Notre Dame dropped their first two games of the new season while struggling to find the back of the net. The Irish scored just three goals between the two games, all of which off the stick of senior Colin Theisen.
Wisconsin goaltender, Robbie Beydoun, stopped 51 of 54 shots he faced in the two games, posting a shutout in Friday’s matchup.
Game One: Badgers Win 2-0
It was all Wisconsin in Friday’s season-opening affair. The Badgers got on the board late in the first period when senior Linus Weissbach one-timed a perfect pass off a two-on-one break.
Just over halfway through the second period, the Badgers’ power play extended the visitors’ lead to two. Dylan Holloway, the 14th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, received a pass in the slot and made no mistake beating the Irish goaltender on the glove side.
The Irish would go on to pull their goalie with 2:30 left in the third period but came up empty. With just under two minutes left, Notre Dame received a power play, but once again were unable to capitalize. Irish freshman Grant Silianoff hit two posts in the final minute, adding to Notre Dame’s frustration. Wisconsin handed Notre Dame their first loss of the season by taking this contest 2-0.
Three different Irish players were credited with four shots on goal, with a total of 25 shots by the team, but none got past the Badger goaltender.
Game Two: Badgers Win 5-3
In Saturday’s matchup, the Irish once again outshot the Badgers, but it was no match for Wisconsin’s high-powered offense. The stars showed up for Wisconsin in a big way.
Once again, the Badgers scored late in the first period to take the game’s first lead. Montreal Canadiens’ 2019 first-round draft pick Cole Caufield worked his magic on the power play leading to an eventual goal by Senior Ty Pelton-Byce.
But unlike Friday’s contest, the Irish found a way back in the game.
Notre Dame’s top returning goal scorer Colin Theisen was able to set up in front of the Badgers’ net on the power play and tipped in the first goal of the season for the blue and gold.
Theisen wasn’t done yet. Just two minutes later, he one-timed a puck across the goaltender’s body to make it a tie game.
But the Badger offense couldn’t be slowed down. Under a minute to go in the second period, junior Brock Caufield broke through the Irish defense and found himself all alone before sneaking one through the Notre Dame netminder. The Badgers went into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Nearly halfway through the third period, Theisen was able to finish off his first career hat trick by burying a rebound. Junior Alex Steeves toe-dragged his way through the Badger defense before putting a shot off the goaltender’s right pad, leading to an easy tap-in for Theisen.
And then Dylan Holloway showed why the Edmonton Oilers took him early in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Holloway received the puck at the center dot, went wide around the Irish defender, continued around the net, and finished high short-side to retake the lead.
Two minutes later, the Badgers would score again and go on to win 5-3 to complete the series sweep.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Irish hope to get their first win of the season when they visit Michigan on Friday, November 27th at 6 PM CT. That contest will be the first of a two-game weekend series in Ann Arbor. The series finale will take place on Saturday, November 28th, but a puck drop time is still to be announced.