After a 6-4 loss to the Badgers last Friday night, the Fightin’ Irish had to really come out fighting. As the season draws to a close, there are games remaining. Four of those games are on the road and four of them are home. The series are as follows, two games at Penn State, two games against Minnesota at home, two games at Michigan, and the regular season wraps up at home against Michigan State. A win against the Badgers would once again give the program something to build on.
The first period saw the Badgers come out shooting from the puck drop. The period saw the Badgers come out and shot the puck twenty four times in twenty minutes. The Irish played plenty of defense in that instance. The difference in the period was the fact the Irish kept the Badgers away from the crease and forced them outside. In the Irish zone, the Irish puckers took fourteen shots, five of them from in front of the crease. Both goalies stopped eight pucks on goal. Cale Morris wanted to make sure he was not taken out of the game again.
Both teams spent time in the “sin bin’ as well. The Badgers got the first power play in which the Irish killed off. The over aggressive play of the Badgers put the Fightin’ Irish on the power play twice in the period. The Badgers were successful in killing of the Irish power play as well. Getting out of the first period was a good step for the Irish. Both teams go into the first intermission tied at 0-0.
The second period saw the Irish come out of the locker room firing. At 7:01, the on the power play the Badgers Sean Dhooghe fires from in front of the goal and gets the puck by Morris. But, that would the last of the scoring for the Badgers for the period. The Irish tightened up the laces and got down to business.
The Fightin’ Irish opened the flood gates on the power plays. The first power play for the Irish in the second period came off the stick of Alex Steeves. Steeves fired a one timer from between the two face off circles to get the puck by Jack Berry and light the lamp. Steeves was assisted by Spencer Stastney and Michael Graham.
As the Irish continued to dominate the Badgers, the Badgers grew more frustrated and were letting the Irish Puckers get their way. At 16:25 Charlie Raith gets his second collegiate goal and lights the lamp for the Fightin’ Irish. Raith was assisted by Nate Clurman and Alex Steeves. The Irish go up 2-1.
The Irish took advantage of the frustration brewing on the Badgers bench. At 19:53, Cal Burke on the power play fires a shot from the right side face off circle and he lights the lamp and scores a goal on Berry. Burke was assisted by Alex Steeves and Cam Morrison. That goal was the third point for Alex Steeves in the period.
The Badgers were going to let this one get away. While the Irish were on the power play, The Badgers intercept the puck and turn it into a short-handed goal at 00:17. The Badgers close the gap to 3-2 with a lot of time on clock to do some damage. Both teams played strong in their offensive zone. Both teams fired on goal hoping to to get something on net.
At 9:59, Michael “Golden” Graham scores on a one timer from outside the left face-off circle as he was assisted by Spencer Stastney and Alex Steeves. Steeves scores his fourth point of the game on the assist. Steeves was having a night to remember.
The toughest decision for any hockey coach, is the decision to pull the goalie for an empty net. Trailing 4-2 at 18:05 in the game, the Badgers pull Berry from the net for the extra attacker. That didn’t go well for the Badgers. Three seconds later at 18:08 Tory Dello ices the empty netter from near the penalty box area to seal the win for the Irish 5-2.
Stars Of The Game
🏒🏒🏒 Michael Graham 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 3 Shots
🏒🏒 Cale Morris 2 Goals Allowed, 35 Saves, .946 pct
🏒 Alex Steeves 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 5 Shots Career High 4 Points
Next Up For The Irish
The Irish travel to University Park as they take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 PM EST
TV Big Ten Network
Cheers and Go Irish!