This weekend, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team will host their last series of the calendar year. The Badgers (6-7-3, 2-3-3 Big Ten) will host unranked Michigan State Spartans (6-7-1, 2-3-1 Big Ten) in two games at the Kohl Center Friday and Saturday night.
The final home games of 2018 follow a weekend filled with mixed results against another Big Ten rival, Penn State. Last weekend, the Badgers fought hard with Penn State to go into overtime Friday night but lost in a shootout. Saturday, the Badgers bounced back strong and managed to pull off an impressive 8–5 victory over Penn State.
Last week’s game was by far one of the most impressive the Badgers have played this season. According to University of Wisconsin Athletics, it is the most goals scored by the men’s hockey team in one game since the 2013 season. If the Badgers can continue this momentum against Michigan State and walk away with a series sweep, it would be a big step in the right direction for a postseason bid.
Throughout the season, the Badgers have acknowledged their strong defense, especially from their newer players. The Badgers are 6-1 this season in games in which they allowed two goals or less. If they can keep Penn State’s offense in check, the Wisconsin attack should be able to manage enough offense of their own to pull out a victory.
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In both freshman K’Andre Miller and senior Will Johnson’s post-game interviews, they talked about how the team’s attitude and focus had a major impact on the momentum and result of the game. They believe that a positive attitude is going to be crucial as the season goes on.
The Michigan State Spartans enter the series coming off a weekend similar to the Badgers. Michigan State, who played University of Michigan last weekend, walked away with a win Friday but had to settle for a tie after overtime Saturday night.
Watch the Badger’s this weekend as they defend the ice at the Kohl Center Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8. Both games are set to face off at 7 p.m.