Penalty shot foils Bruckler, Badgers

Minnesota's two third-period goals provide Gophers with 3-2 win

Bernd Bruckler had Minnesota's number for most of Friday night. But too many chances and a rare penalty shot were too much for the Badgers to overcome.

Just more than five minutes into the third period, Wisconsin had an opportunity to break a 2-2 tie in its favor on the power play. Minnesota sophomore wing Danny Irmen, though, pounced on a loose puck and cruised up ice before Badger forward Andrew Joudrey tripped him up from behind, resulting in a penalty shot.

Irmen converted, giving Minnesota a 3-2 lead at 5:28 in the third period.

The Gopher edge held up, giving No. 5 Wisconsin its second consecutive loss after opening the season with five consecutive wins. The Badgers are now 3-2-0 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while Minnesota improves to 3-2-0 in the league and 6-2-0 overall.

Bruckler made a season-high 42 saves but allowed two third-period goals.

Gino Guyer knotted the game at two goals each just 11 seconds into the third period. He picked up a loose puck along the right boards, cut to the front of the goal and found room on Bruckler's far side for the equalizer.

Minnesota outshot Wisconsin 45-28 but Bruckler kept the Badgers in the contest, allowing just one goal in the first 40 minutes. He made 23 saves in the second period alone.

Joudrey and Kyle Klubertanz scored Wisconsin's two goals, but not before Minnesota forward Ryan Potulny deflected defenseman Alex Goligoski's shot from the point past Bruckler at 14:22 in the first period.

That goal came shortly after Wisconsin unable to score on a five-on-three power play.

Wisconsin's best chance of the first period came while the Badgers were short-handed. Junior Nick Licari sped up ice and went in alone on Gopher goalie Kellen Briggs. The winger went to his left and put his shot off the post, off Briggs right leg and back off the post again.

Just 1:08 into the second, Joudrey tied the game with his first goal of the season. While four-on-four, Joudrey cut from the left point, took a pass from defenseman Davis Drewiske and beat Briggs with a backhand.

Klubertanz gave Wisconsin its only lead of the night with a power-play goal eight minutes into the second. Jeff Likens and Robbie Earl added assists on the one-timer from the left point.

Wisconsin held its one-goal lead until Guyer's shot 11 seconds into the third session.

Irmen's penalty shot goal five minutes later was the first allowed by Wisconsin since Paul Comrie of Denver scored on Graham Melanson at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on Feb. 13, 1998.

The Badgers conclude their series in Minneapolis Saturday night, with face off set for 7:07 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.

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