Badgers light the lamp five times in the second, top Michigan 7- - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers light the lamp five times in the second, top Michigan 7-4

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ANN ARBORMich.— After falling behind by two goals after a pair of first-period power-play goals by Michigan, Wisconsin exploded for a five-goal second period en route a Big Ten-opening 7-4 victory at Yost Arena on Friday.

“Obviously, we are happy to get off to a good start,” head coach Tony Granato said. “They had two games under their belt in Big Ten play and we didn’t have any, we’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time.”

Although the game ended well for Wisconsin, the Badgers found themselves in a 2-0 hole halfway through the first period as Michigan cashed in twice on the power play just 45 seconds apart, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage.

“To give up two goals early, we didn’t flinch,” Granato said. “I was really proud of our bench, not getting down and not letting it affect the next shift.”

Trent Frederic, who returned from a hand injury that sidelined him for four weeks, cut the UM lead to 2-1 on the power play with under three minutes to go in the opening frame. The freshman collected his own rebound and fired it past Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne. The single assist went to Seamus Malone on the play.

The second period proved to be a prolific one for the Cardinal and White as they scored five goals in the frame.

“Everybody was just feeding off each other,” senior forward Aidan Cavallini said. “Definitely that energy, when someone scored it felt like everybody had scored and I think that kept everyone in to it.”

Will Johnson started the scoring 2:14 into the second to tie the game at 2-2 and captain Luke Kunin fired one home from the slot just 1:33 later to give the Badgers their first lead of the game.

Michigan’s Sam Piazza scored his second of the evening to tie the game at 3-3, but UW followed up with three unanswered goals to take a 6-3 lead into the final period of play. Kunin and Johnson added their second goals of the night and Cavallini scored his first goal, in his 65th career game as a Badger, to make the score 6-3.

“My eyes were just glued to the puck,” Cavallini said. “The other team wasn’t really looking at anyone on the ice so I said if this bounces on my stick, I’m hammering it home.”

The fourth line, consisting of Cavallini, Jarod Zirbel and Matthew Freytag had another solid game, contributing in several ways by scoring goals and drawing penalties.

“From day one this year, we’re just making sure that we’re creating an energy for everybody and gaining the coaches’ trust when the team needs a momentum swing,” Cavallini said. 

The last time Wisconsin scored five goals in a period was March 13, 2009 against Minnesota State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, a 7-1 win that night.

Michigan would add a fourth goal to make it a two-goal game with 12 minutes to go in regulation, but an empty-net goal from Matthew Freytag would seal the Badgers’ 7-4 victory.

“Offensively, our guys are comfortable making plays, they know each other well,” Granato said.

Wisconsin outshot Michigan 41-21 in the game with Jack Berry stopping 17 shots on the evening.

The triumph over Michigan was Wisconsin’s first victory against the Maize and Blue since Jan. 11, 2014, a 3-1 victory at the Kohl Center. The win also gave the Badgers their eighth victory of the season, equaling their wins total from last season.

The Badgers and Wolverines will finish up their series tomorrow night with puck drop set for 6:30 p.m. CT. The tilt will stream live on BTN Plus, will air on the radio on WIBA-AM 1310, on the iheart radio app and online on the iheart web site. 

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