MADISON, Wis. (Wisconsin Athletics) The Wisconsin men's hockey team finished the regular season in dramatic fashion, battling back from a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Michigan Wolverines, 4-3, in overtime Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
After going down by a goal in the second period, freshman defenseman Ty Emberson kept the Badgers' hopes alive late in the final frame, scoring with the goalie pulled and an extra attacker on the ice with just over a minute left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime.
It took two overtime game-winning goals after the first by freshman Jack Gorniak was disallowed, but sophomore forward Linus Weissbach completed the comeback at the 2:05 mark of overtime, beating Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne glove-side to secure the Badgers' third series sweep of the season.
Sophomore defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk and senior forward Matthew Freytag also tallied goals for the Badgers, and freshman goaltender Daniel Lebedeff stopped 28 shots in the win.
Notes to Know:
Saturday's game marked the fourth straight overtime game between the Badgers and the Wolverines. Wisconsin is now 2-0-2 against Michigan this season.
Sophomore Linus Weissbach recorded his first game-winning goal of the season with his overtime tally Saturday. Weissbach now has two goals and six points in the last three games.
Senior forward Matthew Freytag notched his second goal of the weekend in Saturday's win. The forward has recorded a point in all five games starting Feb. 16 against Notre Dame, and has four goals and five points in the stretch.
Up Next: Wisconsin earned the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face the No. 4 seed Penn State in a best-of-three series next weekend at Pegula Ice Arena. Friday's game is set for a 7 p.m. puck drop, while Saturday and Sunday's games begin at 5 p.m. (CT). All three games will air on BTN Plus ($).
Straight from the Rink
Wisconsin Head Coach Tony Granato
On the game as a whole:
"Crazy. I don't know that I've ever seen what I saw tonight…our team's perseverance to stick with it and find a way was pretty impressive. Everybody watching the scoreboard had found out that Penn State won and knew that the game was pretty meaningless from the standpoint that we couldn't get home ice. The altercation at the end gave us some more energy to fight through it and figure out how to battle back and set it to overtime."
On the message to the team after the goal cancellation:
"It was to get back after it. We have to play. We have to do it again. It was one on five and he's looking at five blue jerseys. It's an impressive individual effort but I thought our battle level was great. The energy after the altercation gave us enough of a push to give us that tying goal."
On the momentum going into the tournament:
"You have to give Michigan credit, they played hard both games, they gave everything they had. When you play an opponent like that you have to be sharp and you have to be physically ready to compete for 65 minutes. I think we're tired and beat up and a little bit sore. I think some guys probably overplayed and need a good rest going into the tournament."
On the atmosphere:
"For our seniors, for Mike Leckrone, for our fans, for Badger hockey this was a huge weekend. The crowd both nights saw two entertaining games with dramatic finishes. They saw a lot of crazy things so for our program this weekend was really special for a lot of reasons."
Sophomore forward Linus Weissbach
On moving on after the cancelled goal:
"It didn't really affect us, I don't know how many shifts after we got the next goal but we just stuck to it and got the goal at the end. It was nice."
Senior forward Matthew Freyteg
On not playing at the Kohl Center again:
"It's definitely nice to win the last game, we didn't really think about that. We didn't know that during the game tonight could be our last but it's definitely a good feeling."
On what he's learned from this weekend:
"I think we learned that we have to stick to our game. You don't want to pout [after the disallowed goal], we stuck with it and we knew we were going to score again. We didn't think the game was going any other way."
On staying out to sing Varsity:
"We wanted to honor the fans, especially Professor Leckrone, he's been here for 50 years so to be able to have him do that one last time and celebrate was pretty special.
Freshman defenseman Ty Emberson
On the tying goal:
"It was a combination of everything that happened that period. The fight got all the guys into it, got the bench and crowd back into it. It was just pucks to the net, everyone go to the net, and it worked out."
On momentum moving forward:
"I think it gives us a lot of momentum, obviously we've been playing well the past couple weekends so just being able to get these two wins going into the playoffs is big for u