The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team is set to welcome their second non-conference opponent to LaBahn arena this weekend for their final non-conference home series of the season.
The Badgers are scheduled to play the Mercyhurst Lakers on Thursday and Friday, and these two teams have quite the history. UW and Mercyhurst have met nine times in the past, and each time Wisconsin has managed to come out winning.
Both teams also have stellar head coaches at the helm of their programs, Mark Johnson for UW and Michael Sisti for Mercyhurst. Johnson has had 430 wins during his time at UW, and Sisti has a grand total of 444 wins from his time with the Lakers, making both of them the third and second most winning coaches in women’s hockey, respectively.
Wisconsin is coming off of a great weekend against Lindenwood, in which the Badgers managed to pull out a 3-1 win and a 4-0 shutout. Wisconsin is showing great strength this season, with many underclassmen stepping up for UW and notching quality goals.
But the Badgers are also slightly disadvantaged. First, the short turnover the Badgers are facing from the previous weekend could be difficult to overcome.
Wisconsin’s series against Lindenwood officially ended Sunday at 3:40 p.m., and UW’s first game against Mercyhurst is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m., giving Wisconsin the shortest turnover between games that hockey allows. Wisconsin is not going to have much time to gather information on their opponents and work on any issues that arose from their Lindenwood series.
They’re not likely to find issues against Mercyhurst because this will be the first game that Mercyhurst will have played this season. Which means that any film that Wisconsin might be looking at for this game is most likely from last season, and will not reflect the current Lakers roster.
Having film on another team is always a beneficial asset for any team to have, but it is not something that they absolutely need. Wisconsin is strong enough now to head into this weekend series blind against their opponent, but it means that their first period is likely to be a little rough as both teams begin to size each other up.
The Badgers and the Lakers begin their weekend series Thursday at 7 p.m., and will conclude this series Friday at 7 p.m. Fans who are not able to make the games can find statistics for both series on the UW Athletics website.