Gophers bounce back after first loss; beat Badgers 5-3

Five Gophers scored, 10 skaters had points and four members of the top-ranked Gopher men’s hockey team notched multi-point performances as Minnesota earned a 5-3 win over No. 12/14 Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon in Madison.

A night after having its 12-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Badgers, Minnesota (11-1-0 overall, 9-1-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) got back to its winning ways on Sunday and battled through its most competitive weekend of the season for a Border Battle split.

Sammy Walker opened things up with a goal 81 seconds into the series finale at LaBahn Arena as the two teams traded goals in the first period. Wisconsin (6-6-0, 6-4-0-0-1-0) briefly took the lead midway through the second period, but the visitors answered back with two more goals to close out the period from Blake McLaughlin and Jonny Sorenson.

Ben Meyers made it 4-2 for Minnesota with the game’s lone power-play goal early in the second period, and after a response from Wisconsin briefly brought it back to a one-goal game, Bryce Brodzinski put the game out of reach in the game’s final minutes.

Walker, McLaughlin and Brodzinski each tallied a goal and an assist in the win while Ryan Johnson added a pair of assists for the Maroon & Gold. Brodzinski now has 10 goals in his Gophers career with five of them coming in the Border Battle.

Jack LaFontaine (10-1-0) returned to the win column with a 29-save performance. The senior allowed three goals for the first time in a 16-game stretch dating back to Feb. 22, 2020. Robbie Beydoun (5-5-0) allowed five goals on 24 shots to take the loss.

The Gophers were outshot 24-32 in the series finale.