WCHA Final Five: Wisconsin defeats Minnesota State 7-2

Matthew Semisch - Radio Free Omaha

The Badgers scored 3 goals in the first 8:11 to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They play St. Cloud State tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

In the opening game of the WCHA Final Five, it's safe to say Wisconsin (20-12-7) showed off a different side.

The Badgers scored 3 goals Thursday afternoon in the opening 8:11 and never looked back en route to a 7-2 win over Minnesota State (24-13-3). While they led the WCHA in total defense during the regular season, the Final Five quarterfinal was the second time Wisconsin has scored six goals.

Tyler Barnes started the scoring off 1:03 into the game when he sniped one past Mavericks goalie Stephon Williams. He was followed by Jefferson Dahl, scoring a shorthanded goal, and Nic Kerdles (Anaheim Ducks draft pick) getting his 8th goal of the season.

Dahl then added his second shorthanded goal of the game - and fourth goal against the Mavericks this season - when Zach Palmquist fell over trying to keep the puck in the Wisconsin zone and began a 3 on 1. However, Palmquist got his revenge when he broke the Badger shutout two minutes later on Joel Rumpel, whose 38 saves Thursday kept MSU-M at bay, to make it 4-1.

Barnes, who scored 3 points Thursday, added another goal to end Williams' night 12:24 into the second period. The freshman goalie made 14 saves but had to helped off the ice.

One positive to come out of the game for Minnesota State was Eriah Hayes scoring his 20th goal of the season 86 seconds later to make it 5-2 He became the first Maverick to score 20 goals since Mick Berge in 2007-2008. That was as close as Minnesota State got as Frankie Simonelli and Joseph Labate added goals in the third period for the final score.

Andy Johnson will have a full recap later.

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For more SB Nation College Hockey coverage, follow us on Twitter @sbncollegepuck and like us on Facebook.

Follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate.

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