Men's hockey: All knotted up

Badgers skate to 2-2 tie with Minnesota-Duluth

There are a couple different ways to look at the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team's second consecutive tie in Western Collegiate Hockey Association competition.

The glass-is-half-empty approach goes as follows: yet again the Badgers' offense was not able to pull through. Despite putting 38 shots on goal Friday night at Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin scored just twice and has now scored two goals or less in four consecutive games.

Wisconsin (21-10-4 overall, 16-8-3 WCHA) is now 1-4-3 in its last eight games after skating to a 2-2 tie with the Bulldogs (14-15-6, 10-13-4), and still could slip to fourth place in the league standings if a loss in Saturday night's series and regular season finale is matched with a Minnesota win at Michigan Tech. The Gophers (23-12-1, 16-10-1) won 4-2 Friday night to draw with two points of third-place UW.

The glass-is-half-full approach goes like this: the Badgers finally got something going on the power play, netting a pair of man-advantage goals in the first period after going 0-for-15 in their previous three games and 2-for-34 in their previous seven contests. The 2 of 5 performance Friday was a step in the right direction.

Wisconsin also maintained a somewhat bizarre domination at the DECC, having gone 11-1-1 in its last 13 games at Duluth.

The Badgers out-shot Duluth 38-29 and held a one goal lead on two occasions, but could not quite hold on to either.

UW opened the scoring with two seconds left in a 5-on-3 power play, when Jake Dowell took a pass from Ross Carlson on the doorstep and deposited it into an effectively open net at 6:38 in the first period, for his first power play goal since Dec. 10.

Duluth, though, tied it with a power play goal of its own 2:25 later, when Blair LeFebvre took advantage of Dowell's defensive-zone turnover and beat UW netminder Bernd Bruckler.

Wisconsin struck on the power play again, however, at the 14:06 mark in the first period, when Kyle Klubertanz' wrister weaved its way through screens in front of UMD goalie Isaac Reichmuth for his first goal since Nov. 5.

UMD tied it again just 4:35 into the second period, when Travis Gawryletz notched his third goal of the season.

Reichmuth and Bruckler made sure the game remained tied from there. Reichmuth finished with 36 saves; Bruckler with 27.

The Bulldogs clinched sixth place with the tie and now know that they will travel to face fifth-place North Dakota (17-13-5, 12-12-3) in the first round of the WCHA playoffs next week. Box Score

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