MADISON, Wisconsin – Matt DeBlouw’s goal with 5:38 remaining in the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and gave the Michigan State hockey team a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin on Friday night at the Kohl Center in the first of two games between the teams this weekend.
With the game tied, 3-3, DeBlouw teamed up with linemates Villiam Haag and JT Stenglein for the go-ahead goal. Stenglein possessed the puck deep in the UW zone where he gave it to Haag, who then quickly pushed it off to DeBlouw in the low slot. Just off the left faceoff circle, DeBlouw then snapped a shot up high past Wisconsin goaltender Matt Jurusik.
“JT made a nice play through the neutral zone and then he and Villiam did some good work down low to get me the puck in one of the soft areas in the slot and I just let (the puck) go,” said DeBlouw.
Goaltender Jake Hildebrand made 34 saves, while Ryan Keller, Dylan Pavelek and Zach Osburn also scored for the Spartans (8-20-3, 4-10-1).
“I thought Jake was really good tonight,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. “It’s a positive that we found a way to win without playing as well as we think we’re capable of playing. It was nice to get some balanced scoring across the lineup.”
The Badgers grabbed what turned out to be their only lead of the night just 45 seconds into the game when Luke Kunin snapped the puck past Hildebrand form the bottom of the right circle.
The Spartans tied it midway through the first period on a goal off a faceoff in the UW zone. Cody Milan won the draw in the left circle to Brennan Sanford, who controlled the puck in the near corner. Sanford then threw the puck toward the crease where it bounced off Keller and past Jurusik at the 9:59 mark.
Like the Badgers in the opening period, the Spartans started quickly in the second as Pavelek tipped a point shot past Jurusik 44 seconds into the middle stanza. After getting the puck to John Draeger at the right point, Pavelek went to the high slot where he redirected the defenseman’s shot into the net to make it 2-1 Spartans.
MSU made it 3-1 just 2:11 later on a rebound goal by Osburn. The play started with a flurry of shots by Spartans’ Mackenzie MacEachern and Joe Cox, both of which Jurusik was able to stop. But Osburn buried the third attempt, blasting the loose puck into the net from the low slot.
A power-play goal by the Badgers’ Will Johnson 1:49 after the Osburn marker made it a 3-2 game.
Osburn nearly pushed the Spartan lead to 4-2 in the opening minute of the third period with a shot from the high slot that just missed a partially open net with Jurusik down. Rather than it being a two-goal game, the Badgers tied it up less than a minute after the Osburn chance as Cameron Hughes found the back of the net 1:46 into the third to make it 3-3.
Following DeBlouw’s go-ahead goal with 5:38 to play, the Spartans kept the pressure on Wisconsin, not allowing the Badgers any good scoring opportunities until the waning seconds.
“After the goal, I thought we did a really good job defensively except for the final few seconds,” said Anastos.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET.