The Matchup: Wisconsin vs. Michigan Tech
Dates: Friday, Dec. 2nd and Saturday December 3rd
Location: Kohl Center
Ice Surface: 200’ X 97’
Radio: Friday - WIBA AM 1310
Video Stream: Friday: BTN Plus ($) Saturday: BTN2go
Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)
All-Time Series: UW leads 498-46-10 (60-17-6 in Madison)
Last Meeting: Tie 3-3
About Michigan Tech
Head Coach: Mel Pearson (4th Season – 57-62-15)
Michigan Tech comes to Madison as the 5th ranked team in the nation according to the USCHO.com poll. They were, at one point, #1 in the nation and 10-0 before falling to Minnesota State on November 21st.
The Wolverines have an impressive track record that includes quality wins against Ferris State, Alaska Anchorage, and University of Minnesota Duluth.
Michigan Tech is an experienced team that can score the puck with general ease and a stout defense that refuses to give opponents much.
The upcoming series marks the 155th and 156th meeting between the teams, the most played rivalry in Wisconsin history. Michigan Tech has more often than not found themselves on the losing end of these games but looks to change that this weekend.
Save Pct.: .938
Goals Against Average: 1.72
Goals Per Game: 3.11
Record: 1-10-1 (0-2-0-0 in Big Ten)
Head Coach: Mike Eaves (13th Season – 256-200-54)
The Badgers open up 2015 with a tough task facing off against the former #1 team in college hockey and current #5 team, Michigan Tech.
The Badgers come back from a two-week hiatus due to finals and holiday with eyes fixed toward a Big Ten Title but first take on the non conference matchup of Michigan Tech.
The young Badgers struggled their way through the 2014 section of their schedule and hope to start the New Year off right.
The New Year brings a new face to Madison, as Middleton, Wisconsin native, Jake Bunz joins the team. Bunz will not be available for the Michigan Tech series but Head Coach Mike Eaves expects the freshman defensemen to come in and make an impact quickly.
“Jake has real good mobility as a defenseman,” said Eaves. “He’s a good skater who moves well laterally. He’s sees the ice well and has good skill.”
Michigan Tech is the first of three upcoming opponents for The Badgers that were at one point in the season ranked #1. Boston University and Minnesota both lay ahead for the Badgers.
Points: Grant Besse (7)
Goals: Grant Besse and Morgan Zulinick (3)
Assists: 3 tied at 4
Save Pct.: Landon Peterson (.900)
Goals Against Average: Landon Peterson (3.03 GAA)
The Badgers will have their hands full as Michigan Tech comes to town for a non-conference showdown.
The last time the Badger played at the Kohl Center they dropped an exhibition game to the U.S U18 National Team. While players said they were excited to come back from the break that followed the loss, they may not be too excited to come back to the top 5 Wolverines.
With Big Ten play coming up on the Badgers shortly the team is staring down the barrel of playing three top tier teams in their next three series.
The New Year has a sense of a new beginning for the Badgers and badger fans alike. However, do not forget that this is still the same Badger team that started the season 1-10-1.
Hopefully the New Year brought an answer to the struggle that is the Badger attack. Look for Sophomore Grant Besse to continue to be the best option for the Badgers as he locked in a starting spot right at the end of of 2014.
He leads the team with seven points and will need to start adding to that total if the Badgers want to stand a chance with the high powered Michigan Tech Wolverines.
Friday- Wisconsin: 1 Michigan Tech: 4
Saturday- Wisconsin: 0 Michigan Tech: 3
New Year, same Badgers. Michigan Tech is too fundamentally sound on defense and will break down a desperate Badger squad as the game progresses. Michigan Tech leaves Madison with two wins under their belt.