After one period of play, the Badgers found themselves down by a score of one. The Wolverines scored on a Wisconsin power play 11 minutes and 25 seconds into the game. Chad Kolarik's shot hit the pipe and then bounced into the net past Badger goaltender Shane Connelly. Steve Kampfer was credited with the assist.
Also in the first period, Connelly made two important saves on Michigan break-aways to keep the Badgers within one. Badger forward John Mitchell received a five minute major and a game misconduct late in the period for his hit on Kampfer, forcing Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves to juggle his lines.
"It's especially hard when in the first period you've got 12 minutes of special teams," said Eaves. "It throws everything off when you lose somebody, too. You're juggling lines. You lose your whole rhythm. You just have to be able to adapt to those things in the course of a game."
Wisconsin was unable to score in the second period, passing up a five-on-three opportunity. Michigan extended its lead to three with power-play goals by Kevin Porter and Max Pacioretty. Porter's goal, his 14th of the season, was assisted by Kolarik and Aaron Palushaj. Pacioretty's score was assisted by Kolarik and Porter.
The Badgers were not ready to back down, as Wisconsin scored two late third-period goals. With 2:50 left in game, freshman Brendan Smith sent a pass to Podge Turnbull, who backhanded a shot over Sauer's right shoulder. Blake Geoffrion also tallied an assist on Smith's second goal as a Badger.
Just 18 seconds later, junior assistant captain Ben Street scored, cutting Michigan's lead to one. Street skated down the left wing and shot the puck straight past Sauer, bringing the score to its final, 3-2. Senior captain Davis Drewiske recorded the assist on Street's goal.
Connelly stopped 31 shots for the Badgers, while Wisconsin fired 26 shots at Sauer. The UW was 1-for-8 on the power play, while the Wolverines were 2-for-7 on their power-play attempts.
"One thing we liked is that we stayed the course for the whole game," said Eaves of his team's comeback. "The old saying is you got to get one to get two. We did that. Then, you got to get two to get three, and we did."
The Badgers will face Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be tape-delayed on the Big Ten Network on Sunday at 1 a.m., CT and Monday at 2 p.m. CT. Live coverage can be seen at www.bigtennetwork.com for free.