The Badger men's hockey team is peaking at the right time. Sixth-ranked Wisconsin extended its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) with a 3-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage Saturday night, locking up third place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in the process.
The Badgers, who prior to this weekend carried a 1-4-1 record in their last three trips to Alaska-Anchorage, fought hard for the win Saturday, scoring all three of their goals late in periods.
Senior defenseman Andy Wozniewski scored with just three seconds left in the second period to tie the game, firing a slapper past Seawolf goaltender Kevin Reiter from the point.
Then, with just three minutes, two seconds left in the third period, senior wing Rene Bourque found the net, his eventual game-winner putting Wisconsin up 2-1. Sophomore wing Ryan MacMurchy added an empty netter to seal the win.
Junior goaltender Bernd Brückler survived a flurry, making 25 saves, including 13 in a 14-shot second period. Alaska-Anchorage managed one goal all weekend, a power play tally from Dallas Steward in the second session.
Brückler has now given up only two goals total in the past four games, making 95 saves in the span.
Wisconsin finished February undefeated (5-0-1), its second undefeated month of the season (the team was 5-0-3 in November), and improved to 14-6-6 in the WCHA, 20-9-7 overall. After entering last weekend tied for third place with St. Cloud State, the Badgers exited this weekend six points ahead of the Huskies, who were swept at home by Colorado College, and within striking distance of second place.
Fifth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth was swept by No. 2 North Dakota Friday and Saturday, leaving the Bulldogs two points out of first place and just three ahead of Wisconsin. The Badgers host UMD in the final regular season series for both teams next weekend. A sweep would give Wisconsin sole possession of second place, one season after finishing a dismal eighth. The Badgers 14 league wins are already twice as many as they had last season, when they finished 7-17-4, 13-23-4.
Anchorage (7-18-3, 10-19-3), lost its eighth straight game.
Score by period
Shots on goal by period
UAA 1 - Dallas Steward (12) from Spence Gilchrist (5) and Charlie Kronschn (10), PPG, at 13:19.
UW 1 - Andy Wozniewski (6) from Jake Dowell (12) at 19:57.
UW 2 - Rene Bourque (14) from Tom Sawatske (5) and Ryan MacMurchy (11) at 16:58.
UW 3 - MacMurchy (14) from Ryan Suter (15), ENG, at 19:49.
UW - Bernd Bruckler (60:00) - 25 saves, 1 goal allowed
UAA - Kevin Reiter (58:47) - 25, 2