MADISON, Wis. — The Notre Dame hockey team put forth a resilient road effort to post a 6-4 win over Wisconsin on Friday night at the Kohl Center (10,976).
The Fighting Irish (13-8-1) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win and evened their Big Ten record at 6-6-0.
“I thought we were much better tonight, playing 60 minutes and staying the course,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “The key thing for me was the bounce back: If they scored we came right back and scored. To me that’s really important right now.”
Michael Graham had a pair of power-pay goals and added an assist, while Bobby Nardella posted a goal and two assists for a three-point night.
Graham Slaggert got the Irish off to a fast start with a goal at 2:07 of the first period, and then Graham doubled the Irish lead with a power-play tally eight minutes later.
Cale Morris came up with some big saves in the first 20 minutes, including a point blank stop on Sean Dhooghe six minutes into the game. The badgers were able to get on the board with a K’Andre Miller power-play goal for an eventual 2-1 scoreline after the first period, in which Morris finished with 12 saves.
Wisconsin’s Roman Ahcan and Tarek Baker scored the next two goals to give the Badgers their first lead of the night midway through the second. Then at 14:28 Nardella scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at 3-3, where it would stay to start the third period.
Graham scored next on the power play, only to see the Badgers answer with a Will Johnson power-play goal to tie it back up, 4-4.
Mike O’Leary scored what proved to be the game winner at 13:36 of the third, while Tory Dello added an empty net tally to seal the 6-4 win.
Morris finished with 33 saves on the night, while Wisconsin’s Daniel Lebedeff made 12 saves in two plus periods of work. Lebedeff was replaced by Jack Berry following a collision in front following Graham’s second power play goal.
The Irish and Badgers each finished 2-for-3 on the power play.
The series versus Wisconsin will now shift to the United Center in Chicago for a 7:30 p.m. ET game on Sunday, Jan. 20 (tickets). The game will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-0 ND | Cam Burke picked up a shot by Jack Jenkins behind the Wisconsin net and slipped the puck to Graham Slaggert in front, who scored his second goal of the season at 2:07 of the first period.
2-0 | Michael Graham one-timed a Dylan Malmquist feed from the slot to extend the Irish lead at 9:44 of the first period. Bobby Nardella also assisted on the power-play goal.
3-3 | Bobby Nardella tied the game back up at 3-3 when he let a wrist shot fly to beat Daniel Lebedeff high over the blocker for his sixth goal of the season. Colin Theisen earned an assist with the pass across the top of the zone to send Nardella in on net.
4-3 | Michael Graham scored his second power-play goal of the night at 4:22 of the third period, finishing with a nice backhand move in front after being set-up by some quick passing by Andrew Peeke and Bobby Nardella.
5-4 | Michael Graham carried the puck along the near boards into the offensive zone and dropped a pass through his legs to Dylan Malmquist. Malmquist moved it to Mike O’Leary, who finished a one-timer high past Jack Berry for what proved to be the game-winning goal at 13:36 of the third.
6-4 | Torry Dello picked off a pass in the neutral zone and fired it into the empty net for his first goal of the season at 18:43 of the third.
- Graham Slaggert scored his second goal of the season (first since Nov. 16 at Michigan State).
- Michael Graham scored his second and third goals of the season (first since Oc. 19 at Omaha). He also added an assist for a three-point game (his first career multi-point game).
- Cam Burke notched his first career assist on Graham Slaggert’s first period goal.
- With a goal and two assists, Bobby Nardella posted his fourth multi-point game of the season and the 17th of his Irish career (it was Nardella’s first goal since Nov. 10 at Michigan).
- Dylan Malmquist extended his point streak to five games (1-5-6).
- Junior forward Luke Novak played his first game of the season for the Irish (first game since playing in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win at RPI on Nov. 18, 2017).
- Forwards Joe Wegwerth, Cal Burke and Cam Morrison all missed the game due to injuries.
— ND —