A late rally wasn’t enough for the UW men’s hockey team who fell 3-2 at the hands of No. 2 Minnesota Friday night at the Kohl Center.
It was the Badgers who drew first blood thanks to Nic Kerdiles who pounded home a loose puck at 14:32 of the first period, giving UW a 1-0 advantage.
The Gophers found a timely answer, courtesy of Sam Warning who lit the lamp just over four minutes later, to knot the game at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
Minnesota took its first lead of the game thanks to another power play goal. This time, it was Nick Bjugstad who sniped a slapper past Joel Rumpel to give the Gophers a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish,
Seth Ambroze gave UM some insurance with his goal 12:38 into the third, marking the Gophers’ third tally of the night on the power play.
With just over a minute left in the contest, Tyler Barnes scored with the extra attacker and brought the Badgers within one with his seventh goal of the season.
Even with goaltender Joel Rumpel remaining on the bench, the Cardinal and White were unable to draw even.
Rumpel made 40 saves while taking the loss, but the effort that he put forth drew the attention of the coaching staff.
“We had a quick analysis in the coaches’ room about the things we liked tonight and he was at the top of the list,” Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said. “He gave us a chance.”
The Gophers out-shot the Badgers 43-30 in the game and finished the night 3-4 on the power play.
The two teams will polish off their regular season series Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
“There are lessons learned from this game,” Eaves said. “We have that natural reaction that we have to go in there, fix those things, and play better. Play a better game.”