The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team lost its second-period lead as No. 4 Michigan completed a sweep with a 6-2 victory Saturday at the Kohl Center.
UW, which has lost four straight, fell nine games below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season, Mike Eaves’ last as coach.
The Badgers also allowed at least five goals in three straight one-season games for the first time in Tony Granato’s coaching era. The last time was the 2015-16 season.
No. 3: Mark Estapa had two assists for Michigan.
No. 2: Erik Portillo made 38 saves for the Wolverines.
No. 1: Ethan Edwards put the Wolverines ahead in the first period and posted a plus-2 differential with six shots on goal.
Three key games
The Badgers took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Dominick Mersch carried the puck into the zone and shot through two defensemen. His shot rang out from the left post just 71 seconds after Jesper Peltonen tied the game for UW.
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Jimmy Lambert had tons of time and space in the left circle to give Michigan a 3-2 lead with 11:42 left halfway through the period. UW defender Corson Ceulemans backed off for a block when Lambert ran through him.
Michigan extended its lead to 4-2 in the second period when Brendan Brisson turned and fired through a slippery block from Anthony Kehrer between the circles. It was the fourth goal on 15 shots for the Wolverines.
The Badgers play at No. 12 at Ohio State at 6 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team tries to avoid a four-game losing streak when they host No. 4 Michigan on Saturday at the Kohl Center (8:04 p.m., BTN, FoxSports.com, 1:10 p.m.). Here are five pre-game notes and the lines:
Changes: Badgers sophomore goaltender Cameron Rowe is a starter for the first time in 12 games – since Nov. 27 – after Jared Moe was pulled from his third straight game in Friday’s 5-1 loss to Wolverines. Luke LaMaster enters the UW defensive corps in place of Daniel Laatsch, who was injured in Friday’s game.
To respond: The Badgers responded to a 3-0 loss at Michigan on October 28 with a 4-2 win the following night. UW was much better in front of both nets in that second game, which they will look to replicate on Saturday.
Spraying: The Badgers are 12-20-6 against Michigan in the Big Ten era (as of 2013-14). They are 2-8 in the last 10 games against the Wolverines.
Probe: The Michigan program is under investigation by a Washington, D.C. law firm for trying to hide COVID-19 cases last season, MLive and Ann Arbor News reported Saturday. Other allegations revealed in a letter from law firm WilmerHale include a “toxic work environment” for female staff members and coach Mel Pearson hitting back at a player for raising concerns about team culture.
Back : The Badgers recognize members of their Frozen Four teams from 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1992 with a representative from each joining the team during pre-game introductions.
Badgers (8-16-3, 4-10-1-2 Big Ten)
Jack Gorniak – Brock Caufield – Zach Urdahl
Carson Bantle – Tarek Baker – Mathieu De St. Phalle
Roman Ahcan – Dominick Mersch – Max Johnson
Liam Malmquist – Ryder Donovan – Sam Stange / Brayden Morrison
Luke The Master – Anthony Kehrer
Tyler Inamoto – Corson Ceulemans
Jesper Peltonen – Josh Ess
Grooves : F Caden Brown, F Owen Lindmark (injured), D Daniel Laatsch (injured), D Shay Donovan, D Mike Vorlicky (injured), D Luke Martin (ill).
Wolverines (20-7-1, 11-3-0-3)
Michael Pastujov – Matty Beniers – Philippe Lapointe
Mark Estapa – Thomas Bordeleau – Brendan Brisson
Dylan Duke – Johnny Beecher – Mackie Samoskevitch
Garrett Van Wyhe – Jimmy Lambert – Nolan Moyle
Jacob Truscott – Luke Hughes
Ethan Edwards – Nick Blankenburg
Jack Summers – Keaton Pehrson
Referees: Tony Czech and Brett DesRosiers.
Linesmen: Matt Gerlach and Jonathan Sladek.
Photos: Michigan men’s hockey beats Wisconsin