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MADISON, Wis. — No. 6 Michigan extended some notable streaks in a 4-4 tie with Wisconsin and shootout victory on Saturday, but the Wolverines still felt like they came up short.
Tyler Motte extended his goal-scoring streak to 11 games, and Michigan avoided a loss to Wisconsin for the 11th straight time (8-0-3), longest in the teams’ 135-game series.
But Luke Kunin’s second goal of the game for Wisconsin, with 26.1 seconds remaining in regulation, kept Michigan from taking all six points from the Big Ten series and staying tied with Minnesota for first place.
Steve Racine made 40 saves for the Wolverines, including one on a Kunin breakaway in overtime.
“We were lucky to come out of here with two points,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “Really lucky. If it weren’t for our goalie, we wouldn’t have got anything. They were the better team on the night, and he held us in the third period, the overtime and then the shootout.”
Wisconsin answered all four times that Michigan took a lead Saturday, the last time when Kunin buried a cross-ice pass through the Wolverines’ defense from Cameron Hughes with an extra attacker on the ice.
Michigan’s Joseph Cecconi was called for slashing on Kunin’s overtime breakaway, giving Wisconsin a power play for the final 1:12. But Racine stopped Kunin on the only shot on goal that the Badgers registered, Kunin’s ninth shot of the game.
“It’s great to get chances but we’ve got to put some of those away,” said Badgers forward Grant Besse, who had a goal and two assists. “We got our tying goal, so to get a point, it’s better than nothing.”
It was the third time in Racine’s last seven games that he has made at least 40 saves.
“He gave us another chance to win,” Motte said.
“As well as you can play,” Berenson said. “It’s good for him and not a good sign for our team, for our goalie to have to play that well.”
Motte’s first-period, short-handed goal gave Michigan (18-4-5, 9-2-3-2 Big Ten) a 1-0 lead and extended his lead atop the national goal-scoring list.
Sixteen of his 27 goals have come in his last 11 games, a stretch in which he has 26 points.
But Wisconsin (6-13-7, 1-8-3-1) had an answer for that and the three other goals that Michigan scored.
Kunin scored early in the second to tie the game at 1-1, while Besse scored late in the period to cancel Kyle Connor’s 22nd goal of the season.
JT Compher put the Wolverines ahead 15 seconds into the third period, but Ryan Wagner scored 29 seconds later to make it 3-3.
Dexter Dancs chipped a rebound over Wisconsin goaltender Matt Jurusik (29 saves) midway through the third before Kunin tied it for good late.
Compher’s goal in the second round was the only scoring in the shootout; Racine stopped Wagner, Kunin and Besse. But not winning in regulation pushed Michigan one point behind Minnesota with six conference games remaining.
“Five of six [points] on the road is not too bad,” Motte said. “But you always want to get six.”