BOSTON (WSAU-Badgers) - After a rough loss to Boston College on Friday night, the Wisconsin men's hockey team came into a highly-anticipated battle against No. 15 Boston University (3-1-0) looking forward to a fresh start. Instead, it was déjà vu in Boston, as the Terriers topped the Badgers, 7-3, to send the Badgers to their second-straight defeat and make it 16 goals allowed by Wisconsin (2-2-0) over the weekend.
A day after falling into a deep first-period hole against BC, the Badgers were much more competitive early in this contest, heading to the locker room with the score tied 1-1 after the first.
Both goals came on the power play. First, the Terriers nudged ahead by a goal thanks to Ahti Oksanen, who found the back of the net eight minutes into the game off assists from Garrett Noonan and Cason Hohmann.
The Badgers rose to the occasion as Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) evened the score just minutes later when he beat Matt O'Connor from the slot.
The game would turn in the second period, however, after the Terriers emerged from a frenetic one-minute stretch with a lead that they would never relinquish.
The first tally came off the stick of Noonan, who took a pass from Oksanen to stake BU the 2-1 lead. The margin wouldn't stay at one goal for long, as the Terrier lead ballooned to 3-1 just 18 seconds later when Robbie Baillargeon fired a shot past Landon Peterson (Oregon, Wis.).
Keegan Meuer (Madison, Wis.) would give the Badgers a sliver of hope under a minute later. He beat O'Connor off a pass from Eddie Wittchow (Burnsville, Minn.) and Chase Drake (Mosinee, Wis.) to cut the Terrier lead to 3-2.
Once again, the Terriers had an answer. It started when the Badgers were put to the test after Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) was ejected for contact to the head. The Badgers managed to kill the first four minutes and 40 seconds of the five-minute major penalty, but the Terriers finally found the back of the net. This time it came by way of Matt Grzelcyk, who restored BU's two-goal advantage when he took a Robbie Baillargeon pass and lit the lamp to send the Terriers into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.
The Badgers would never get closer than two goals for the rest of the night. The Terrier lead grew to 5-2 with a third-period goal from Mike Moran. After a Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) rocket cut the lead to 5-3 with the final Wisconsin goal of the night, the scoring drew to a close after Matt Lane and Hohmann found the back of the net to set the final margin at 7-3.
Peterson ended the game with 19 saves, allowing seven goals, while O'Connor stopped 40 Wisconsin attempts and allowed the puck to cross the line three times.
The Badgers converted on two out of five power plays for the game, while killing four of seven Terrier power plays. The game was actually played closer than the final score suggested, as the Badgers finished with a 43-26 edge in shots on goal.
Wisconsin gets next weekend off before taking on Lake Superior State at the Kohl Center at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1.