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Gophers 4, Badgers 1: Three stars and three key plays from the Wisconsin men's hockey loss to No. 5 Minnesota

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A three-goal first period sent No. 5 Minnesota on its way to a 4-1 victory against the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

The Gophers took four of six points from the series after losing to the Badgers in overtime on Friday. Matthew Knies, Aaron Huglen and Jaxon Nelson skated Minnesota to a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Three stars

No. 3: Sammy Walker's second-period goal stopped UW's momentum almost before it got started.

No. 2: Minnesota goaltender Jack LaFontaine was injured late in the first period but returned to start the second. He made 36 saves.

No. 1: Knies scored Minnesota's first goal and added an assist.

Three key plays

1. Aaron Huglen made a nice set of moves around Badgers defenders and got to the net for a putback of his own blocked shot to put the Gophers ahead 2-0 just over eight minutes into the first period.

3. Walker paid the price for his goal that answered Roman Ahcan's power-play score for UW just 16 seconds later. Walker drove hard to the back post to tap in Blake McLauglin's pass for a 4-1 lead, then crashed hard into the net.

3. Gophers defenseman Matt Staudacher was ejected for a check that hit UW's Corson Ceulemans in the head and sent him back into the boards two minutes into the second period. Ceulemans needed help off the ice and didn't return. UW got a three-minute power play out of it because of a cross-checking penalty to Dominick Mersch in the aftermath but it didn't convert.

Up next

The Badgers play at No. 17 Notre Dame on Friday and Saturday.

Pregame

The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team looks for its first home sweep of Minnesota in eight seasons when the teams close the series at the Kohl Center on Saturday (8:04 p.m., Bally Sports Wisconsin, BigTenPlus.com, 1070 AM).

The Badgers are 4-10-1 against the Gophers in Madison since back-to-back 2-1 victories against then-top-ranked Minnesota on Feb. 6-7, 2014.

Friday's 4-3 victory on Brock Caufield's goal was UW's ninth overtime triumph against the Gophers and the first since Steve Reinprecht scored on Jan. 13, 1999.

Cameron Rowe is in goal for the Badgers on Saturday after Jared Moe stopped a career-high 44 shots on Friday.

Badgers (4-5, 1-1-1-0 Big Ten)

Forwards

Roman Ahcan - Brock Caufield - Mathieu De St. Phalle

Jack Gorniak - Tarek Baker - Liam Malmquist

Caden Brown - Dominick Mersch - Sam Stange / Max Johnson

Carson Bantle - Ryder Donovan - Zach Urdahl

Defensemen

Jesper Peltonen - Jake Martin

Josh Ess - Corson Ceulemans

Daniel Laatsch - Anthony Kehrer

Goaltenders

Cameron Rowe

Jared Moe

Ben Garrity

Scratches: F Owen Lindmark (injured), F Brayden Morrison, D Tyler Inamoto (injured), D Mike Vorlicky (injured), D Luke LaMaster, D Shay Donovan.

Golden Gophers (5-4, 2-0-0-1)

Forwards

Blake McLaughlin - Sammy Walker - Bryce Brodzinski

Matthew Knies - Ben Meyers - Mason Nevers

Tristan Broz - Jack Perbix - Rhett Pitlick

Jonny Sorenson - Jaxon Nelson - Aaron Huglen

Defensemen

Ryan Johnson - Brock Faber

Matt Staudacher - Jackson LaCombe

Ben Brinkman - Mike Koster

Carl Fish / Colin Schmidt

Goaltenders

Jack LaFontaine

Justin Close

Officials

Referees: Colin Kronforst and Kenny Anderson.

Linesmen: Nick Bradshaw and Jonathan Sladek.

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