Madison, Wis. – Bryce Brodzinski and Brannon McManus each scored twice to lead the Gophers to a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin on Friday night in the opener of a Big Ten men’s hockey series at the Kohl Center before an announced crowd of 11,637.
Minnesota has won four games in a row and is 6-1 in its past seven games.
“We were opportunistic tonight,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. “Every once and a while, you have to have a game where your skill guys make some plays and build a lead for you. … We’ll take the win for sure.
McManus tied the score at 2-all just over 12 minutes into the second period. It was the first of five Minnesota goals in a row. Sammy Walker put the Gophers ahead 3-2 five minutes later and then Brodzinski got his first goal unassisted with 3:14 left in the period. That’s three goals in 4:41.
The Gophers (11-10-4, 6-5-4 Big Ten) kept building on that lead in the third period — even though they only had three shots on net those 20 minutes — and it was Brodzinski and McManus who found the net again.
Brodzinski, a freshman forward from Blaine, scored in the eighth minute, giving him his first multipoint game. McManus, a junior forward from Newport Beach, Calif., got his second goal in the 14th minute. He has four goals and four assists in his past three games.
Jack LaFontaine made 11 saves for Minnesota in 26½ minutes and Jared Moe 18 the rest of the way.
Daniel Lebedeff had 18 stops for the Badgers (10-14-1, 5-11-1) in the first 36-plus minutes before he was relieved by Jack Berry after the Gophers took a 4-2 lead. Berry had three saves.