Wisconsin scored three times in the second period and held on to beat second-ranked Minnesota 3-2 Sunday in the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field.
Sean Little capped a flurry of goals with the game-winner at 16:22 of the second period for the Badgers (13-10-7, 10-7-7), who spoiled the Gophers' first outdoor game. Wisconsin is 3-0-0 in games played outdoors.
"That's what cost us the game," Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. "They got some puck luck and we got away from the things we should be doing."
Lucia said the Badgers adjusted to the less-than-ideal ice conditions. "We wanted a skill game and with these conditions you are not going to get a skill game."
Instead, all three Wisconsin goals came on rebounds and deflections.
After a scoreless period, Kevin Schulz dribbled a shot past Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox, who finished with 16 saves.
John Ramage scored 1:10 later when his shot deflected into the net for a 2-0 lead. Little followed with rebound 2:09 later. That goal was the eventual winner.
Wisconsin had a first-period goal by Joseph LaBate disallowed for a high stick.
Seth Ambroz and Zach Budish scored early and late in the third period for the Gophers (20-6-4, 12-6-4), who were 0-for-2 on the power play. Minnesota went 3-for-4 with a man advantage in Friday's 3-2 win.
Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel kicked away a shot as time expired to preserve the win. He had 36 saves.
"It was a great experience, and they did a great job with the conditions," Lucia said. "But experience is always better when you win."