the board first, blasting a slapshot past Wisconsin goaltender Daniel Lebedeff on the power play at 11:15 of the first period.

The freshman netminder stood tall the rest of the way, finishing with 32 saves.

The Badgers answered with a power-play goal of their own late in the first period, when sophomore forward Sean Dhooge redirected sophomore defenseman Wyatt Kaynuk’s wrist shot at 18:00.

Freshman forward Jack Gorniak tacked on an empty-net goal with just over 30 seconds to play and securing a much-needed split for the Badgers, who were coming off a two-game sweep at North Dakota.

Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Gophers outshot the Badgers 33-32.

Now 5-5, the Badgers hit the road next weekend for another Big Ten matchup, this time against Ohio State.