Wisconsin vs. Michigan: Camp Randall Hockey Classic Doesn't Disappoint
On Saturday night, the No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines put on a show in front of the second-largest crowd ever to witness a college hockey game at Camp Randall Stadium.
On a night where, with the wind chill, the temperatures dipped down into the single digits, junior defenseman Brendan Smith boosted his Hobey Baker chances by tallying the game tying and winning goals on the power play in the waning minutes of the third period, giving the Badgers the 3-2 outdoor victory.
The weekend was a celebration of hockey in Madison.
On Friday, there was an open skate on the outdoor rink at Camp Randall, and ticket holders were able to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. On Saturday, the McLain Center was home to a plethora of exhibits showcasing the history of the game of hockey, and fans were treated to an array of hockey-related games.
This all led up to the main events on Saturday. Early in the day, the Wisconsin women—led by the line of Brianna Decker, Carolyn Prevost, and Kelly Nash—dominated WCHA rival Bemidji State, for a 6-1 victory.
After the women's game, the Badger men took to the ice for a game with the Michigan Wolverines in front of 55,031 fans.
The Badgers opened the scoring early in the first frame on a rebound goal from sophomore Jordy Murray. The Wolverines would counter however, as late in the first period Scooter Vaughn tallied the equalizer for the Wolverines.
The game would go over 30 minutes without another goal, until Michigan's Kevin Lynch ripped a shot past Wisconsin net-minder Scott Gudmanson with under 9 minutes left in the third, to give the Wolverine's their first lead of the contest.
But this night belonged to Brendan Smith and the Wisconsin Badgers.
With over 5 minutes left to go in the game, and the Badgers on a power play, Smith took a pass from senior forward Michael Davies and fired it from the point to knot the game at two.
Then, as time was dwindling, Smith struck again.
With the Badgers again on the power play, Davies again found Smith for the game winning goal. The play was eerily similar to the goal the two hooked up on four minutes earlier.
This was a great night for college hockey and will certainly be something that every player, coach, and fan in attendance will remember for a long time. This "hockey classic" certainly lived up to that billing.
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