Wisconsin hockey needs quality non-conference opponents, that’s the truth of the matter in the Big Ten of today. There are two tiers — with Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan representing likely NCAA teams —while Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State make up a tier of teams that don’t have the history of the upper echelon teams.
On Tuesday, the Badgers added depth to its schedule with Ferris State announcing a two-year scheduling agreement with the Badgers. Wisconsin previously had the Bulldogs on the schedule for a visit to the Kohl Center this season over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
What is new is that the Badgers will make a return trip to the Big Rapids, Mich. campus for the first time in school history during the 2015-16 season.
“We’re excited to face Wisconsin in Madison this coming year and having them return to Big Rapids the following year for the first time will be fun for our fans,” said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. “It certainly will be yet another challenge, but we’ve prided ourselves on facing some of the top teams in the country on a yearly basis and this will be another such foe.”
These two teams have met four times in history, with the series tied at two wins apiece.
It’s definitely an agreement that helps Ferris State sell a few tickets, but also bolsters the Badgers schedule in a good way over the next two seasons.
Ferris State won the WCHA regular season championship this past season and made the national title game in 2012.
Adding the Bulldogs to the schedule in 2015-16 means it will face two of the other three teams from this past season’s Midwest Regional in the NCAA hockey tournament, as the Badgers will also face North Dakota.
*Photo courtesy UW Athletics