When the dust settled after Sunday night's Badger Hockey Showdown, one streak had ended, another one had begun, and emotions took control.
The story of the game was the play of Ferris State's junior All-American goaltender Mike Brown. Not only did he stop 38 of 39 shots sent his way, but his efforts also increased the frustration level of his opponent.
In fact, emotions ran so high that they eventually boiled over in the form of fists and fury which overshadowed a Ferris State 3-1 championship victory.
The Badger loss signified the end of their school-record unbeaten streak, which reached 15 games with a win Saturday night. For Ferris State, their streak continued. They are now unbeaten in seven straight games, tied for the second-longest string in the nation.
Ferris State beat the Badgers at their own game. The two teams play almost identical styles and with an outstanding goalie to lead the way, the Bulldogs looked much like the Badgers in different uniforms.
"We got beat by Badger hockey," Wisconsin assistant coach Troy Ward said. "They played Badger hockey and we didn't. We have done that to teams all year. We've out-harded them and we've out-competed them."
Scoring and emotion started early. The two teams traded goals in the first 12 minutes and the Badgers seemingly took the lead with just minutes to go.
Rene Bourque crowded the front of the goal and the puck went in, but the goal was disallowed because he had kicked it in and the score remained 1-1. It was the first of two goals to be waved off by the officials in this contest.
That situation got the emotions going and four players were handed roughing minors before the first period ended.
Ferris State regained the lead off of a face-off early in the second period. Mike Kinnie won the draw back to Carter Thomson who one-timed the puck past Badger goalie Brian Elliott to make the score 2-1. Face-offs were a problem for Wisconsin all night long.
Hard play continued and the emotion coming from the ice was evident well into the third period when another Badger goal was waved off.
This time it was Adam Burish and Nick Licari banging away at the puck in the crease. Although unheard, the ruling was that the official had blown his whistle to signify that the puck was covered, although a split second later the puck crossed the goal.
"I didn't hear a whistle," Adam Burish said. "I thought it should have been a goal but that kind of stuff happens and you have to go on."
Wisconsin had plenty of opportunities to score, but every time Brown was there to slam the door shut, including a one-on-one breakaway by Andrew Joudrey. But Brown showed everyone why he was an All-American and looked like the goalie that led his team to the CCHA title last season.
"I think the main thing is that we need to get a lot more traffic in front of him," Wozniewski said. "A few of them were laying right out there for us, but don't take anything away from him, he played really well tonight."
With 30 seconds left in the game, emotions finally got the best of everyone and a fight broke out with some of each team's best players on the ice.
"This game is full of passion and emotion," Ward said. "We're going to battle whistle to whistle and sometimes we're going to battle after the whistle."
For the Badgers it was tri-captain Andy Wozniewski, tri-captain and co-scoring leader Rene Bourque, and co-scoring leader Ryan MacMurchy who, along with three Bulldogs, each received double roughing minors and 10-minute game misconduct penalties.
"Emotion came into the picture and I lost my head a little bit," Wozniewski said. "We're not used to being down 3-1."
Although the minutes in this game were meaningless, it is the potential for suspensions for next week's series at Minnesota State which could prove costly to the already depleted Badgers. Not to mention they will have to try to bounce back from a loss, something they have not had to do in more than two months.