The Notre Dame Fighting Irish traveled north to face the no. 5 Wisconsin Badgers on Friday evening. The Irish and Badgers opened the most unique season in college hockey history when the teams met in South Bend back in November. Wisconsin, sitting at second place in the Big Ten, entered the series ten points ahead of third-place Notre Dame.
The Irish failed to get on the board last weekend, however it took just thirty-one seconds for the Irish to end the scoring drought. A shot from Alex Steeves went off a Wisconsin stick to get past Badgers netminder Robbie Beydoun to open the scoring.
: @steeves_alex got us started just 31 seconds into play.#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/ShUEKTS9Yw— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) February 20, 2021
Despite failing to capitalize on the first man advantage of the evening, the Irish added to their lead when Graham Slaggert buried one low for his sixth of the season near the midway point of the period. The elder Slaggert would later get sent to the box for the first Notre Dame penalty of the evening, but the Irish killed it off.
This @GrahamSlaggert goal deserves another look. #GoIrish pic.twitter.com/iTqLf07THa— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) February 20, 2021
Just over three minutes into the second, the Irish lead was cut in half when Owen Lindmark converted a Mathieu De St. Phalle pass to get the Badgers on the board. The Badgers tied it up ten seconds into a power-play when Cole Caufield fired a laser over the shoulder of Dylan St. Cyr, the goal was assisted by fellow first round NHL draft pick Dylan Holloway.
Holloway would later be called for interference to give the Irish their second man advantage of the evening, however the Irish power-play woes continued, as they only managed to register only one shot on net.
Wisconsin’s first lead of the evening came when Linus Weissbach found an open net thanks to a beautiful backhand pass by Ty Pelton-Byce. The goal was the one-hundredth career point for the Buffalo Sabres prospect. Caufield also had an assist on the goal, to give him the college hockey lead in points.
Notre Dame’s chances of a comeback took a huge blow when Matt Hellickson was called for holding with just over seven minutes to go. The Irish killed off the penalty, but pulled St. Cyr with just over a minute left. The extra attacker wouldn’t be enough, as Weissbach scored an empty net goal from the center circle to make it a 4-2 final.
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 00:31 in the 1st, assisted by Graham Slaggert and Landon Slaggert
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 08:28 in the 1st, assisted by Alex Steeves and Landon Slaggert
Wisconsin: Owen Lindmark at 03:22 in the 2nd, assisted by Mathieu De St. Phalle and Jack Gorniak
Wisconsin: Cole Caufield (PPG) at 09:37 in the 2nd, assisted by Dylan Holloway.
Wisconsin: Linus Weissbach at 08:18 in the 3rd, assisted by Ty Pelton-Byce and Cole Caufield
Wisconsin: Linus Weissbach (ENG) at 19:35 in the 3rd, assisted by Ty Pelton-Byce
Wisconsin: Tarek Baker, 2 for cross-checking at 5:18 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert, 2 for slashing at 10:55 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Nate Clurman, 2 for interference at 09:26 in the 2nd
Wisconsin: Dylan Holloway, 2 for interference at 16:04 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Matt Hellickson, 2 for holding at 12:55 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (L) saved 30 of 33 shots
Wisconsin: Robbie Beydoun (W) saved 29 of 31 shots
The Irish and Badgers will close out their regular season series on Saturday at 5:00 P.M. The game can be streamed on on BTNPlus.com and the BTN+ app.