The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team heads to Green Bay this weekend to take on Northern Michigan for an exciting non-conference game.

The Badgers are having a great start to the season after sweeping both No. 13 Boston College and Merrimack last weekend. As a result, Wisconsin was promoted to No. 5 in the rankings from No. 10.

The team proved that it has scoring depth with players Ryan Wagner, Seamus Malone and Tarek Baker. The defense has also contributed to the team’s success, as Peter Tischke currently leads the team in assists.

In addition, offensive duo Trent Fredric and Will Johnson produced a couple of goals and assists. Both players are having fantastic starts and have a point-per-game production so far this season.

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The biggest spotlight from last weekend is Kyle Hayton. Hayton, recently named Big Ten First Star of the Week, made 70 saves against 73 shots in both games. Hayton’s season stats are impressive, with a .927 save percentage and 2.01 goals allowed per game.

As the Badgers savor their victories, they must quickly focus on the matchup ahead of them. This weekend the Badgers head to Green Bay to face the Northern Michigan Wildcats.

The last time Wisconsin faced Northern Michigan was in the 2016-17 season. The two-game series at the Kohl Center is on top of the list that the Badgers want redemption for. 

The series was split with Wisconsin losing 2-5 in the first game and winning the second game 2-0. Currently, Northern Michigan is unranked and has a 3-1 overall record, 2-0 in the WCHA conference. Last weekend, the team swept Ferris State. Their leading goal scorer Robbie Payne leads the team in goals (five) and points (six points in four games). On top of that, Wildcat goalie standout Atte Tolvenan has a .935 save percentage and 2.0 goals allowed per game.

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Top-ranked teams such as North Dakota (fourth seed) are reigniting their rivalry with Minnesota (seventh seed) while St. Cloud State (two seed) is facing respectable Boston College (thirteen seed). Both of those matchups will be tough for both top-ranked teams. Wisconsin will need to win both games to guarantee their place in the ranking and perhaps move up as well. 

Puck drop starts 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday at the Resch Center in Green Bay. You can listen to the game on the radio by tuning in to WIBA 1030 Friday and WTSO 1070 Saturday.