The Mavericks killed the penalty, but while Williams waited for a whistle, Dahl, who did serve a minor for charging Williams on the play, scored on Cook to give Wisconsin a 3-2 lead.
“Whatever the situation is, you have to go out and deal with it,” Hasting said. “I thought we did a pretty good job there. We were a little soft on the rush (on Dahl’s goal); our gap was bad. But I don’t believe that’s what cost us the game.”
Williams, who finished with 24 saves, said he grabbed Dahl’s helmet because his knee was bent back awkwardly, and he was in a lot of pain.
“It was a natural reaction,” said Williams, who said he hadn’t sat in a penalty box since high school.
Williams said he felt bad to put Cook, who made two saves, in a tough spot.
“I definitely threw him under the bus,” he said. “That’s all on me.”
Since their series over Thanksgiving in Madison, the two teams combined for just one loss, with the Mavericks winning 11 of 12 games (including the two against Wisconsin) and the Badgers going 5-0-3.
The first period nearly ended in a scoreless tie, but both teams scored goals in the final two minutes.
The Badgers struck first on defenseman Joe Faust’s goal with 1:58 to play. The Mavericks then got a late power play and tied the game 74 seconds later. Leitner finished off the goal, tipping a wide shot by Zach Palmquist behind goalie Landon Peterson (30 saves).
An ugly second period for MSU closed out with the Badgers taking the lead again. Ryan Little beat the defense as he took a pass from Dahl and scored with 59 seconds remaining before intermission.
The Mavericks (14-7-2, 8-7-0 in WCHA) and the Badgers will play again at 7:07 p.m. tonight.