ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Mark Zengerle solved Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort on a penalty shot in the second period to hand the Wisconsin men’s hockey team a 2-1 edge. But Nagelvoort would get the final word, stopping Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) at the net to keep the Badgers off the board in a shootout and hand UW a loss in its first-ever Big Ten shootout, 3-2.
The game goes down as a tie for NCAA purposes, but while UW gains one point in the Big Ten standings with the tie, Michigan gets two by taking the shootout.
The back-and-forth game saw the Badgers (14-8-2, 5-3-1-0 Big Ten) twice take a one-goal lead before allowing Michigan (12-6-3, 5-2-0-1 Big Ten) to answer both times.
In the end, it came down to a shootout featuring two of college hockey’s best goaltenders, and Nagelvoort was able to make one more save than UW goalie Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan).
As the home team, Michigan went first, but Alex Guptill couldn’t convert after losing the puck at the Wisconsin goal. Nagelvoort matched Rumpel’s effort on the other end when he stoned Morgan Zulinick’s (Kamloops, British Columbia) offering.
Luke Moffatt then beat Rumpel to give the Wolverines the 1-0 shootout edge, and Nagelvoort denied Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) to maintain Michigan’s one-goal cushion.
Rumpel would save Andrew Copp’s try to keep the Badgers alive, but Nagelvoort’s stop on Zengerle preserved the Wolverine shootout win.
The nail-biting shootout mirrored a see-saw regulation. Mersch’s highlight-reel goal put Wisconsin ahead, 1-0, in the second period. Joe Faust (Bloomington, Minn.) sparked the play with a steal in the offensive zone and found Mersch in front of the net. Mersch shook himself free from the defender with a nifty move and beat Nagelvoort.
The Wolverines would answer with a goal of their own when Tyler Motte outmuscled a Wisconsin defender and cashed in on a rebounding Wolverine shot off the draw.
A wild swing of momentum put the Badgers ahead going into the final frame. After a Michigan goal was wiped off the board because Andrew Sinelli made contact with Rumpel, the Badgers took advantage of the momentum swing after a long lead feed found Zengerle ahead of the pack. He was pulled down from behind leading to a successful penalty shot and a 2-1 Wisconsin lead. The penalty-shot goal was the first for UW since Oct. 19, 1996, when Darren Haley scored against St. Cloud State.
But once again, the Wolverines would respond, as Moffatt threaded a shot through traffic and into the Badger goal in the third stanza to set the stage for the shootout.
Once again, the Badgers were fantastic on the penalty kill, erasing a pair of Michigan power plays in the last 10 minutes of regulation to cap a 6-for-6 effort. The Badgers couldn’t convert on their lone power play of the game.
In a matchup of arguably the two best goalies in the Big Ten, neither goalie disappointed, with Rumpel making 39 saves on 41 Wolverine shots and Nagelvoort turning aside 27 of 29 UW attempts.
The Badgers return to the ice on Thursday, when they take on No. 1 Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center.