Playoff season kicks off for the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team this weekend as the Badgers take on the Minnesota State University-Mankato Mavericks during the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

Due to their amazing performance this season, the Badgers (27-2-4-0, 22-2-4-0 WCHA) have the honor of taking on the Mavericks (7-24-4, 4-21-3 WCHA) at home. This could be one of the greatest keys to success the Badgers will have this weekend.

The Badgers are currently 13-1-2 at home, with their only loss being sustained from the University of Minnesota during their fall campaign. Since then, the Badgers have won nearly every home game they have played, with only one game resulting in a tie.

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The Mavericks, on the other hand, have not had the best of luck this season. Mankato has a 2-12-2 record on the road, with two of those loses coming from their visit to Madison in January.

The record between these two teams has always favored the Badgers, especially during the playoffs. These two teams met during this exact same round last year, and Wisconsin managed to blow Mankato away 4-0 and 6-0 in the first two nights of play.

Even this season, the Badgers managed to squash the Mavericks 17-2 during all four of their regular season match-ups. While no win is guaranteed, it’s clear if the Mavericks want to win, they are going to have to try and defy some serious odds.

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Wisconsin is coming off quite a bizarre weekend, with neither a win or a loss under their belt after facing the University of Minnesota. This is the chance for UW to build some needed momentum before they head back to Ridder Arena next weekend for the WCHA finals.

If this weekend goes well, the Badgers could find themselves facing Minnesota during one of the WCHA playoff rounds, so they are going to need to build all the confidence and stamina they need to face some tough opponents next weekend.

The puck between these two teams drops Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday’s game will take place at 4 p.m. If needed, a contest is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. The winner of this series gets to head to Minneapolis next weekend to play in the WCHA Final face-off tournament.