Gophers score in bunches to get important win over Wisconsin, read Friday night's game story.
MADISON, Wis. -- Adam Wilcox's 100th career game tending the Gophers' goal didn't look much like the previous 99. The junior gave up five goals and trailed 3-1 against two-win Wisconsin midway through the second period.
Then the Gophers scored four goals in 100 seconds to turn Wilcox's deficit into a comfortable lead and an eventual 7-5 victory on Friday night at the Kohl Center.
"He's been picking us up all year," Gophers senior Seth Ambroz said after scoring two goals. "He's one of the best goaltenders in the nation. Maybe his numbers might now show it, but that's on us players. We haven't been playing as well as we should be defensively. ... It was time for us to finally pick him up. And he really didn't have a bad game at all. He made some huge saves and a lot of the goals he couldn't do anything about. He's a warrior."
Wilcox finished with 27 saves and some dignity after stopping several quality scoring chances when the Badgers pulled within a goal late in the second period. The Gophers are hoping that a better offense will relieve pressure off their netminder.
Gophers coach Don Lucia is also happy to see his goaltender get some much-needed support.
"It's nice to be able to win a game for Adam when he gave up five, 'cause he's won a lot when [opponents] have shut the door on us," Lucia said.
Wilcox leads the Big Ten with 12 wins and three shutouts this season. His 10 career shutouts rank second all-time in program history and his 63 wins rank fifth. A win on Saturday would tie John Blue for fourth place on the wins list.
Reaction from Wisconsin
Mike Eaves: Well, it was one minute and forty seconds that kind of deflated the game for us. ... In each case of those four goals in the second period it was a breakdown of a freshman, and three out of the four were getting beat back to the net. ... It was like somebody turned the light off for a minute and forty seconds, and we had no clue what our brain was doing."
Grant Besse: My personal opinion is probably, when we have a lead we've showed that we get a little too excited and forget our game plan. I think if we learn to stay focused throughout the rest of the game then we'll be fine."
Friday’s box score.
(To view on mobile devices, click on player's/coach's name)
Gophers senior forward Seth Ambroz
Gophers sophomore defenseman Jake Bischoff
Gophers coach Don Lucia