MADISON, Wis. - In their first matchup with the Badgers as a WCHA opponent, Bemidji State (5-9-1, 4-8-1 WCHA) got things off to a fast start. The Beavers scored two goals in the first 2:30 of the game, but Wisconsin (9-7-3, 5-6-2 WCHA) responded with three unanswered goals for the win.
Just 2:01 into the game, Radoslav Illo gave the Beavers the early lead, scoring on a backhander that he put over Scott Gudmandson's (Sherwood Park, Alberta) left shoulder. Just 29 seconds later, Madison native Jordan George converted a power-play goal to give Bemidji State a 2-0 lead. However, that was all for Bemidji State, as Wisconsin scored the rest of the game's goals en route to victory.
At 12:16 of the first period, Wisconsin cut into the lead with a power-play goal. Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) sent a pass forward into the offensive zone, where he found Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) cutting to the net. Smith stick handled past the goaltender to tally the goal.
In the second period, Podge Turnbull (Heyward, Wis.) scored to tie the game. Sean Dolan (St. Louis) sent a long pass ahead to Turnbull, who carried into the zone and unleashed a shot from the blue line. The wrist shot skipped past the goaltender to tie the score at 2-2.
At 17:28 of the second second period, Wisconsin went on a five-minute major power play, care of Shea Walters, who was given a game misconduct for checking from behind. The power-play carried over into the third period, where the Badgers earned 30 seconds of a 5-on-3. Just as the major penalty ended, the Badgers scored a power-play goal to take the lead.
With the man advantage, good puck movement gave the puck to Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) behind the net. Zengerle fed Smith in the slot, and his wrist found the net for the game-winning goal. The goal was Smith's second of the game, and his ninth of the season.
Scott Gudmandson made 25 saves in the victory, improving his record to 6-5-1. Bemidji State's Dan Bakala stopped 25 shots but took the loss, falling to 4-5-0.
Wisconsin held Bemidji State to 1-of-3 on the power play, while converting on 2-of-5 of their opportunities with the man advantage.
The two teams face off again on Saturday night at the Kohl Center. The game is televised live on FSN Wisconsin at 7 p.m. CT. A tape-delayed telecast airs at 10 p.m. on Wisconsin Channel.