MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Bernd Bruckler walked into an ambush Friday, but he survived and carried Wisconsin with him.
The freshman goaltender made 25 saves in relief of injured starter Scott Kabotoff, holding one of the most potent offenses in the nation in check as the Badgers tied No. 3 St. Cloud State 2-2 in the opener of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
"It was difficult, but I was just excited to play again," said Bruckler, whose only work in the previous four games was a 13-minute mop-up stint two weeks ago against Minnesota. "I was ready before the game, five minutes into the game, and 15 minutes into the game."
Kabotoff strained ligaments in his left knee when he collided with teammate Matt Hussey and the Huskies' Mike Doyle in front of the net with 5:21 left in the first period.
Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer did not offer a conclusive prognosis but said Kabotoff will be sidelined for Saturday's rematch and perhaps longer.
Bruckler, who was heavily recruited by St. Cloud, entered the scoreless game just as the Huskies trotted out their power play, which ranks second nationally with a 32 percent conversion rate. They also entered second nationally in offense with 4.88 goals per game.
Bruckler did not face a shot the rest of the period and helped the Badgers kill all five St. Cloud power play chances, including one that overlapped almost entirely into the 5-minute overtime.
"The young guy came in and did a pretty good job," Sauer said.
He was in line for a victory until Matt Hendricks scored his 17th goal with 7:54 remaining in regulation to erase a 2-1 Wisconsin lead.
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