The Wisconsin men's hockey team enjoyed an early lead with two first-period goals. Those two goals in the first eight minutes of the game proved to be enough for the Badgers (12-8-1, 5-2-0-0 Big Ten) as they toppled Ohio State (12-5-6, 3-3-1-1) by a 3-1 score in Columbus.
Coming off of an exciting weekend against Minnesota at the Kohl Center, the Badgers looked to continue their success against top-20 teams, with Ohio State ranked eighth coming into the matchup on Friday night. They had previously beaten ranked teams Minnesota, Boston College and St. Lawrence.
Captain Luke Kunin began UW's successful first period with a short-handed goal just 3:24 into the first, extending his point streak to seven games in the process. The sophomore directed a nice feed fromJake Linhart past Christian Frey on a 3-on-2 opportunity for his 15th goal of the season. Trent Frederic also earned an assist on the short-handed tally.
The Cardinal and White struck again 5:22 later as Matthew Freytag doubled the Badgers' lead.Cameron Hughes collected an Ohio State turnover, skated into the zone and fired it cross-ice to Freytag who netted his second goal of the year.
Both teams continued to push for a goal in an even-played third period but the 2-1 score held up until Ohio State pulled their goalie with under two minutes to play. Wisconsin would end up capitalizing as Ryan Wagner found the empty net with 51 seconds to play and seal the Badgers' 3-1 victory.
Wisconsin will now head to the bright lights of Broadway for the second game of the series, which will be played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. CT and the game will air on BTN, BTN2Go and available on the radio on WIBA-AM 1310 and the Badgers Sports Network.
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