first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s win Friday night over Michigan State wasn’t pretty, but that won’t make winning two in a row for the first time all season any less sweet.Wisconsin (4-19-4, 2-9-2 Big Ten) registered only 18 shots against Michigan State (12-13-2, 6-5-2-2), but its two goals in the second period were all the Badgers would need to grind out a 2-1 victory.Along with Friday night’s win giving Wisconsin its first winning streak this year, Friday night’s win was also its first win on a Friday night. According to head coach Mike Eaves, those types of milestones are signs of progress.“It all falls in line with our second half goals,” Eaves said. “Those are all indicators we’re moving in the right direction.Forward Kevin Schuzle, who scored the go-ahead goal, added that the level of positivity in the Badgers locker room has increased as of late, which has shown in their play.The first period was as uneventful as they come. Highlights were few and far between for both teams, as the entire Kohl Center seemed to be lulled asleep. Eaves attributed the lack of good looks at the net to the Spartans’ defensive style of play that doesn’t provide much space to operate in their zone.Both teams were scoreless after one, but the Badgers were finally able to break through once the second period rolled around.Wisconsin captain Chase Drake opened up the scoring six minutes into the period with a quiet wrist shot that snuck by Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand. Eaves attributed Drake’s goal to working on the type of shot he scored on in practice.“I think Chase has done a real good job keeping the ship together and we was rewarded tonight on a nice goal by what he did this week in practice.” Eaves said. “Coach Walsh and all the defensemen worked this week on faking a shot and then stepping and creating a shooting lane and that’s how he scored his goal.”After Wisconsin gained the lead, they never surrendered it. Forward Kevin Schuzle put the Badgers up two on a one-timer that found the net with just 30 seconds to play in the second period.The Spartans fought back in the third and brought Wisconsin’s lead to one just two minutes into the final period. While the Badgers have been prone to giving up late-game equalizer, they held strong this time around. Wisconsin goaltender Joel Rumpel made 14 saves in the final period to preserve the victory.According to Drake, the win had the whole team fired up and encouraged things are starting to turn around.“Everyone was pretty excited, Rumpel was fist pumping hard and screaming at guys so that’s always good,” Drake said. “We’ve learned our lessons from our past games and I think it showed tonight.”Wisconsin will have the chance to extend their win streak to three tomorrow night when they rematch the Spartans at 7 p.m. tomorrow night at the Kohl Center.last_img