Badgers men's hockey falls 5-1 to No. 2 North Dakota at the Kohl - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers men's hockey falls 5-1 to No. 2 North Dakota at the Kohl Center

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MADISON, Wis. – For the second-straight game, the Wisconsin men's hockey team (0-6-0) skated with the No. 2-ranked team in the country for two periods, but were unable to put together 20 complete minutes in the final frame. The result – the Badgers were swept Saturday, dropping the series finale, 5-1, to North Dakota (7-1-1) at the Kohl Center.

“Walking out of the locker room, our penalty killing was better, our power play gave us energy,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “We created more offense and were closer to earning a victory than last night, so that's the building block we leave with tonight.”

Trailing 2-1 late in the second period, UW strung together multiple solid shifts to build up momentum heading into the locker room.

The Badgers' earned their best chance to tie the score when the second line, which included Morgan Zulinick, Cameron Hughes and Grant Besse, forced a turnover at the UND blue line. Besse received the puck to the right of North Dakota's cage and blasted a slap shot that goaltender Zane McIntyre narrowly padded away, as he slid across the goal mount.

“We had good chances,” Besse said. “I believe we outplayed them in the second period—outshot them, didn't give up too many shots. It's frustrating because we knew we gave ourselves a chance in the third, but we weren't able to follow through with that.”

Wisconsin moved the puck well on a power play early in the last period, working a cycle one the right side of the ice, but could not muster enough quality shots to tally a goal.

The Badgers finished 0-for-2 with the man advantage after registering their first power-play goal of the season Friday night. North Dakota did not record a goal on two five-on-four chances, including a five-minute major power play.

UND got out to a lead halfway through the first when Brendan O'Donnell received the puck as it rung around the left boards and slapped a bullet top shelf.

While Wisconsin failed to net a goal in the first 20 minutes of the game, Besse and Adam Rockwood set up good scoring chances with feeds to the front of the net.

“It could've been a turning point in the game if we converted on some of the chances we made,” Eaves said. “We had some dandies and their goalies came up with big saves. We put the puck on net, but we needed to elevate them (shots) a little bit more.”

UW performed one of its best penalty kills to date following a five-minute interference major on Jack Dougherty. The Badgers killed 56 seconds before the first intermission but were left with 4:04 down a man to begin the second period.

Kevin Schulze anchored the Wisconsin kill, keeping the opponent to the outside and icing the puck multiple times.

“(Strength and conditioning coach) Jim Snider had our guys do a Max VO2 test on the treadmill and I think he (Schulze) was in the low 70's which is a long-distance runner or a cross country skier,” Eaves said, “so he has the capacity to work for long periods of time and recover. He's playing really well. He's a leader on the defense and he has to be.”

The impressive penalty kill inspired a Ryan Wagner breakaway attempt that hit the post, which was followed seconds later by UW's lone goal of the contest.

Besse stepped over the blue line and snuck a wrist shot between two North Dakota defenseman and behind McIntyre. The goal marked the Plymouth, Minnesota, native's first score of 2014-15.

UND finished the game with four unanswered goals, including three in a 6:02 span of the third period.

Joel Rumpel had 28 saves, while McIntyre denied 23 shots.

“Goalies like that (McIntyre) are frustrating,” Chase Drake said. “You have to be able to take their eyes away when they're playing so good. Most of our goals came on screen shots, so you've got to be able to take their eyes away and get rebounds on them.”

Wisconsin takes a nearly two-week break before heading west to face Colorado College and Denver, Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, respectively.

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