MADISON, Wis. — The Northern Michigan hockey team tied Wisconsin, 3-3, Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
"I thought tonight was almost a reverse of last night," head coach Walt Kyle said. "We controlled the first half of the game and played very well. In the second half, we started turning pucks over, and they started coming at us."
The Wildcats drew first blood when John Siemer found himself on a rush at the 5:46 mark in the first period. From just inside the faceoff circle, Siemer picked the upper corner of the net on Matt Jurusik's glove side.
At 15:26, Northern Michigan lengthened its lead to 2-0 when Ryan Trenz's shot from along the boards glanced off a Badger defenseman and skittered past Jurusik, who was being screened by Filip Starzynski.
With the Badgers on a man advantage with less than three minutes remaining in the first, Dominik Shine had a chance to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead when he was sprung on a breakaway, but his shot glanced off the post and out. The Badgers corralled the rebound and went back the other way, where they also had a shot hit the pipe.
The teams traded scoring chances in the second period, but only Northern Michigan lit the lamp. Less than a minute after killing a Wisconsin power play, at 7:16 in the frame, the Wildcats struck, with Jordan Klimek's low shot from the point making its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
Wisconsin controlled the third period, outshooting the Wildcats by a 20-5 margin. In the middle of the third, the Badgers netted two goals less than a minute apart to cut the Wildcat lead to 3-2. First, Ryan Wagner banged home a rebound on a man advantage at 9:21, and then Jedd Soleway capitalized on a defensive zone turnover at 10:10.
Wisconsin tied the game two minutes later, taking advantage of a two-minute 5-on-3 power play.
"They got one, and the momentum got going," Kyle said. "One thing I was really happy with was, after they come back and make it 3-3, we were able to regroup and find ourselves and get out of there with the point."
After a scoreless extra frame, the teams went to a shootout, which Northern Michigan won, 1-0, on the strength of a Zach Diamantoni marker.
The Wildcats close the first weekend of regular-season play with a 0-0-2 record. They host Lake Superior State in their home opener Oct. 16 at 7:07 p.m.
NOTES: Wisconsin leads the all-time series, 47-29-8 ... Atte Tolvanen made 41 saves ... A Wildcat goaltender made 40 or more saves seven times last season, with Michael Doan being the last to accomplish the feat with 49 against Bowling Green Mar. 13 ... Klimek's goal was the first of his collegiate career ... With a goal and an assist, Klimek tied his career high in points, set with two helpers against Bowling Green Dec. 5, 2014 ... Anthony Paskaruk recorded his first collegiate point with a helper on Trenz's goal ... Starzynski, who scored his first collegiate goal Friday, posted his first collegiate assist on Trenz's goal ... The last time Northern Michigan posted a tie in two-straight games was during the 2014-15 campaign; the Wildcats tied Minnesota State, 2-2, Jan. 3 and Michigan Tech, 3-3, Jan. 9 ... Last season, the Wildcats skated to six ties, which ranked first in the WCHA and tied for fourth in the nation.