MINNEAPOLIS - Zach Budish and Erik Haula both scored for the No. 3 Minnesota men's hockey team although Wisconsin would answer twice as the two teams opened their Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday night.
In its second overtime contest in a row, Minnesota (6-2-2 overall, 3-2-2 WCHA) jumped out to early leads in the first and second period only to have the Badgers even the score shortly thereafter. Budish put the Gophers up 1-0 with his second goal of the year at 3:29 of the first period when Nate Condon and Haula set up the Gophers captain in front of the Badgers net. The early lead lasted just 26 seconds, however, as Michael Mersch scored his first of two goals in the contest at 4:15. Derek Lee and Morgan Zulinick assisted on the goal.
Haula and Budish also factored into the Gophers' second period goal - this time with Budish and Nate Schmidt feeding Haula to put the Gophers up 2-1 with a power-play tally just 48 seconds into the second period. The junior for Pori, Finland now leads Minnesota with five goals and 13 points. Minnesota would end the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Wisconsin (1-4-2, 1-2-2 WCHA) found the equalizer at 5:06 of the second period when Lee and Jake McCabe found Mersch for the junior forward's second goal of the night.
The Gophers moved to 0-0-2 in overtime games this season after the final 40 minutes of play ended without a deciding goal. Minnesota outshot its opponent 43-24 for the night including 34-15 after the first period. The home squad also held a 46-24 advantage in the faceoff circle with Haula (14-of-19) pacing the team.
Adam Wilcox moved to 5-1-2 in his rookie campaign, making 22 saves for the Gophers while his Badger counterpart made 41 saves and moved to 0-1-1 this season.
The Border Battle continues tomorrow night at Mariucci Arena. Game time is set for 8 p.m. with the Big Ten Network broadcasting Gopher hockey for the first time this year.