ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Senior Matt Ford had been through it all over the past two weeks.
From hitting numerous posts against Colorado College to having his game-winning goal waved off by an incompetent official, Ford must have thought he was snake bit.
On Friday night after he put Wisconsin ahead 2-1, there were no replays, no appeals and no controversy.
The only thing Ford had to do was celebrate.
Ford's goal put the No.17 Wisconsin hockey team (10-10-3, 6-8-1 WCHA) put the Badgers up for good, giving UW a two-game road winning streak and, more importantly, two crucial points as they downed Alaska Anchorage (6-10-5, 2-10-3), 2-1, on Friday at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
The win puts the Badgers in solo possession of seventh place in the WCHA. With a win tonight, the Badgers would leap frog idle St. Cloud State and move into solo possession of sixth place with six weeks remaining.
The Badgers took an early lead Friday, scoring 13:46 into the first period. Sophomore John Mitchell took a shot through traffic from the slot and the puck carved its way pasy Seawolves goaltender John Olthius. Mitchell’s fifth goal of the season was assisted by freshman Patrick Johnson and Sean Dolan.
After controlling the first period of play, Wisconsin allowed UAA to come back and tie the game at one goal apiece in the third. The Seawolves had an opportunity to score in the second period, but after a replay disallowed a UAA score the Badgers contained their one-goal lead.
Each team scored one additional goal in the final period to bring the final score to 2-1 Wisconsin. Alaska Anchorage’s Josh Lunden tied the game for the Seawolves with 16:18 remaining in the final frame. Lunden shot the puck over Shane Connelly’s glove hand, finding the back of the net. Kevin Clark and Craig Parkinson tallied the assists on the Seawolves game-tying goal.
Senior Ford earned the game-winner for the Badgers at 14:45 in the third. Ford collected a pass from junior assistant captain Ben Street and sophomore Michael Davies to take a 2-1 lead. Ford tallied his seventh goal of the season to seal the lead for Wisconsin.
For the Badgers, Connelly finished the night with 27 saves, many of which were crucial in keeping Wisconsin ahead in the game. On the other end of the ice, the Badgers fired 27 shots at Olthius. Wisconsin went 0-for-4 on the power play and held UAA scoreless on all five of their man advantages.
With a win Saturday night, the Badgers could have their first three-game winning streak of the season.