Zengerle’s game-winner in overtime keeps UW’s title hopes alive

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The fifth-ranked Wisconsin men’s hockey squad got a key, 3-2 overtime victory at Penn State on Saturday night.

Entering the night trailing Minnesota by seven points in the conference race, the Badgers (21-9-2 overall, 12-5-1-0 Big Ten) would have been eliminated from the conference chase with a Gopher victory in regulation. That didn’t happen, as Ohio State topped Minnesota in a shootout to keep the Badgers alive — if they could earn three points against Penn State (6-24-2, 2-15-1-0 Big Ten). And, in the end, Wisconsin posted a key overtime victory.

Keegan Meuer, Nic Kerdiles and Mark Zengerle (overtime game-winner) scored the Badgers’ goals in Saturday’s much-needed win. Zengerle’s winner came with 21 seconds left in overtime.

It was the third straight road win for the Badgers and their fifth win in a row overall.

Wisconsin netminder Joel Rumpel improved to 18-4-1, making 41 saves on 43 shots. Matthew Skoff, his Penn State counterpart, finished with 23 stops on 26 Wisconsin shots.

The win means the Badgers will enter the season’s final weekend five points behind conference-leading Minnesota. The Badgers would clinch the Big Ten title with a road sweep of Michigan State and a pair of Minnesota road losses to Michigan. The Badgers will cap their regular season with a pair of games next weekend in East Lansing, Mich., against the Spartans.