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Wisconsin Edges Minnesota on Saturday for Weekend Split

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MINNEAPOLIS – It was pretty clear that there was no love lost between the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Golden Gophers.

In yet another rough battle between two longtime rivals, it was Peter Tischke’s third-period goal that proved to be the difference as Wisconsin edged Minnesota 4-3 on Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

Tyler Sheehy had three assists for the Gophers and Rem Pitlick scored twice, but Minnesota yet again failed to record a sweep at home. They have yet to do so this season, and the only sweep they have overall was two weeks ago at Notre Dame.

An arena-record 10,686 people were in attendance to watch the latest edition of the Border Battle. It was also a night where the university celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1979 national championship team, so the scoreboard graphics and concession prices had a more retro look as well.

In a somewhat chippy first period that saw the teams combine for six first-period penalties, it was Minnesota jumping out ahead first again as the power-play unit struck for the fourth time this weekend. Pitlick connected on a laser from the high slot to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead after one.

The Badgers came back to take the lead on goals by Dominick Mersch and Linus Weissbach within the first six and a half minutes of the second period, but the Gophers responded with power-play goals from Brent Gates and Pitlick, shredding the Wisconsin PK unit both times. The Badgers finished the month of January killing just 12 out of 22 penalties taken, and they allowed the Gophers to convert six out of nine power plays for the weekend.

Even-strength play for the weekend went in favor of Wisconsin, despite an improved performance from Minnesota on Saturday. Mick Messner made it a 3-3 game after 40 minutes with a late second-period goal.

Tischke scored the eventual game-winner for the Badgers with just under 16 minutes left. Daniel Lebedeff made 29 saves for Wisconsin.

Mat Robson had 28 saves for the Gophers, but it wasn’t enough to help him avoid his first-ever loss to the Badgers.

Wisconsin heads to East Lansing to take on Michigan State next weekend, while Minnesota will stay home to host Michigan.

Scoring summary:

First period:

MINN power-play goal at 11:49: Rem Pitlick (14). Assisted by Tommy Novak (11) and Tyler Sheehy (18).

Second period:

WISC goal at 3:15: Dominick Mersch (4). Assisted by Josh Ess (6) and Linus Weissbach (11).

WISC goal at 6:10: Weissbach (3). Assisted by Mersch (5) and Brock Caufield (4).

MINN power-play goal at 7:41: Brent Gates (10). Assisted by Brannon McManus (7) and Sheehy (19).

MINN power-play goal at 9:58: Rem Pitlick (15). Assisted by McManus (8) and Sheehy (20).

WISC goal at 14:49: Mick Messner (5). Assisted by Wyatt Kalynuk (10).

Third period:

WISC goal at 4:02: Peter Tischke (3). Assisted by Will Johnson (6) and Roman Ahcan (6).

Power plays: WISC 0-1, MINN 3-5.

Shots on goal: WISC 32, MINN 32.