CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — When you can get away with three defensive-zone turnovers in a road game in which your team was at times being heavily outshot, it generally qualifies as a good victory.
University of Wisconsin defenseman Tim Davison had another way of looking at it.
“Any win on the road,” he said, “is a big win.”
The 10th-ranked Badgers got goals from all four forward lines and surged past No. 13 Boston College 5-2 on Friday despite what they considered to be a sloppy effort.
When things got especially disheveled for UW, goaltender Kyle Hayton restored a sense of calm.
“In the end of the game, our goalie made some big saves for us to help us win,” UW coach Tony Granato said.
Hayton stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced over the final two periods and 29 for the game as the Badgers won at Conte Forum for the first time since Oct. 27, 2000, ending a four-game losing streak here.
The Eagles had 31 shots on goal to UW’s 22 and had 61 percent of the game’s shot attempts despite having just one power play to UW’s five.
“I think we battled hard,” Hayton said. “It’s always hard to win on the road. I think the ‘D’ corps was unbelievable tonight; I thought they played really well.”
Still, the Badgers escaped unharmed from three major defensive-zone giveaways that led to Eagles chances in the first two periods. At the other end, they made sure BC wasn’t as fortunate.
Boston College’s Logan Hutsko and Graham McPhee shot wide of the net after first-period UW giveaways by Matthew Freytag and Wyatt Kalynuk.
Hayton stopped a JD Dudek opportunity from close range after a Davison turnover in the second.
“We had a lot of turnovers,” Badgers center Trent Frederic said. “I think it was a sloppy game for us defensively as forwards. We exchanged turnovers and we were kind of up on them when it came to that.”
Frederic, a first-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins, put the Badgers ahead 1-0 in the first period after linemate Linus Weissbach grabbed an errant BC pass in the neutral zone.
UW went ahead 3-1 in the second on a transition rush after the Eagles lost possession at their offensive blue line. Striding down the right wing toward the goal line, Will Johnson found a lane to get the puck to Seamus Malone at the top of the crease for a tap-in.
“There’s going to be turnovers in a game, let’s face it,” Granato said. “They (the Eagles) were the reason that we made some of those turnovers, and I think likewise on the other side we were able to create some by our forecheck and by our play through the neutral zone.”
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With Davison’s goal for a 2-1 lead in the second period and Matthew Freytag’s fourth-line goal in the third, UW had four goals from four lines.
Granato called Freytag’s line with Max Zimmer and center Jason Ford the Badgers’ most consistent of the game.
“That was very, very encouraging,” he said. “I thought they were a big factor in the game.”
Baker, a rookie center from Verona, made it three goals in three games by tapping a rebound into an empty net in the final minute.
UW (3-1) has won three of its first four games for only the third time in the past 13 seasons and for the first time since 2010-11.
BC (0-1-1) made it 1-1 late in the first period on a McPhee power-play goal, but UW struck 73 seconds into the second to take back the advantage.
Baker won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Davison, whose shot hit the stick of an Eagles player and floated over goaltender Joseph Woll’s shoulder.“As sloppy as it was, it was definitely a momentum-builder for us,” Davison said. “Any time you give up a goal late in the period, you’re not happy with that. And if you’re able to score early in the period it’s going to give you more energy and more motivation to keep going.”
After Chris Grando cut the Badgers’ lead to 4-2 with 9:01 remaining in the third, the Eagles kept the pressure on Hayton’s net.
Hayton didn’t buckle, making four saves the rest of the way.
“When things were going their way, he’s nice and calm,” Granato said. “Even at the TV timeouts, he comes back to the bench, he’s got a big smile on his face and he’s saying, boys, relax, we’ve got this one.”
Wisconsin 1 2 2 — 5
Boston College 1 0 1 — 2
First period: W — Frederic 2 (Weissbach), 17:17. BC — McPhee 1 (Ju. Mattila, McInnis), 18:51 (pp). Penalties: Hutsko, BC, 9:21; Cotton, BC, 17:54; Tortora, BC, 17:54; Davison, W, 17:54; Frederic, W (double minor), 17:54.
Second period: W — Davison 1 (Baker), 1:13; Malone 1 (Johnson, Inamoto), 12:04. Penalties: Fitzgerald, BC, 3:07; Grando, BC, 3:07; Baker, W, 3:07; McInnis, BC, 13:19; McInnis, BC, 17:18; Woll, BC, 18:08.
Third period: W — Freytag 1 (Tischke), 5:12. BC — Grando 1 (Hutsko), 10:59. W — Baker 3 (Wagner), 19:10 (en).
Saves: W (Hayton 7-12-10) 29; BC (Woll 4-9-4) 17. Power plays: W 0-for-5; BC 1-for-1. Att. — 5,108.