ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 21: The helmets for the Wisconsin Badgers sit on the bench before the semifinal game of the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Penn State Nittany Lions on March 21, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Series Preview: Wisconsin Welcomes Big Ten’s Best Michigan Wolverines

The Matchup: Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Dates: Friday/Saturday, February, 7 CT

Location: Kohl Center

Ice Surface: 200’ X 97’

TV: None

Radio: WIBA AM 1310

Video Stream: BTN.com/BTN2go app

Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)

All-Time Series: 54-71-10(UW Trails)

Last Meeting: 6-6 tie

About Michigan

Record: 17-4-4, (8-2-2-1 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Red Berensen (265-218-64 14th season)

Notable: Michigan sits tied atop the Big Ten standings with Minnesota with 27 points. Michigan also has earned a number 6 ranking at USCHO.com. High powered Michigan attack has 5 skaters with over 20 points on the year. Compared to Wisconsin’s 1 (Grant Besse).

Stat Leaders:

Points: Kyle Connor (44)

Goals:  Tyler Motte (25)

Assists: Kyle Connor (24)

Save Pct.: Steve Racine (.913)

Goals Against Average: Steve Racine (2.90)

About Wisconsin:

Record: 6-12-6 (1-7-2-1 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Mike Eaves (14th Season – 265-218-64)

Notable: Wisconsin enters the final stretch of the 2015-2016 campaign by playing host to Michigan at the Kohl Center.  Wisconsin is looking for a win in the Big Ten and has some momentum, after sweeping Alaska in their last series two weeks ago.

Stat Leaders

Points: Grant Besse (21)

Goals: Luke Kunin (10)

Assists:  Grant Besse (15)

Save Pct.: Matt Jurusik (.892)

Goals Against Average: Matt Jurusik (3.40)

Quick Analysis:

Tough task for Wisconsin to start off their final stretch of the season with the top ranked in the Big Ten, Michigan Wolverines.

 

I do not see this one going too well for Wisconsin. The struggle of the season for the Badges has been the shaky defense. The offense for Wisconsin has been there. Ryan Wagner, Grant Besse and Luke Kunin leading the way but in the defensive zone, it has been tough to watch.

 

Michigan, as I alluded to in their “Notable” section has one of the most powerful offenses in the NCAA. After only 25 games played freshman sensation Kyle Connor has 44 points (!!!) the scary thing about Michigan is they back it up with great defense.

 

Prediction:

Friday- Wisconsin 1  Michigan 4

Saturday- Wisconsin 0 Michigan 6
This one hurts, but I think this could get ugly, quickly. Michigan wins big both nights, Badgers defense is too weak to play well enough for 60 full minutes.

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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