Badgers advance to championship game

Wisconsin secures 5-2 Frozen Four victory over Maine Thursday night

MILWAUKEE — The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will play in Saturday's NCAA Championship game, after defeating Maine 5-2 at the Bradley Center here Thursday night.

The Badgers will take on Boston College for the national title. The Eagles beat North Dakota 6-5 earlier Thursday.

Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead at 10:11 in the first period when Adam Burish's centering pass intended for Joe Pavelski deflected off defenseman Travis Wight and went into the net.

Maine tied the game at 1-1 at 17:37 when Michel Léveillé's shot deflected off UW defenseman Matt Olinger's leg in front of the crease and slowly slid across the goal line underneath goalie Brian Elliott. The UW netminder never saw the puck, as he was screened out of the play by Olinger, who was tied up with a Maine player.

Wisconsin went up 2-1 on Ross Carlson's terrific individual effort for a short-handed goal at 4:18 in the second period. After forcing a turnover, Carlson skated the puck across the blue line, stopped at the top of the circle and hop-stepped to avoid defenseman Bret Tyler. Carlson regained control of the puck near the high slot and was one-on-one with goalie Ben Bishop. He put the puck between the Maine netminder's legs for the go-ahead goal.

The Badgers maintained momentum from there and Robbie Earl ripped a wrister passed Bishop at 8:16 in the second to take advantage of a 2-on-1.

Maine responded to the 3-1 deficit with some solid pressure in the UW defensive zone, but Elliott made 19 saves in the second period to preserve the two-goal advantage.

Defenseman Mike Lundin, though, would draw Maine within 3-2 with a rip past Elliott's glove hand at 11:29 in the third period.

But less than a minute later Badger center Ben Street tracked down his own rebound to give UW another two-goal edge. Street skated through the offensive zone and fired a shot from the circle to the left of Bishop. The netminder made a skate save, but Street found the puck in the low slot to Bishop's right and, after whiffing on his first attempt, put a backhand into the net.

Earl chased down a loose puck and scored an empty-netter at 18:16 to ice the Badgers' victory.

Check back with throughout the evening for complete coverage of Wisconsin's Frozen Four victory.

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