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Team Achievement of the Year Nominee: Hockey's tournament title


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June 24, 2014

The Badgers enjoyed their share of success in 2013-14 and now UWBadgers.com is honoring the best student-athletes, teams and performances of the year. Over the next few weeks, we'll unveil the best of the Badgers in five categories: Big Ten Medal of Honor (June 16), Athletes of the Year (June 17-21), Team Achievements of the Year (June 22-27), Games of the Year (June 28-July 5) and Freshmen of the Year (July 13-18).

Today we feature the Wisconsin men's hockey team's Big Ten tournament title as a nominee for the Team Achievement of the Year.

2013-14 In Review

MADISON, Wis. - Five different players, five different goals and one memorable achievement. Alone, the Wisconsin men's hockey team capturing a second straight conference tournament title last season was an achievement. The fashion in which the Badgers did so, however, left feeling of triumph.

In relentless form, UW highlighted its 2013-14 campaign winning an overtime thriller against Ohio State in the championship game of the inaugural 2014 Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament. Despite facing a pair of two-goal deficits over the course of the game, the Badgers battled back and ultimately topped the Buckeyes in a 5-4 final.

It marked back-to-back conference tournament titles for UW, who had claimed the Broadmoor Trophy in its final season as members of the WCHA in 2012-13.

After OSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period, the Badgers responded with a pair of power-play goals (Jake McCabe and Morgan Zulinick) to knot up the score 11:24 into the second frame.

The Buckeyes responded with another pair of unanswered goals to reclaim a 4-2 lead with 13:08 left in the third period and seemingly gained control of the contest. There was no quit in the Badgers, though, who gritted out two more of their own goals in response--just seconds apart--to even the score once again.

Senior Jefferson Dahl scored 13:28 into the third period, then was followed up less than 30 seconds later by classmate Tyler Barnes, as UW's counter response tied the game back at 4-4 with 13:56 to play in the final stanza.

Skating to a tie at the end of regulation, the difference came down to Mark Zengerle slamming home a loose puck just outside the crease 7:48 into the sudden-death overtime to give the Badgers the memorable victory.

The performance also granted UW the automatic NCAA tournament bid associated with being the conference tournament champion, which erased any uncertainty and gave UW's season new life. Last season marked the second-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for UW.

UW ended the season 24-11-2, reaching the 20-win mark for the fourth time in the past five seasons and 36th time in school history. The Badgers won 17 of those games at home, which marked the most in a single season in the Kohl Center era.

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