Wisconsin tops Gophers 3-2 to split series

The puck is dropped in the series finale between the Gophers and Badgers. (Photo credit Gophers hockey via Twitter.)

The Wisconsin Badgers battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits and beat the Minnesota Gophers 3-2 on Saturday, avoiding a sweep at Mariucci Arena.

Trent Frederic scored his eighth goal of the year for the Badgers in the third period, and Wisconsin killed a late penalty to clinch its fourth win in the Big Ten.

With 2:31 to play and Wisconsin clinging to a 3-2 lead, Badgers forward Jason Dhooghe was called for tripping to put Minnesota on the power play.

Despite a flurry of chances, the Gophers couldn’t put one past goaltender Jack Berry.

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“I thought we played way better tonight than we did last night,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “We just couldn’t score.”

Minnesota’s freshman phenom Casey Mittelstadt drew first blood three minutes into the game, beating Wisconsin goaltender Jack Berry over the shoulder to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

The Badgers tied it several minutes later when Matthew Freytag finished off a pass from Frederic for the junior’s fifth goal of the year.

Goals from Minnesota defenseman Jack Sadek and the Badgers’ Seamus Malone knotted the game 2-2 heading into the third period, before Frederic sent the eventual game-winner into the net.

Berry was impressive all night between the pipes. He made 40 saves, including a clutch stop on a first-period penalty shot by Jack Ramsey.

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Minnesota (10-7-1, 4-5-1) visits Ohio State next weekend, while the Badgers (10-7-2, 4-3-1) return home to host first-place Notre Dame.