The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team returns home to face No. 10 Penn State University in a top-20 battle as the Badgers look to build on their five-game winning streak and stay atop the Big Ten rankings.

The Badgers (15-8-1, 8-2-0 Big Ten) are coming off of two consecutive weekend sweeps. They took down Michigan State University in East Lansing last weekend to remain in a first-place tie with Minnesota University.

With 15 wins through their first 24 games, Wisconsin has their second most victories in a season through 24 contests since the 2005-06 NCAA National Championship team that had 18.

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The Badgers will face a Penn State team desperate for a win this weekend as the 10th ranked Nittany Lions find themselves on a four-game skid coming into Madison. After losing just two of their first 20 games, Penn State got swept for the first time all season last weekend at Minnesota.

Despite the opposite trending teams, Wisconsin will have their hands full against Penn State (16-6-2, 5-4-1), who sit within striking distance of the Badgers in third place in the Big Ten and are looking to rebound in the standings.

Defense could prove to be key for the Badgers, who have given up less than three goals in each game during their five-game winning streak. It will be difficult to continue this trend against Penn State because they average the most goals per game in the nation at 4.17. The Badgers won’t shy away, however, as they held the nation’s second highest scoring team — Ohio State, which averages 4.08 goals per game — to just three goals in two games. Wisconsin has also benefitted from their 4.2 goals per game over that five-game span.

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As the Badgers sit in a first-place tie at the halfway point in conference, head coach Tony Granato notes there is still work to be done.

“We can’t look at it right now and say, ‘OK lets celebrate, we’re ahead of where we’re scheduled to be,'” Granato said. “We’ve got work to do, and we can’t get caught up with ‘this is how we’re gonna win the Big Ten.’ We’ve got a great competitor coming up in Penn State this weekend, and our way of doing this season has been week-to-week and day-to-day.”

Face-off for both Friday and Saturday is set for 7 p.m. CST, with both games being played in Madison at the Kohl Center.