In the first matchup of a border-battle weekend series, the Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team came out on top against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.
In a clash of the Big Ten’s top two programs, Wisconsin (18-10-1, 11-4-0-0 Big Ten) earned its third straight win to end a six-game Minnesota (20-9-2, 11-4-0-0 Big Ten) home win streak.
The Golden Gophers struck early and kept pressing hard in the first period, outshooting the Badgers 11-5. Vinni Lettieri got the home team on the board just 28 seconds into the game, with assists by Taylor Cammarata and Jake Bischoff.
Boston Bruins prospect and Badgers center Trent Frederic tied it up 3:42 into the second period with a shot from the circle. Corbin McGuire and Grant Besse were credited with assists and Frederic extended his point streak with his eighth goal in seven games.
A Gophers goal that never crossed the line was overturned after review before the Badgers’ Aidan Cavallini picked up a rebound for a short-handed goal to get UW’s first lead of the game. Cavallini’s goal continues his hot streak — the senior forward has scored six goals in his last 14 games after going scoreless in the first 64 games of his career.
After a bench penalty, Ryan Wagner scored with the man advantage to pad the Badgers’ lead heading into the second intermission. Wagner’s score marked Wisconsin’s 33rd power-play goal of the season, tying the school record set in 2011-12.
Lettieri sent a shot over the left shoulder of Badgers freshman goaltender Jack Berry for his second goal of the game, cutting UW’s lead to one in the third period. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Collins and Leon Bristedt assisted.
Defending Big Ten Goaltenter of the Year Eric Schierhorn took the loss.
First place in the Big Ten will belong to the winner when the teams face off again Saturday night at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Wisconsin PLUS.