Minnesota lost the first game of its weekend series with rival Wisconsin 3-1 on Friday night at the Kohl Center in Madison.
It is the GophersâÄô first road loss of the season and also their first loss in WCHA play.
Minnesota entered the game ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2008, but was unable to recover from a three-goal second period by the Badgers.
There were no goals scored in the first period, as each team only recorded five shots on goal, in what appeared would be a defensive battle.
That was, until the second period started.
Tyler Barnes led a two-on-one break and found Mark Zengerle, who put Wisconsin (5-5-1, 4-4-1 WCHA) on the board 5:28 into the period.
Less than a minute later the Badgers struck again.
Keegan Meuer skated a puck into the Minnesota zone and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Kent Patterson to put Wisconsin up 2-0.
The Gophers had multiple opportunities to cut the lead to one in the second period, but BadgersâÄô goaltender Joel Rumpel stood on his head to preserve the two-goal lead.
Following an icing call and a faceoff in its own zone, Wisconsin was able to take advantage of a sloppy line change by the Gophers midway through the second period.
All-American defenseman Justin Schultz rocketed an outlet pass to a streaking Michael Mersch up the ice.
Mersch, alone in the Minnesota zone, deked Patterson to the left and beat him five-hole to stretch the lead to 3-0.
The Badgers took a three-goal lead into the locker room at the end of the second period.
In the third period, defense prevailed once again.
No. 1 Minnesota (9-2-0, 6-1-0 WCHA) had numerous scoring opportunities in the period, but Rumpel would not be denied his first win against the Gophers.
Minnesota managed a power-play goal with 1:09 left in the game to break up the shutout.
Jake Hansen buried a Ben Marshall rebound for the first goal on the night.
The Gophers pulled Patterson, but could not make up the two-goal deficit, finalizing the score at 3-1.
Minnesota will look to earn a series split tomorrow night at the Kohl Center.