The No.1 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team is welcoming Bemidji State University to LaBahn arena this weekend.
Wisconsin (8-0, 2-0 WCHA) is on a roll this year, earning their eight victory this past weekend against Mankato, making them the only team in the WCHA that is still undefeated this far into the season. Many people did not expect the Badgers to be this successful, especially after the loss of the 2017 class, which earned them the No.2 rankings in pre-season polls.
All of this negativity did not impact the Badgers however, and their rise to the top of the poll is a momentous achievement for this young team and shows that they have a strength that has yet to be overcome by any other team. The original No.1, Minnesota, has been faltering this season, and as of this weekend, the Gophers find themselves in the No.7 position.
Bemidji State, on the other hand, is really struggling this season, with a 1-4-1 record as of October 18th. The Beavers have not been fairing well in games, losing to both Clarkson and Minnesota earlier in the season, and Wisconsin is going to be a very difficult challenge for them.
It is a little irrational to assume that a team that has four losses this season to teams that are comparable to Madison would all of a sudden begin performing at a higher caliber of play, and on the road no less. The odds of Bemidji wining one game might be average, but the Beavers will be unlikely to find themselves sweeping the series against the Badgers.
Instead, this is likely to be a game of prevention from Bemidji’s side. They know that Wisconsin is going to score, and they know that once Wisconsin scores they score often, so the main goal of Bemidji will be trying to prevent the Badgers from scoring.
Their record would suggest that skill is not going to be an effective strategy at achieving this goal, so it is most likely that the Beavers will turn to a very physical strategy to prevent the Badgers from netting goals. Fans can expect this series to be filled with hard hits and a lot of penalties as Bemidji tries to keep Wisconsin at bay.
The series between these two teams starts Friday night at 7 p.m. and will conclude Saturday at 7 p.m..