Badgers Fall 5-1 to Ohio State - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers Fall 5-1 to Ohio State

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Heading into Friday night’s game with Ohio State, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team was looking to secure a top-two seed and a bye in the Big Ten tournament next weekend.

With some help from Michigan, who defeated Penn State, the Badgers (19-13-1, 12-7-0-0 Big Ten) were able to clinch the bye, but they ultimately fell to Ohio State (19-10-6, 10-8-1-1) by a score of 5-1 at the Kohl Center.

Ohio State opened the scoring 8:54 into the first period on Drew Brevig’s second goal of the season. OSU then put the Badgers in a two-goal deficit less than three minutes later on David Gust’s 16th of the year. UW would find themselves in a 2-0 hole heading into the second period.

“We were uptight to start the game. We played cautious which is different than how we've played all year,” head coach Tony Granato said. “How we got here is by playing energized and confident and on the attack. Tonight, we sat on our heels and waited to see how the game was going to be played.”

The Buckeyes continued to find the back of the net in the second period, making it 3-0 on Dakota Joshua’s 11th marker of the season. Following the goal, UW made a goaltending change, putting Matt Jurusik in for Jack Berry.

However, Jurusik lasted just 3:11 before getting hurt, forcing the sophomore goaltender to leave the game and the Badgers to put Berry back in.

"He's been solid for us all year so there is nothing to worry about there,” Granato said about Berry. “He's answered the bell so many times. Last time Matty Jurusik got hurt, he had to play all the games and had the heavy work load. He was outstanding."

Matt Ustaski scored the lone goal for Wisconsin on the power play as he found a rebound from a Jake Linhart shot. The junior’s fifth goal of the season was also assisted by Ryan Wagner.

UW tried to swing the momentum in its favor, but OSU was able to stymie the swing by making it 4-1 on Miguel Fidler’s fourth of the season with 5:44 left in the second period.

Ryan Wagner looked like he made it a 4-2 game early in the third period, but while finishing off a short-handed breakaway, a whistle blew behind the play due to a scuffle and the goal was nullified.

Then later on that same OSU power play, Mason Jobst scored to seal the Badgers’ 5-1 defeat.

"They definitely were chipping pucks out and getting in races for it,” Grant Besse said. “I don't think we necessarily did a bad job but they got some breaks and were able to put the puck in the net. Those breaks didn't go our way. It doesn't feel great but we'll be back after it tomorrow."

Freshman Johan Blomquist made a relief appearance following the goal and kept the Buckeyes out of the back of the net for the remaining 7:36 of game-time.

Berry finished with 10 saves on 15 shots on the evening while Jurusik made one save before exiting the game and Blomquist ended with two saves in his third-period appearance.

“We didn't come out the way we wanted to tonight. We all know that,” Luke Kunin said. “We know we can be better and what we need to do to be better. I believe in our group, we're going to come out and do that tomorrow."

The Badgers will finish up their regular-season slate tomorrow night against OSU at Kohl Center. Four seniors will be honored before the game for senior night – Grant Besse, Aidan Cavallini, Corbin McGuire and Jedd Soleway.

All alumni in attendance will be honored during the first intermission while the 1977 NCAA Championship team will also celebrate their 40th anniversary during the second intermission.

The game will begin at 7 p.m. CT.

(UW Athletics contributed information to this article.)

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