Wisconsin (26-1-1-0, 17-0-1-0 Big Ten) will play games against conference foe Ohio State on Friday and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
The No. 1 University of Wisconsin Women’s Hockey team has been an unstoppable force this season.
Of course, that isn’t exactly a surprise. Every season they are consistently the class of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the NCAA as a whole.
But still, their undefeated conference record and nine shut-outs thus far in the season indicate something special — even by the Badger’s standards.
Coming up this weekend the team will put their record to the test against Ohio State in Columbus for a two-game series that begins their last six-game stretch of the season.
The Buckeyes are third in the WCHA, with a conference record of 10-4-4-3, which shows they may be a bit under-ranked, as they suffer from four shootout losses. Though OSU may be better than their record, it doesn’t seem like there is much evidence they can hang with Wisconsin.
Ohio State has barely outpaced their opponents in scoring this season. Their in-conference goal differential is only eight goals. Wisconsin boasts a differential six times that at a monstrous 48.
It truly is futile to go down the laundry list of statistics Wisconsin blows every other team out of the water in. But hockey is hockey, and you don’t win games on paper.
Despite the apparent Wisconsin advantage, Ohio State still lays claim to two of the preeminent point scorers in the conference in Emma Maltais and Tatum Skaggs.
Maltais leads the conference in points per game, averaging 1.27, and is tied for the lead in total assists with Wisconsin’s Abby Roque (22). She comes into the weekend with eight points in her last six games.
Skaggs leads the conference in goal-scoring (18), just edging out Wisconsin’s Claudia Kepler (17), and also has eight points in her last six games.
Though Wisconsin may come into the series confident, as they should be, it would be a mistake to not recognize the potential windfalls of down-playing their opponent’s scoring abilities.
Puck drop will be at 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Columbus.