ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 21: Morgan Zulinick #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers controls the puck against Penn State Nittany Lions during the second period of the semifinal game of the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship on March 21, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Series preview: Wisconsin hosts Penn State in final home series

The Matchup: Penn State vs. Wisconsin

Dates: Friday/Saturday, March 4/5  7 PM CT

Location: Kohl Center

Ice Surface: 200’ X 97’

TV: Friday- ASN Saturday- None

Radio: WIBA AM 1310

Video Stream: Friday- BTN2go app Saturday-BTNplus ($)

Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)

All-Time Series: 6-7-0 (UW Trails)

Last Meeting: 4-1 Penn State over Wisconsin

About Penn State

Record: 19-9-4, (9-6-1 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Guy Gadowsky (59-61-10) 4th Season

Notable: Coming off a series split at home against Ohio State, Penn State takes the show on the road to Madison Wisconsin. Penn State sits third in Big Ten standings behind Minnesota and Michigan.

Stat Leaders:

Points: David Goodwin (32)

Goals:  Andrew Sturtz (15)

Assists: David Goodwin (22)

Save Pct.: Eamon McAdam (.928)

Goals Against Average: Eamon McAdam (2.43)

About Wisconsin:

Record: 6-16-8 (1-11-4-1 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Mike Eaves (14th Season – 265-222-66)

Notable: Badgers remain in last place in the Big Ten with just four games left in regular season play. Rough year for Wisconsin hockey with only 6 wins to their name. They are playing for pride.  

Stat Leaders

Points: Grant Besse (29)

Goals: Luke Kunin (15)

Assists:  Grant Besse (21)

Save Pct.: Matt Jurusik (.889)

Goals Against Average: Matt Jurusik (3.48)

Quick Analysis:

The real question of the series, and possibly Wisconsin’s entire season, is will the defense hold up and will players other than the top line contribute to the offense?

Badgers’ top line of Luke Kunin, Grant Besse and Cameron Hughes have been a major bright spot in an otherwise dismal season that includes just one win in conference play. The defense in front of freshman goaltender Jurusik has been shaky at best. The defense is extremely young, and the inexperience has been on full display often over Big Ten play.

Penn State, however, has put together a great season and has emerged as a contender in the Big Ten with veteran leadership leading the way on both offense and defense.

Prediction:

Friday- Wisconsin 1  Penn State 3

Saturday- Wisconsin 0 Penn State 4

Badgers are a lost cause this year it seems, would be shocked to see them dig in and get motivated enough to compete with one of the Big Ten’s best. Penn State beats up on Wisconsin putting a cap on the disappointing home regular season.

 

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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