Johnson's Big Night helps UW Sweep Tech

Athletic Communication

One night after he gave his team a fiery speech, senior Patrick Johnson ignited the Badgers with two assists and the game-winning shorthanded goal, helping No.8 Wisconsin sweep injury-plagued Michigan Tech Saturday.

HOUGHTON, Mich. –Spending plenty of time talking to his team after Friday's 4-2 win, Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves made it clear that better effort would be needed in the final weeks of the season in order to be competitive in the conference race.

Heading into an off week next weekend, senior Patrick Johnson made sure there was no slips.

Tying a career-high with three points and scoring the game-winning shorthanded goal, Johnson helped No.8 Wisconsin sweep Michigan Tech with a 4-1 victory Saturday night. The Badgers (19-8-2, 11-7-2 WCHA) won their fifth straight and remained tied with North Dakota for the most overall wins in the nation.

"The biggest thing for us tonight is we felt we played at a higher level, more consistently," Eaves said.

The Badgers got on the board first when Mark Zengerle scored his second goal in two games. The pretty play started in the Wisconsin zone and finished with tick-tack-toe passing between Zengerle, Craig Smith and Johnson. The goal came at 13:49 of the first period.

In the second period, the Huskies went on the power play when John Ramage went to the box, however, it was Wisconsin who capitalized first. Johnson turned a blocked shot into a long short-handed breakaway and found the five hole for a 2-0 Badger lead. The UW goal came at 7:56 of the second period.

On the same power play, Michigan Tech (3-20-3, 1-16-1 WCHA) got the goal back to cut the Badger lead to 2-1. Ryan Furne scored on a shot from the point for a power-play goal at 8:44 of the second period.

In the third period, Wisconsin captain Sean Dolan scored, finishing off a strong play for the goal. His shot went in high on the short side, giving the Badgers a 3-1 lead at 7:46 of the third period.

"The boys responded, which was nice to see," Eaves said.

Later in the period, defenseman Justin Schultz scored the final Badger goal of the night, finishing a cross-ice feed from Zengerle on a shot from the point. His 15th goal of the season came at 12:21 of the third period, and was the final tally of the game in the Wisconsin victory.

Wisconsin outshot Michigan Tech 30-22 on the night. The Badgers were 0-for-5 on the power play, but added a short-handed goal. The Huskies finished 1-for-4 on the advantage.

Brett Bennett made 21 saves for the Badgers, improving his record to 5-2-2. Kevin Genoe stopped 26 shots, but fell to 2-10-1.

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