Irish split series against Badgers in Madison
Nate Moller | Tuesday, February 15, 2022
The No. 11 Notre Dame hockey team (21-9-0, 13-7-0-5-1-0 B1G) split a weekend series in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers (9-20-3, 6-15-1-1-2-0), losing Saturday’s game by a score of 5-3 but winning the series finale on Sunday by a 3-2 margin.
Night one in Madison
The Irish opened the series with a disappointing 5-3 loss, despite outshooting the Badgers by a 41-15 margin.
The Irish dominated the Badgers in the first seven minutes, controlling the game in their offensive zone. They had nothing to show for it, however, as Badger goaltender Jared Moe saved all ten Irish shots.
At the 11:53 mark of the period, the Badgers got on the board with Mathieu De St. Phalle finding the back of the net on the Badgers’ first shot on goal of the game.
The Irish fought back with two minutes left in the period to tie the score at one apiece. The goal came off the stick of sophomore forward Ryder Rolston, who found the back of the net for his tenth goal of the season. Ryder was assisted by senior defenseman Charlie Raith and junior forward Solag Bakich on the play.
The Irish almost scored again just moments later with junior forward Max Ellis having a breakaway opportunity, but the shot hit the crossbar. The play was reviewed, but the call on the ice stood and no goal was rewarded.
The Badgers then took the lead back moments later with Ryder Donovan finding the back of the net.
It got even worse for the Irish moments later with Anthony Kehrer slipping another shot past Irish junior goaltender Ryan Bischel to give the Badgers a 3-1 lead. The goal was scored at the 19:18 mark of the period.
The Irish opened the second period on a power play, but they failed to cut into the Wisconsin lead.
The Badgers did not get their first shot of the second period until the 10:58 mark, and graduate student Matthew Galajda was there to make the save. Galajda was subbed in before the second period after Bischel gave up three goals off of just five shots.
Ellis had another chance to score for the Irish at the 13:11 mark of the period, but the Badgers once again answered with a goal of their own to take a convincing 4-1 lead.
The Irish successfully killed off a Wisconsin power play at the end of the period to go into the locker room after 40 minutes of play trailing by a three-goal margin.
The Irish nearly scored again six minutes into the third period with junior forward Trevor Janicke hitting a one-timer off the post.
Although the Irish were finally able to score at the end of the game, it was too late. Solag Bakich found the back of the net with 2:30 left in the game, and then sophomore forward Grant Silianoff tacked another one on moments later to make it a 4-3 game.
The Badgers thwarted the Irish comeback, however, and tacked on an empty-netter with 26 seconds remaining to win 5-3.
Turned it around on Sunday
Despite the disappointing loss on Saturday, the Irish bounced back to earn an exciting 3-2 win on Sunday.
The Irish found the back of the net early on Sunday when junior forward Jesse Lansdell found the back of the net just 8 seconds into a power play at the 2:02 mark of the first period. Lansdell was assisted by Trevor Janicke and senior defenseman Spencer Stastney.
The Badgers then got a power play, but the Irish killed it off to maintain their lead. The Badgers had plenty of looks in the first period but Matthew Galajda stood strong, making 15 saves and giving the Irish a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission.
The Irish tacked on another goal at the 7:43 mark of the second period off the stick of freshman forward Hunter Strand, who scored from the right circle.
Just after Max Ellis nearly made it a 3-0 lead for the Irish, the Badgers got on the board at the end of the second period to bring the score to 2-1 at the second intermission.
The Irish nearly scored again at the 5:34 mark of the third period with senior forward Cam Burke sending a shot off the crossbar.
At the 12:17 mark of the third period, Trevor Janicke extended the Irish lead with his 12th goal of the season by redirecting a shot from freshman defenseman Jake Boltmann from the point.
The Badgers got a goal back with seven minutes to play to narrow the lead to 3-2, but a major penalty on Roman Ahcan for a high elbow with 1:31 to play gave the Irish a power play. The Irish were then able to hold onto the puck for the remainder of the game and avoid a series sweep in Madison.
Sunday’s win marked the 71st of Matthew Galajda’s career, moving him into a tie for 18th all-time in NCAA men’s Division I hockey.
The series split for the Irish doesn’t fare too well for them in the Big Ten standings, though, as they now sit a distant seven points behind third-placed Ohio State. The series split did clinch the Irish a home series for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, and it looks like they will be playing as the fourth seed.
The Irish will return to action next weekend in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans.