Cameron Hughes ended the second annual Big Ten Super Saturday with a flourish, and Wisconsin had its second win over No. 8 Ohio State in three nights.
After the Badgers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 1:40 of regulation, Hughes took the rebound of Matt Ustashi’s slap shot off the end boards and flipped it over a sprawling Christian Frey at 2:58 of overtime to give Wisconsin (13-8-1, 6-2 Big Ten) a 3-2 win over the Buckeyes at Madison Square Garden.
“Matt just threw it at the net, and when you do that good things happen,” Hughes said. “It came right back to me and when (Frey) went down, it was an open net and I just put it in.”
With Frey on the bench for an extra attacker, Mason Jobst and Josh Healey scored for Ohio State (12-6-6, 3-3-2-1 Big Ten) to force the extra session.
Hughes was especially thrilled that his team overcame such adversity to win the game.
“That’s the kind of mindset to have because stuff is going to happen during the game,” he said. “Leads are going to change; obviously we wanted to close it out in regulation and that didn’t happen. I thought we bounced back great and had jump, the bench had life, we still believed in ourselves and that’s the bottom line. You always believe in yourself, good things happen, and we were lucky enough to get the win.”
The officials upheld Hughes’ goal after a lengthy review of whether an offensive player had been in the crease, but Buckeyes’ coach Steve Rohlik wasn’t convinced.
“We really didn’t get a great explanation, so what I see and what they (referees) see might be different,” Rohlik said. “But it was a great hockey game; our guys battled to the end. Just a tough way to lose.”
The game was a homecoming of sorts for Wisconsin coach Tony Granato, who began his NHL playing career in 1988 with the New York Rangers.
“(Playing at MSG) was a special moment for (the players) and I’m just happy to be here with them and be part of it too,” Granato said. “This building meant a lot to me. When you get your first crack in the NHL with an original six team, you get to play in New York in front of these fans, I was pretty lucky. To come back here a long time after I was here, it’s very special.”
Big Ten roundup
Princeton 5, No. 4 Penn State 4
Andrew Sturtz scored two goals, but the Tigers scored three times in the third period to come from behind and beat the Nittany Lions at Hobey Baker Rink. Chase Berger had assists on both of Sturtz’s goals.
No. 6 Minnesota 4, No. 20 Bemidji State 0
Eric Schierhorn stopped all 25 shots he faced and Leon Bristedt scored the game-winning goal as the Golden Gophers blanked the Beavers in the North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center. Vinni Lettieri had two assists for Minnesota.