Frightfully Familiar

Another third period lead equals another third period letdown, as the Badgers squander two one-goal leads and remain winless on the season, losing 3-2 at North Dakota.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - For the fourth time in seven games, Wisconsin's winless men's hockey team held a lead at a point in the third period. The three previous times ended with the Badgers failing to find the win column.

The fourth time was no different.

After Brendan Smith converted on a 4-on-3 power play two minutes into the third, Wisconsin had a chance to right its early-season wrongs. Once the lead evaporated less than two minutes later, one knew that is was only a matter of time before something else would go against the Badgers in what has been a season of early-season struggles.

North Dakota's lone power play goal by Jason Gregoire with five minutes, 15 seconds remaining gave the Fighting Sioux the only lead it would need all game, sending the Badgers to another heartbreaking loss in what has been a season filled with early frustrations.

After the two teams battled to a scoreless first period, Wisconsin (0-6-1, 0-4-1 WCHA) found the back of the net first when freshman Derek Stepan scored his first collegiate goal at one minute, 54 seconds into the second period. Wide open in the slot, Stephan got the pass from Patrick Johnson and buried the puck to put past Brad Eidsness (20 saves) the Badgers up 1-0.

The Fighting Sioux (2-3-0, 2-1-0 WCHA) responded five minutes later when Brad Miller beat senior Shane Connelly (42 saves) with a short-side high shot to tie the game 1-1.

The Badgers regained the lead two minutes into the third with Smith power play goal off a pass from junior Michael Davies to regain the Badgers one-goal lead.

After that, it was all down hill, as Andrew Kozak found the back of the net to tie the score and Gregoire firing a shot near the UW blue line that turned out to be the game winner.

North Dakota, winning its first game since October 18, out shot Wisconsin 45-22 and finished 1-for-7 on the power play. Wisconsin finished just 1-for-4.


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