Wisconsin will take them as they can get them.
The Badgers tallied a power play goal on a deflection in front of the net in overtime Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Quinnipiac (2-3-0).
Wisconsin (2-3-0) has struggled to score goals this season, notching just four through the course of the three-game skid. Friday, the Badgers controlled the action for most of the evening but Bobcat goaltender Justin Eddy, fresh off a 51-save performance a week ago against Michigan, came up with 46 stops to keep the game close.
Eddy, though, did not do a good job covering rebounds, yielding plenty of second chances for Wisconsin. The Badgers scored both of their goals after Eddy failed to secure an initial save.
Late in the overtime session, Wisconsin defenseman Dan Boeser fired a puck toward the net and Andy Wozniewski, a defenseman playing forward on the power play, deflected the puck from the slot, handcuffing Eddy. The puck trickled through Eddy's pads and as the goalie spun to corral the puck he and a Bobcat defenseman inadvertently helped push the puck across the goal line.
Wozniewski, who is 6-5, 221 pounds, proved an imposing presence on the power play.
"It is something we talked about in the summer a little bit because he is such a big, strong young man," Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. "It looks like he is going to be there for a little while longer."
Rene Bourque tied the game in the second period with his first goal of the season.
Just five seconds into a Badger power play, Dan Boeser's shot from the slot caromed directly to Bourque, who put it past Eddy.
Bourque, the team's leading goal scorer last year, was relieved to find the net.
"It felt really good just to take the weight off my shoulders, just to kind of get that off my mind and quit thinking about it so much," Bourque said. "Boeser made a real nice play and the rebound came right to me."
The goal put the exclamation point on a wild 10-minute, 21-second sequence that included nine penalties, the bulk awarded to Wisconsin. Beginning at 4:13 in the second period, the Badgers spent more than eight minutes killing penalties, including 2:15 of 5-on-3 skating. Quinnipiac, though, only managed four shots on goal during the stretch, while the Badgers notched three quality short-handed shots, including a breakaway for Adam Burish a minute and a half into the first penalty. Burish tried to go 5-hole, but Eddy was true to the challenge.
Burish was called for the evening's most egregious penalty at the 7:58 mark in the second period, when he was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind.
"Their heart is in right place but there is a balance between smart and hard," said Eaves regarding the penalties. "So I love their passion but like the guys were saying after the game, ‘we have got to be smarter.'"
Wisconsin, though, skated as if they were on the power play during the stretch. The hard work paid off, resulting in a pair of tripping calls against Quinnipiac in a 38-second stretch that turned the Badgers lengthy penalty killing spree into what proved to be a pair of brief power plays.
"When we killed penalties our back were against the wall and it seemed to give us momentum," Eaves said. "We were like, ‘hey let's get it going here.' It was nice for something like that to happen. We talked about, ‘let's get the job done.' They went out did a great job."
With 4:22 left to play in the third period, Eddy stoned another breakaway, this time making a nice kick save on UW sophomore wing Nick Licari. Eddy was momentarily injured on the play after his teammate collided with him, pressing the back of Eddy's leg against the post.
Despite plenty of good chances, Wisconsin only managed one goal in regulation.
"There were rebounds there for us," Eaves said. "Our guys had a tendency and say, ‘I thought that was a pretty good pass I just made.' Meanwhile a shot has been taken a rebound is there and we are going, ‘oh there is a rebound.'"
Though Wisconsin controlled the action, Quinnipiac held a 1-0 lead after the first period.
Just moments after Eddy fended off a good Wisconsin scoring opportunity, Quinnipiac took advantage of an odd-man rush to score the game's opening goal with just 33 seconds left in the first period.
Bobcat forward Aaron Ludwig got a step on the Badgers defense in the slot and took a tape-to-tape pass from defenseman Joe Testa. Wisconsin freshman center Andrew Joudrey hooked Ludwig from behind but not before Ludwig flung a wrist shot on net, the momentum of which, along with Joudrey's hook, sent the two players sliding toward Wisconsin goalie Bernd Bruckler, just behind the puck.
The puck found a way between Bruckler's pads and began to skirt toward the goal line as Ludwig collided with Bruckler, causing Bruckler's left skate to give the puck an extra push on the way over the goal line. After a brief conference between referee Brad Albers and the goal judge, Ludwig was credited with his second goal of the season.
The shot appeared destined for a course to the net in any case, and Joudrey would have been called for a minor penalty had the goal not counted.
The tally marked the fifth time in as many games that the Badgers have yielded in a goal in either the first or last minute of a period.
Score by period
Shots on goal by period
QU 1: Aaron Ludwig (2) from Joe Testa (1) at 19:27.
UW 1: Rene Bourque (1) from Dan Boeser (2) and Jake Dowell (2), PP, at 12:39.
UW 2: Andy Wozniewski (1) from Boeser (3) and Bourque (2), PP, at 1:38
QU: Justin Eddy, 46
UW: Bernd Bruckler, 16