Denver Storms Back

Despite holding a 4-1 lead and its goalie being solid in net, No.20 Wisconsin hockey gets out scored 5-4 the rest of the way and is left scratching its heads, as the Badgers are off to their worst start to open the season since 1985, losing 6-5 to Denver.

DENVER - Crazier things have happened to the Wisconsin men's hockey team before in the Rocky Mountain State.

Disallowed goals, league petitions and poor officiating have led to frustrated times for the Badgers when they travel to Denver.

No controversy this time, just more heartbreak.

Despite holding a 4-1 lead, the bricks come tumbling down for Shane Connelly and the Badgers, as the senior goaltender allows four third-period goals and former Wisconsin recruit Patrick Wiercioch scores two goals, including the game winner, to send the Badgers to their third-straight defeat to open the season, falling 6-5 to No.4 Denver in their WCHA opener.

Senior goaltender Shane Connelly faced a strong DU offense from very early on in the game but maintained an impressive composure in protecting the net against the Pioneer pucks throughout the entirety of the game.

UW posted the first score at 7:04 into the first period on a power play. Junior Michael Davies tipped the puck past Marc Cheverie for the 1-0 lead. Freshman Jake Gardiner and junior Jamie McBain were credited with the assists.

The Badgers remained in the lead until just before the conclusion of the first period. With :35.9 left, the Pioneers scored the equalizer on a power play. With both Davies and senior Ben Street in the penalty box, Tyler Bozak stuffed the puck past Connelly into the net under the crossbar with a wrist shot off a classic give-and-go.

Wisconsin recaptured the lead with 7:26 left in the second. McBain rifled a wrist shot through a screen for the 2-1 lead. Gardiner was credited with his second assist in the game on the shot.

Less than a minute later, UW expanded the lead to 3-1. Junior John Mitchell found himself wide open in the Pioneer slot and finished a Badger pass from behind the goal line.

The Badgers scored their third goal in 1:21 minutes 20 seconds later for a 4-1 lead. Sophomore Ryan McDonagh scored on a rush down the ice and finished the breakaway with a wrist shot over Cheverie's to the upper left corner.

With 4:41 left in the second period, Dustin Jackson cut the Badger lead to 4-2 with a high shot past Connelly to the short side for DU's second goal.

Six minutes into the third, DU narrowed Wisconsin's lead to one with its third goal. Wiercioch was credited with the goal after his shot was deflected off a Badger defender and flipped over Connelly into the net.

With a little over nine minutes left in the game, the Pioneers evened the score with a shot from the point that hit off the crossbar into the net.

One minute later, the Badgers responded with a quick goal to regain the lead. Freshman Jordy Murray batted in a rebound from Gardiner on an offensive drive for the 5-4 lead.

With 5:42 left, DU scored on a power play for the tie with a low shot that cut through the Badger defense and Connelly into the back of the net.

Three minutes later with two minutes left in the game, the Pioneers captured their first lead with their sixth goal. The shot was debated but confirmed as it was deflected off sophomore Cody Goloubef despite a Pioneer player skating through the crease.

Wisconsin pulled Connelly from the goal and rallied for a goal to tie the score but the buzzer rang before the Badgers found the net. The game concluded in a 6-5 loss.

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