Leading up to the weekend series with Minnesota State Mankato, Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves felt that the wind was at his team’s sails.
Well, the Badgers swept the 11th-ranked Mavericks and continue to cruise as their unbeaten streak has reached 10 games, making a little bit of history in the process.
Friday night saw UW emerge as a 4-3 victor in overtime.
Joe Faust lit the lamp for the first time this season at the 18:02 mark of the first period to give the Badgers and early 1-0 advantage.
The edge was short lived, however, as Matt Leitner answered for the Mavericks with a power play score just over a minute late to knot the game at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
Ryan Little put UW ahead late in the second period with his third goal of the season.
The 2-1 lead held until the 8:59 mark of the third period when Tyler Elbrecht helped MSU pull even once again.
Jefferson Dahl found the back of the net with 3:39 remaining in the contest to put the Badgers up 3-2.
But once again, the Mankato drew even in short order. Leitner came to the rescue again with his second score of the game at 18:09 of the third.
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With only 32 seconds remaining in overtime, John Ramage beat MSU goaltender Stephon Williams to give Wisconsin its first conference overtime road win since 2006. It was the Badgers’ only shot of the period.
Dahl and Ryan Little each finished the game with a goal and an assist, while Sean Little tallied a pair of helpers.
Landon Peterson stopped 30 shots to pick up the win for Wisconsin and improve his record to 4-2-2 on the campaign.
The series finale brought more late-game dram as Wisconsin edged the Mavericks 2-1.
Dahl picked up his second goal of the weekend late in the second period to help the Badgers draw first blood for the second night in a row.
Roughly midway through the final stanza, Leitner collected his third score of the series to help Mankato draw even. The Mavericks eventually forced overtime.
Once again, it was Ramage to the rescue in extra session. This time, the senior defenseman scored with just six seconds left on the clock.
UW came out on top despite being out-shot 36-26 in the game, including 16-3 in the third period.
Ramage led the offensive charge with a goal and an assist. Sean Little posted two assists for the second consecutive night. Joel Rumpel made 35 saves in a winning effort.
The sweep marks Wisconsin’s first ever two-game series sweep in Mankato.
With the wins, the Badgers (8-7-5, 6-5-5 WCHA) are now 7-0-3 in their last 10 contests and are above the .500 mark for the first time this season.