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Notre Dame hockey team rallies past Wisconsin

ND Insider Staff
ND Insider

Goaltender Cale Morris and the Notre Dame defense have been virtually impenetrable during the 12-game winning streak of the fourth-ranked Irish.

Now the offense may be getting into the action.

Trailing 2-0 after two periods to Big Ten rival Wisconsin at the Kohl Center Friday night in Madison, Wis., the Irish exploded for three goals in the third period, two by junior forward Dylan Malmquist, and with Morris turning aside 34 shots, beat the 12th-ranked Badgers, 3-2.

The victory improved the Irish to 15-3-1 and 9-0-0-0 in their first Big Ten season, giving Notre Dame 27 league points, 12 better than second-place Penn State with a game in hand. Wisconsin fell to 10-8-2 overall and 4-4-1-0 in the Big Ten.

Malmquist, who missed the first part of the season with an injury, breathed life into the Irish, who gave up a rare power-play goal to Cameron Hughes at 14:15 of the first period and an even-strength goal to Tarek Baker at 6:25 of the second.

Just after an Irish power play had expired early in the third period, Joe Wegwerth took a pass from Colin Theisen, wheeled and found Malmquist at the far post and he hammered it home at 7:06.

“"Anytime you score a goal it gives you a boost,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “I thought we were playing on our heels a fair amount but once we got that (first) goal we got more assertive and did a better job getting pucks to the net."

Senior forward Dawson Cook tied the game at 14:43 when he directed a feed from the corner by defenseman Dennis Gilbert past Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry to knot it at 2-2.

Malmquist then scored the game-winner – his fourth of the season – at 16:09 with a backhander off feeds from Theisen and Andrew Oglevie.

"(Malmquist) was injured and (now) he's getting going,” Jackson said. “(It) was a good time for him to come out."

Morris, who has been in goal for every game of the streak, kept the Irish in the game before the third-period rally. He made 25 of his 34 saves in the final two periods and his defense blocked the Badgers’ last four shot attempts after Berry was pulled for a sixth skater. Berry finished with 29 saves, 24 in the first two periods.

The winning streak is the longest by the Irish under Jackson and the second longest in program history. Notre Dame won 14 in a row during the 1987-88 season while playing an independent schedule.

Following Saturday’s game, which was being played late, Notre Dame returns to campus for final exams and papers and breaks for the holidays. Notre Dame returns to action Friday, Jan. 5 at Michigan and then plays host to the Wolverines on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 7 at 3:05 p.m.

Notre Dame hockey player Dylan Malmquist. (Photo courtesy of Notre Dame)