MADISON, Wis. -- Led by Jordy Murray's first career hat trick, Wisconsin (3-1-0) took the second game of the series with Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 on Sunday afternoon in front of 11,731 fans at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers jumped out to an early lead, at 2:42 of the first period, when Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) scored his first collegiate goal on the power play. Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) passed the puck to Zengerle whose centering pass deflected off a UAH player for the game's first score.
The first period would end with the Badgers still holding a slim 1-0 lead after shots in the period were just 9 to 4 in favor of the Badgers.
The Badgers would start the second period with a bang. The Badgers won the opening faceoff and Zengerle took the puck right to the net where he found Jordy Murray (Fairbault, Minn.) for a quick one time shot and a goal just 15 seconds into the period.
Alabama-Huntsville (1-3-0) would answer back next at 1:51 of the second period when Chris Fairbanks knocked in a rebound for a Chargers goal. The goal cut the Badger lead to 2-1 and snapped a streak of 15 unanswered goals for the Badgers.
Murray would score his second goal of the game at 12:54 of the second period to increase the lead to 3-1. Murray stole the puck at the blue line, and carried it down the ice in a 2-on-1 with Zengerle trailing the play. Murray kept the puck himself and wristed a shot past the goaltender for an unassisted goal.
Then, with the Badgers on the power play in the third period, Jordy Murray completed his day with his third goal to record a hat trick. The hat trick was the first hat trick by a Badger since Blake Geoffrion versus Michigan Tech on Dec. 4th, 2009. Murray stickhandled through two defenders before finishing for the hat trick. Sophomore defenseman Justin Schultz (West Kelowna, British Columbia) and senior goaltender Brett Bennett (Williamsville, N.Y.) set up the play.
The Badgers would add another goal just 33 seconds later, scoring their second-straight power-play goal. Jake Gardiner (Minnetonka, Minn.) received a feed from Zengerle and unleashed a slap shot from the right faceoff circle into the net.
The Chargers would cut the lead to 5-2 with a power-play goal that was tipped past Bennett by Jamie Easton. That would conclude the scoring for the day, with the Badgers holding on for the victory.
Bennett made 18 saves for the win to improve his record to (2-0-0). Clarke Saunders took the loss for Alabama Huntsville, making 21 saves and dropping his record on the year to (1-3-0).
For the Badgers, in addition to Murray's three goals, Schultz recorded three assists, Zengerle added a goal and two assists and Craig Smith recorded two assists. Goaltender Brett Bennett picked up his first assist for the Badgers, marking the first goaltender assist for Wisconsin since Shane Connelly versus Michigan on Nov. 28, 2008.
The Badgers continued their hot play with the man advantage, finishing the game 3-for-11 on the power play, while recording six shots. The Chargers scored both of their goals on the power play, finishing 2-for-7 on the advantage.
The Badgers travel to Denver next weekend to open WCHA play against the Pioneers. Friday's game is at 8:30 p.m. (CT) and airs live on FSN Wisconsin and FSN Rocky Mountain. Saturday's game is at 8:00 p.m. (CT).