Wisconsin Snaps Minnesota's 14-Game Unbeaten Streak
CHN Staff Report
MADISON, Wis. Wisconsin continued its winning ways at the Kohl Center, this time knocking off the nation's top-rated team, Minnesota, 2-1.
The win was the 11th in the last 12 home games for the Badgers, and it snapped Minnesota's 14-game unbeaten streak.
Joel Rumpel stopped 31 shots and Jake McCabe scored the game winner with 6:13 left in regulation.
“Our guys hung in there on a night when we weren’t playing very well and found a way to get a victory,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “There’s an old cliché in hockey and in sports that good teams find a way to win on nights they don’t play well. So we’ll deposit these points in the bank and our task tomorrow is to come back and play better at a higher level.”
McCabe nudged the Badgers ahead for good when he took a feed from Jedd Soleway on the right goal line, retreated to the right dot, and whistled a shot past Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox.
“Jake is a big-time player and he wants to be that guy,” Eaves said. “Jake is one of the guys on the team that we as a coaching staff look to and his teammates look to in big moments — come up with big plays and he did that for us tonight and for that we’re thankful.”
The goal was more than Rumpel would need on a night where he held the Gophers to a single score on 32 shots to earn his 12th win of the season. Nevertheless, Minnesota made the finish interesting, pulling Wilcox and going on the power play with 28 seconds to play.
But as they had all night, the UW penalty kill rose to the occasion. The stop made it 24-straight successful penalty kills for the Badgers, who also snapped a three-game scoreless drought of their own on the power play when Frankie Simonelli scored 5:03 into the game to give UW a 1-0 lead.
The one-goal advantage wouldn’t last for long, as Kyle Rau forced a turnover behind the Wisconsin net and fed Taylor Cammarata for the equalizer just 2:33 later. Despite numerous chances for both sides, neither team would find the net again until McCabe’s game winner.
Wisconsin also welcomed sophomore sniper Nic Kerdiles back to the lineup. He'd missed the last six games with an injury.