Kohl_Center_hockey

Series Preview: Wisconsin and Minnesota Face off in Border Battle

The Matchup: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

Dates: Friday/Saturday, January 22/23, 8/7 CT

Location: Kohl Center

Ice Surface: 200’ X 97’

TV: Friday: Big Ten Network  Saturday: ASN

Radio: WIBA AM 1310

Video Stream: BTN.com/BTN2go app

Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)

All-Time Series: 90-161-23 (UW Trails)

Last Meeting: 4-4 Tie, Badgers won in shootout

 

About Minnesota

Record: 11-10-0, (6-2-0 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Don Lucia (406-212-68 17th season)

Notable: After a slow start, Minnesota has really come into its own in Big Ten play. They are coming off a weekend sweep at home against Michigan State.

Stat Leaders:

Points: Hudson Fasching and Leon Bristedt (22)

Goals: Hudson Fasching  (13)

Assists: Tommy Novak (14)

Save Pct.: Eric Schierhorn (.911)

Goals Against Average: Eric Schierhorn (2.60)

 

About Wisconsin:

Record: 4-10-6 (1-5-2-1 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Mike Eaves (14th Season – 263-213-63)

Notable: Wisconsin remains stuck at the four wins it came into the second half of the season with. The Badgers have had glimpses of brilliance but can not seem to put it together for a full 60 minutes. Tie games have been the bane of Wisconsin’s existence.

Stat Leaders

Points: Grant Besse and Luke Kunin (18)

Goals: Luke Kunin (9)

Assists:  Grant Besse (13)

Save Pct.: Matt Jurusik (.901)

Goals Against Average: Matt Jurusik (3.20)

Quick Analysis:

You have to love a good border battle, especially in hockey. Wisconsin and Minnesota meet up once again at the Kohl Center to add another chapter to their storied rivalry. Wisconsin’s offense will revolve around freshman Luke Kunin and junior Grant Besse per usual. Besse, a Minnesota native has historically played well against the Gophers, expect those two to set the tone for the Badgers.

I think the real key here will be Minnesota’s offense against Wisconsin’s defense. Wisconsin has been straight up exposed on defense in the past couple of games. Senior captain Eddie Wittchow will need to step up his own play as well as the defensemen around him if Wisconsin hopes to have a shot of winning one of these games.

Matt Jurusik, Badgers freshman goalie has played well but has essentially been left out to dry time after time. The youngster can only do so much. The Badgers will need their defense to stop Hudson Fasching and the high-power Gopher attack that put up seven goals against Penn State just two weekends ago.

Prediction:

Friday- Wisconsin 2 Minnesota 0

Saturday- Wisconsin 1 Minnesota 5

Would love to take the Badgers in a sweep here, they may get swept in reality but you have to think Wisconsin is far overdue on getting their fifth win of the year. Badgers want it more and shut down Minnesota Friday night. The extra energy they use Friday drains them for Saturday and Minnesota comes back and wins big.

Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Junior at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and Journalism. He is a beat writer for the UW- Men's Hockey Team. You can catch him on UW-Madison's student radio WSUM where he hosts a sports talk show and broadcasts numerous varieties of Badger sports or on twitter @YoungSawyer_

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