Chad Rau did it to Wisconsin again.
The Colorado College junior scored his fourth shorthanded goal in as many games against the Badgers this season, helping the Tigers earn a series sweep with a 3-1 victory on Saturday.
Rau intercepted a Brendan Smith pass in the neutral zone and backhanded a shot through Wisconsin goaltender Shane Connelly's legs just over five minutes into the final period to erase the Badgers 1-0 lead.
Scott McCulloch scored with 5:17 remaining to put the Tigers ahead for good, but Rau's goal his fifth shorthanded score of the season was the turning point.
``It is kind of crazy,'' Rau said of his four-game success against the Badgers. ``Shorthanded goals are kind of rare, too, but I'll take them, I guess.''
The Tigers won all four games this season against Wisconsin and swept the Badgers at the Kohl Center for the first time. The last time Colorado College won both games of a series in Madison was Dec. 8-9, 1995, at the Dane County Coliseum.
Colorado College has gone scoreless through the first two periods in three of its last four games but has won all three. In those three games, the Tigers (14-6, 13-3 WCHA) have outscored opponents 8-0 in the final period. In the season's other 17 games, they have been outscored 13-12 in the third, highlighting how big the final period has been recently.
``It hasn't been all year, but it certainly has been now,'' Tigers coach Scott Owens said.
Connelly made 34 saves for Wisconsin, which has allowed seven shorthanded goals in its last 12 games. In the same stretch, the Badgers are just 2-for-48 on the power play.
``Those things hurt,'' Badgers winger Ben Street said of the shorthanded goals. ``Those are the times we should be scoring, and he's (Rau) coming down and putting them in on us. We're not trying to give it to him, but kudos to him for finding those plays and picking them off.''
McCulloch finished off a nice pass from Andreas Vlassopoulos to put the Tigers ahead. After the Badgers failed to clear the puck out of their zone, Vlassopoulos tucked the puck between Wisconsin defenseman Ryan McDonagh's legs, then fed McCulloch to break a 1-1 tie.
The Tigers, who finished a nine-game road stretch 6-3, have won six straight over the Badgers (8-9-3, 4-7-1). Mike Testwuide scored into an empty net with 11.5 seconds remaining.
Wisconsin's fourth line started the game with a bang, scoring just 13 seconds after the opening faceoff. Sean Dolan tipped the puck out of mid-air and past Tigers goaltender Richard Bachman on the game's first shift. The goal was confirmed after a video review. The Badgers missed tying the team record for the fastest goal to start a game by four seconds. Gary Winchester and Steve Reinprecht each scored nine seconds into a game.
Dolan had a chance to double Wisconsin's advantage in the second period, but his wrist shot from the slot dinged off the crossbar and out of play.
Bachman made a number of quick saves to keep the Tigers down only a goal through the first two periods. His flashiest was a snap glove save on Badgers winger Michael Davies in the second period, keeping the puck out of the top corner of the net. Davies put his stick on top of his helmet in frustration.
Bachman also denied Matthew Ford in the second period while falling to his stomach by keeping his glove hand up, then again in the third after Ford eluded two defensemen on his way through the Tigers' zone.
``I thought I played one of the best weekends of my college career, to be honest,'' said Ford, a senior who led the Badgers with five shots on goal. ``At the same time, that makes it really frustrating because I don't have anything to show for it.''
Bachman finished with 21 saves.
``He's quietly extremely competitive, and he just doesn't want to give up goals,'' Owens said. ``There were some good shots.''
Colorado College has swept Wisconsin in Madison only five times, including twice before the Badgers were a member of the WCHA. The Tigers won Friday's game 2-0.
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