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 Takes on No. 15 Penn State

The Matchup: Wisconsin vs. Penn State

Dates: Friday/Saturday, January 15/16, 5:50/5 PM CT

Location: University Park, PA; Pegula Ice Arena

Ice Surface: 200’ X 85’

TV: Friday- BTN Saturday- ESPNU

Radio: WIBA AM 1310

Video Stream: Friday-BTN2go app Saturday-ESPN3.com

Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)

All-Time Series: 6-5-0

Last Meeting: 4-1 PSU over Wisco

 

About Penn State

Record: 13-4-3 (3-1-0 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Guy Gadowsky (4th Season 39-55-6)

Notable: Penn State is coming off a tough weekend series where they squeaked out an overtime victory then took a 7-1 beating by the hands of Minnesota. This was the Nittany Lions first loss in Big Ten play.

Stat Leaders

Points: Kenny Brooks, Curtis Loik and David Goodwin (18)

Goals: Chase Berger (10)

Assists: Kenny Brooks and Curtis Loik (12)

Save Pct.: Eamon McAdam (.927)

Goals Against Average: Eamon McAdam (2.30)

 

About Wisconsin:

Record: 4-8-6 (1-3-2 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Mike Eaves (14th Season – 264-213-64)

Notable: After winning a Big Ten star of the week, Freshman Luke Kunin leads Wisconsin in scoring. Kunin tallied a point on all four of Wisconsin’s goals in their 4-4 tie with Ohio State.

Stat Leaders

Points: Grant Besse (17)

Goals: Luke Kunin (7)

Assists:  Grant Besse (12)

Save Pct.: Matt Jurusik (.898)

Goals Against Average: Matt Jurusik (3.10)

 

Quick Analysis:

Entering the weekend ranked 15th in the USCHO top 25 poll, the Penn State Nittany Lions look to stay atop the Big Ten as they welcome the Wisconsin Badgers to Happy Valley.

Penn State is dangerous because of how they play hockey. It is purely a team game with Penn State. They have three to five guys that have the individual talent to beat any team on any given night. The best thing about Penn State and what makes them so dangerous is that these players play well with one another night in night out and that has contributed to Penn State’s success.

Wisconsin’s biggest focus of the weekend will have to be defense. Ohio State’s experienced forwards tore apart the young Badger defensemen. Senior leader Eddie Wittchow will have to play big if Wisconsin hopes to win.

Another big factor for the Badgers will be injuries. First liner Cameron Hughes, talented freshman Patrick Sexton, and solid forward Jedd Soleway all did not play in Wisconsin’s last game. Having any of these players back could help Wisconsin have a fighting chance.

Prediction:

Friday- Wisconsin 3 PSU 2

Saturday- Wisconsin 1 PSU 4

Wisconsin has been known to come into places and ruffle up the home team a bit. They could sneak away with a series split. One of the games could get ugly in favor of Penn State.

 

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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