Northern Michigan Ties Wisconsin, 2-2

Northern Michigan Ties Wisconsin, 2-2

MADISON, Wis. — The Northern Michigan hockey team tied Wisconsin, 2-2, Friday night at the Kohl Center in its season opener.

"I really liked our third period," head coach Walt Kyle said. "I loved the way we played. They got a couple of bounces, they got a bounce at the end, but I'm really pleased with the performance of a number of guys."

After scoring two goals in a three-minute span early in the third period, the Wildcats held a 2-1 lead until the game's final minute, but the Badgers took advantage of a goal mouth scramble to even the score. 

Neither team could find the back of the net in overtime, and Northern Michigan went on to win the shootout, 2-1, behind goals by Troy Loggins and Filip Starzynski.

Wisconsin controlled the first period, peppering Atte Tolvanen with 13 shots and limiting the Wildcats to only four. But Tolvanen held fast, and the teams went to the dressing room locked in a scoreless tie.

"I thought we started the game out sluggish on the road against a team that was really hungry and desperate," Kyle said. "I thought, as the game went along, we got better."

The Badgers pulled ahead at 4:20 in the second period on a Jake Linhart power play marker. After that, though, the tide began to turn.

The Wildcats evened the score at 5:47 in the third period on a man advantage when Shane Sooth beat his man to the front of the net and sent a Sami Salminen pass out of Adam Miller's reach.

Just over two minutes later, Gerard Hanson disrupted a Wisconsin breakout, and the puck skittered out front to Starzynski, who snapped it into the back of the net.

In the third period, the Wildcats held a 21-7 edge in shots. Overall, they led the Badgers, 34-27.

The Badgers had two prime scoring opportunities in the waning minutes of overtime. But Barrett Kaib made a sliding block to keep Wisconsin from getting a look on net, and Tolvanen came up with a bouncing puck to maintain the 2-2 tie. 

In the shootout, Tolvanen turned aside two of three Badgers. Loggins scored on a backhand shot through the five hole while Starzynski faked Miller out of the net and slipped the puck by him. 

"I thought Atte was really good," Kyle said. "I liked Brock Maschmeyer tonight. I thought the young guys all acquitted themselves well."

The Wildcats and Badgers meet again tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

NOTES: Wisconsin leads the all-time series, 47-29-7 ... Starzynski's goal was the first of his collegiate career ... Robbie Payne tied Wisconsin's Jedd Soleway for the game-high in shots with six, a new career high ... Hanson recorded an assist on both Wildcat goals ... Hanson now has five career multi-assist games ... Both teams capitalized on one of four power play opportunities ... The Wildcats skated to six ties in 2014-15, which ranked first in the WCHA and tied for fourth in the nation.