ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22: Joel Rumpel #33 of the Wisconsin Badgers blocks a shot by Darik Angeli #10 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the third period of the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship game on March 22, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Wisconsin takes on Ohio State in weekend series

The Matchup: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

Dates: Friday-Saturday, February 13-14 5:30/6 p.m CT

Location: Columbus, Ohio. Schottenstein Center

Ice Surface: 200’ X 85’

TV: Friday BTN Network. Saturday: ASN

Radio: WIBA AM 1310

Video Stream: BTN2go.com/BTN2go app

Audio Stream: Badgersportsnetwork.com (Free)

All-Time Series: UW leads 13-3-0

Last Meeting: 5-4 OT Wisconsin over OSU

 

About University of Ohio State

Record: 7-15-2, 2-8-0 in the Big Ten

Head Coach: Steve Rohlik (2nd season - 25-29-7)

Notable: Ohio State currently sits right ahead of Wisconsin in the bottom two spots in the Big Ten conference. If anyone can relate to the Badgers issues, it is the Buckeyes. They are currently on a six game losing streak, with all losses coming from other Big Ten opponents. Ohio State has to be looking forward to hosting a struggling Badger team in hopes of getting back on the winning track.

Stat Leaders:

Points: Anthony Greco (16)

Goals: Anthony Greco (13)

Assists: Matthew Wells and Christian Lampasso (1o)

Save Pct.: Christian Frey (.908)

Goals Against Average: Logan Davis (2.75)

 

About Wisconsin:

Record: 2-18-4 Overall, 0-8-2-2 in Big Ten Conference

Head Coach: Mike Eaves (13th Season – 257-198-57)

Notable: The Badgers continue on their road trip after being swept by Penn State 5-2 Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. Cameron Hughes’ health remains a huge question mark after the weekly press conference was cancelled. Mike Eaves has not spoke about if Hughes will be available this weekend. Hughes’ exploded for the Badgers’ only two goals Friday night. He has scored three goals in the last three games for the Badgers.

 

Stat Leaders:

Points: Grant Besse (18)

Goals: Grant Besse (9)

Assists: Grant Besse (9)

Save Pct.: Joel Rumpel (.895)

Goals Against Average: Joel Rumpel (3.82)

 

Quick Analysis:

The battle to not be the worst team in the Big Ten is on in Columbus, Ohio this weekend as the Badgers come into to town to play the struggling Buckeyes.

The key to this weekend is pride. If the Badgers still have it, they could easily grab a couple of wins this weekend.

If anyone is having a worse year than the Badgers, it is the Ohio State Buckeyes. They sit just above the Badgers in the Big Ten standings with two wins in conference, one from Penn State and the other from Michigan State.

For the Badgers it has to start with Joel Rumpel. Rumpel is capable of having big games within the Big Ten, he displayed this when he posted forty-seven saves against Minnesota which ended in a tie and a shootout win for the Badgers. Fans have also watched, as Rumpel has let in easy goals early in the game. If the “forty-seven save Rumpel” shows up in Columbus, the Badgers will put themselves in a great position to win.

Despite the glaring zero that lies in conference win column, the Badger offense has steadily been improving.

The Badger freshmen have scored the last four goals for the team and average 2.46 points per game, which is good for seventh in the nation.

The freshmen, paired with Sophomore Grant Besse have been emerging as the Badgers’ go-to options.

Besse is in a four game streak where he has tallied at least a point, the longest streak of his career. The streak has also guided him to becoming the team leader in goals and assists.

The Badgers, as a team fired a season high thirty-seven shots on goal against Penn State in the loss last weekend, but seeing this offense become a bit dangerous is a very positive thing.

I would expect both of these games to be high scoring affairs that could go either way.

 

Prediction:

Friday: Wisconsin 4 Ohio State 3

Saturday: Wisconsin 2 Ohio State 5

 

I was very tempted to take the Badgers in a sweep in this series. Honestly, maybe it is just a gut feeling but this team is far overdue for a win. Now, with everything they have been through this season I do not think they have enough fight to sweep an opponent at home. Ohio State is not doing much better than the Badgers and if Mike Eaves wants a win and potentially a job, they need to at the very least, split with Ohio State.

Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and 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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