Madison, Wis. - Despite an early 2-0 deficit, the Badgers (4-2-1, 1-1-1) rallied with five unanswered goals to defeat Michigan Tech, 5-2, in front of 11,295 fans at the Kohl Center. The game marked the first WCHA win for the Badgers and Michigan Tech's first defeat of the season.
The Huskies (3-1-2, 1-1-1) would take a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Ryan Furne got Michigan Tech off to a fast start, converting a rebound for the game's first goal at 1:43 of the first period.
The Huskies would add a second goal at 18:15 of the first period. Ricky Doriott released a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that found the back of the net. Despite trailing, the Badgers outshot Michigan Tech 13-8 in the period.
Wisconsin got on the board with a goal by Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) at 9:53 of the second period. Jake Gardiner (Minnetonka, Minn) took a shot from the point and Mersch deflected it into the net for the first Badger goal.
Late in the second period, the Badgers would go on the power play after Michigan Tech's Carl Nielsen received a game misconduct for checking from behind. The Badgers would make it count, as Podge Turnbull (Heyward, Wis.) would take a pass from Mersch and convert the one-timer right in front of the net to tie the game at two. The goal came at 17:33 of the second period.
In the third period, Patrick Johnson (Madison, Wis.) would give the Badgers their first lead of the game with his first goal since Dec. 4, 2009, also against Michigan Tech, a 29 game span. Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) changed directions behind the MTU goal, then made a nifty pass back against the grain to Johnson at the front of the crease for the go ahead goal at 7:45 of the third period.
Mersch would extend the Badger led to 4-2 with his second goal of the game at 13:26 of the third period. Gardiner took the initial shot from the blue line and Mersch tipped it into the net.
Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) would cap the scoring for the Badgers at 19:55 of the third period with an empty net goal. Gardiner received an assist on the play, his third assist of the night. Smith's goal gave him a multi-point night, as he recorded an assist on the first Badger goal.
The Badgers out shot Michigan Tech 32-24 for the game. Scott Gudmanson (Sherwood Park, Alberta) made 22 saves for the Badgers to record the victory and improve his record to 2-2-1. Kevin Genoe took the loss for the Huskies, falling to 2-1-1. The Badgers were 1-for-3 on the power-play, holding Michigan Tech to 0-for-3.
The Badgers and Michigan Tech face off again on Saturday night at the Kohl Center. The puck drops at 7 pm (CT). The game airs live on WISC-TV in the Madison area, as well as Charter Xtra and Time Warner Sports around Wisconsin.