Wisconsin and Michigan combined to score seven goals in the first period and it’s the Wolverines that prevailed in their Big Ten playoff opener, 6-5.
Wisconsin (14-18-4, 8-13-3-1 Big Ten) outshot the Wolverines (19-13-3, 11-10-3-2 Big Ten) by a 53-29 margin and clawed back from two deficits, but time expired before the Badgers could complete a third comeback in a game marked by momentum swings.
Michigan struck first at the 1:40 mark of the opening period, shortly after a Wisconsin goal was disallowed. Wisconsin, however, would score three times in a 4:05 span to take a quick lead. Goals by Tyler Inamoto, Matthew Freytag and Ryan Wagner gave the Badgers a 3-1 lead. Inamoto’s goal was the first of his career.
Michigan then scored three straight power play goals to take a 4-3 lead into the first intermission.
The Wolverines then struck early in the second period to move in front 5-3, but the Badgers responded with a pair of power play goals from Linus Weissbach and Ryan Wagner to tie the game at five.
Michigan would score the go-ahead and eventual game winning goal at 11:07 in the third period off the stick of Tony Calderone. It was Calderone’s fourth goal of the game.
Senior goaltender Kyle Hayton stopped 23 shots but took the loss in goal.
The two teams meet again Saturday night (6:30 p.m. CT) in Ann Arbor for the second game of the best-of-three first round series.