Men's hockey: Badgers fall in OT

Turnover in opening moments of extra session leads to a UW loss

In the blink of an eye Saturday night, the No. 10 Wisconsin men's hockey team was handed its first loss of the season.

For the second straight night, St. Lawrence took the Badgers to overtime — but while UW got the fluky game-winning goal in Friday night's game, the Saints got one of their own Saturday.

With 13 seconds left on a Badger power play, Joe Pavelski won the faceoff to open the overtime period. But Tom Gilbert misplayed the puck, turning it over to Saints' forward Kyle Rank at the blue line. Rank made the veteran defenseman pay for it.

The junior fired a shot from the top of the right circle that ricocheted off goalie Brian Elliott's blocker pad and into the far side of the net, giving the Saints a 2-1 victory just 10 seconds into overtime.

Rank didn't even know he had scored until he circled around to the back of the net, but the celebration ensued.

"We're going to go through some growing pains like this," Pavelski said. "This was a growing pain weekend, it was tough."

"I guess it would have been some moral victory in taking two games to overtime," St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh said. "But psychologically, our team is at the point where we've been scratching and clawing for the past few years, and it's been very difficult for us to win games like this."

The Badgers had their chances down the stretch, including the final two minutes during a power play, but they could not capitalize.

"We had some scoring chances and we didn't bury them," UW head coach Mike Eaves said.

After what some may call a fluky game-winning goal by the Badgers Friday night, this seemed like a fitting end for such a courageous effort by the Saints.

"They're a real good team. We're excited to be able to come into their building and this atmosphere," Marsh said. "If you can't enjoy this, if this is not the epitome of college hockey, I don't know what is. And [we have] something to bring home to show for it."

While the win brought excitement for the Saints, it was a disappointment for the Badgers.

"You have to move on," Eaves said. "It's our second game of the season that I hope has 45 games and we'll learn our lesson."

It was another battle between two teams who had both fought hard the night before. After a slow start in the first period, the teams picked up the pace and the Badgers took the lead midway through the second period with a shorthanded goal of their own.

Andrew Joudrey played the puck off the boards — just trying to clear the zone—but the puck found its way to a streaking Pavelski, who skated in on goalie Justin Pesony and fired a shot over his glove to take the momentum.

The score would remain 1-0 until midway through the third period when the Saints took advantage of a power play and Brock McBride got his second goal of the weekend.

On the play, Drew Bagnall kept the puck from leaving his offensive zone, then fired a shot through traffic. McBride got his stick on it to redirect it past Elliott. It was déjà vu for McBride who got his first goal as a Saint on a redirect Friday night.

St. Lawrence was 0 for 7 on power play opportunities before finally taking advantage at 10:00 of the period.

The penalty came after Wisconsin winger Robbie Earl was given a five-minute major and game misconduct. The loss of Earl obviously affected the Badgers over the final 12 minutes.

"When your offensive player's out of the game, it's hard from that standpoint," Eaves said. "But the [message] on the bench is, let's kill this five-minute power play off and see where we go."

The Badgers had their chances to score in the final minutes of regulation, especially when they got a power play with less than two minutes remaining. But the Badgers felt the absence of Earl, who many times brings the puck up the ice on the power play.

For the second straight night, the Saints clawed their way to overtime, but this time, came out on top with Rank's quick goal. Credit St. Lawrence for coming into a major arena, filled with 12,420 fans, and not backing down.

Though the Saints got just four shots on goal in the first period, they stormed back and out-shot the Badgers in the final two periods, and for the game by a count of 34-27.

With their resilient effort, the Saints earned themselves a victory Saturday night.

After getting a tough test from the Saints, Wisconsin gets a break next weekend before opening up WCHA play at St. Cloud Oct. 21.

"What this weekend really does is, it sets us up. We played a quality team that made us work and that's exactly what we're going to see in a couple weeks," Eaves said. "So we'll take the lessons and get ready for the WCHA opener." box score

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